Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell


The Fifth Pig and other propaganda Fold-Ups
Fold-Ups are pictures which can be folded up to reveal smaller pictures made up of elements of the original. The information on this page is largely drawn frrom two on-line sources, 'The Vilification of Enemy Leadership in WWII' by Herbert A. Friedman (available at http://www.psywarrior.com/AxisLeadersMonsters.html) and 'Jackals and Pigs: British Government Propaganda in WW2 Iraq' by Louis Allday, available at (https://louisallday.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/jackals-and-pigs-british-government-propaganda-in-ww2-iraq/). I would welcome any further information about similar propaganda Fold-Ups from other sources.

Friedman states that 'For many years prior to WWII various venders made and sold puzzles to children. These puzzles had a number of different pictures on the front, and when folded in a special complex way depicted a hidden picture of an old man, or sometimes a political leader, sports figure or movie star.' I have been unable to verify this statement from other sources.

According to Friedman the British SOE (Special Operations Executive) printed and distributed a number, at least four, versions of a printed sheet that showed four pigs when unfolded but which could be folded up to show a fifth pig, Adolph Hitler. He states 'It is believed that besides being used in Allied countries as a morale booster, they were also shipped to partisans in Nazi-occupied nations to attack and belittle the German Fuhrer.' They may also have been dropped from aircraft.

The illustration below is included in Friedman's article. Unfortunately he does not give an origin or date for this advertisement. It is perfectly possible that it may predate the opening of hostilities and be the original of the propaganda sheets. I have not however been able to confirm this.

Friedmann also illustrates a second Fifth Pig propaganda sheet, bearing words in Greek script, in which the pigs fold up into a picture of Mussolini.

Allday's article focuses on the use of similar Fold-Ups in Iraq in 1940/1. He states that 'A Foreign Office file from 1941 (FO 371/27101) held at the UK National Archives in Kew reveals a fascinating and surprising example of the type of propaganda material that the British Embassy disseminated during this period. The file contains two original copies of hand-outs that were distributed by the Embassy that initially appear to simply be two cartoons, one depicting four jackals and the other four pigs. However, once folded in a certain way, the animals come together to form caricature-like images of the faces of the Italian and German fascist leaders, Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler'

The Fold-Up of Hitler is the familiar Fifth Pig design, that of Mussolini a variant using jackals instead of pigs.

According to the website of the Imperial War Museum (http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/1030001574) a redrawn Fifth Pig Fold-Up was in circulation in February 1991 during the first Gulf War. In this case the subject of the Fold-Up was Saddam Hussein. I obtained one of these Fold-Ups at the time, though I cannot now recall how I came by it. The writing is in Dutch. The Netherlands appears to have been the source of this Fold-Up.