La Comedia Humana (Nacht über Deutschland)
Clément Moreau’s graphic novel was created between 1937 and 1938. The artist uses 107 linocuts to tell the story of the Nazi terror in the Third Reich. The book is divided into a number of separate threads-stories which are based on the author’s personal experience. Each section is devoted to a different subject, for instance, the consequences of listening to illegal, radio stations; torture in prisons; repressions against the families and children of prisoners; invigilation of people; omnipresent propaganda addressed especially to young people; degeneration of the Nazi elites; and finally, escape from the country and a difficult life of a stateless person. La Comedia Humana also tells the story of the murder of Erich Mühsam, a German journalist, anarchist and political activist detained in the concentration camp in Oranienburg.
In his anti-fascist novel, Clément Moreau draws on the tradition of graphic novels popularized at the beginning of the 20th century by Frans Masereel and Lynd Ward.The narration is based exclusively on pictures, dark, expressive images showing a poignant vision of a city in the shadow of the svastika sign, violence-ridden and plunged in despair.
The novel was published for the first time in 1940 in Argentinian newspapers i.e. “Argentinisches Tageblatt” and “Argentina Libre”. The second post-war edition of La Comedia Humana (Nacht über Deutschland) was released only in 2017, thanks to the efforts of a Spanish language publishing house Sans Soleil Ediciones.
The whole novel can be found on the website of Künste im Exil (Arts in Exil).