Pig-Tailed Pippi Longstocking Books Branded ‘Racist’ by German Theologian

Graham Smith, Daily Mail (London), November 10, 2011

Sweden’s much-loved Pippi Longstocking children books have been branded racist by a leading German theologian.

Dr Eske Wollrad, from Germany’s Federal Association of Evangelical Women, has called on parents to skip certain passages or else explain to their children that they contain outdated colonial stereotypes.

She hit out at the Pippi Longstocking trilogy, written by author Astrid Lindgren and first published in 1945, at an anti-discrimination state conference in Leipzig at the weekend.

Dr Wollrad told German newspaper The Local: ‘It is not that the figure of Pippi Longstocking is racist, but that all three in the trilogy of books have colonial racist stereotypes.’

In the books, Pippi is an eight-year-old with superhuman strength who does not want to grow up and hates pompous adults.

Her father, once a king of a South Seas island, was originally known as Negro King before publishers changed it to South Seas King.

Dr Wollrad is demanding the book’s publisher make additions in the books to guide readers when ‘racist’ content arises.

She said that in the third book, Pippi In The South Seas: ‘The black children throw themselves into the sand in front of the white children in the book. When reading the book to my nephew, who is black, I simply left that passage out.’

She added: ‘The question to ask yourself is whether you could read a certain passage out loud to a black child without stopping or stumbling. Only then can you say whether it is OK or not.’

But Dr Wollrad did praise the trilogy for its feminist and pro-child innovations, a rarity in the 1940s.

She said: ‘I would certainly not condemn the book completely–on the contrary, there are many very positive aspects to it.

‘As well as being very funny, it is instructive for children as it not only has a strong female character . . . and she is fiercely opposed to violence against animals.’

Astrid Lindgren died in 2002 aged 94. She remains best known for her three Pippi Longstocking books–Pippi Longstocking (1945), Pippi Goes On Board (1946) and Pippi In The South Seas (1948).

She wrote the first of the trilogy following a request from her unwell nine-year-old daughter Karen for a ‘get well story’.

The books swiftly became a Swedish phenomenon and have been adapted numerous times for film and television.

Pippi.jpg

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  • Anonymous

    …When reading the book to my nephew, who is black, I simply left that passage out.

    Then why not read him an old-fashioned African book instead? Oh wait, you can’t. Sub-Saharan Africans never developed any written languages. Better “diversify” some European books instead!

    Please, Whitey, won’t you write some stories for the poor Africans?!

  • flyingtiger

    Piipi needs a modern update. She should get a tattoo. Then the next book should be called Pippi with the Dragon tattoo, thus mixing two Swedish literary creations.

    Abba will do the movie soundtrack with help from Yngvie Malmstein.

  • BannerRWB

    From the article: “When reading the book to my nephew, who is black, I simply left that passage out.”

    – While this sounds similar to other cases where we in the West are only being asked to judge our own past, and to then modify our current behavior, it is in fact a decree that we will be driven to extinction. The difference is in the racial and cultural makeup of the audience. If we had no non-White immigration into our nations, we could modify our approach (as we have) towards the rest of the world, and then carry on. But since the rest of the world is now invading our lands, we have to destroy our entire past in order to make any sense of how we deal with our current racial and cultural mix of people. Once our past is destroyed, we will not continue into the future down a slightly different path, as will have no future at all. In this particular case, the “my nephew, who is black”, says it all. This person’s family will go extinct as a White racial entity, and she is assisting in that eventuality. To express my point differently: If there were no Blacks to hear the story, the story would not be subject to being re-written. We might discuss the differences between then and now, but we would remember our past and could thus have a future. Otherwise, which Black community would even consider reading the Pippi trilogy?

  • Anonymous

    This “lady” is “Doctor” Wollrad, correct? It is amazing to me that academics such as this “lady” have nothing better to do than to waste time beating up on dead authors and concepts from times past. Does she not believe that anyone but her, a supposedly learned academic, can figure this out for themselves? Apparently not.

    Years ago my father gave me a book called Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. After reading it for awhile I realized that it was written in a different time about times that were past and things that no longer took place. I realized this from the language, customs, and how people were described as conducting themselves in the book. I didn’t need any Dr. Wollrad to “help” me realize this. I think that I was 7 or 8 at the time. There was simply the book with no annotations by the author. Somehow I managed to live to adulthood without becoming a racist warmonger! Incredible, I know!

    People like her should find something else to do. We really need people who can make and fix things in western society. We don’t need self-righteous, busy body academics like her to engage in endless naval gazing about the imperfections of past times. Dr. Wollrad, find something useful to do!

  • Tim in Indiana

    But Dr Wollrad did praise the trilogy for its feminist and pro-child innovations, a rarity in the 1940s.

    Which just goes to show, no matter how politically correct you are, in a few years it won’t be enough.

    Those stories of today that are completely in conformance with modern-day “sensibilities” will be viewed as irredeemably racist a few years from now, if only because they don’t show blacks and hispanics as the rulers over whites.

    It’s a slippery slope, and our society has been on it for some time now.

  • Conrad

    OK I’m confused. I am not familiar with the book so maybe I am missing something here.

    “Her father, once a king of a South Seas island, was originally known as * Negro King * before publishers changed it to South Seas King.”

    Wouldn’t this make Pippi black herself? So why is there a picture of a red headed girl shown here?

  • Anonymous

    Remember all these ole stories? I enjoyed reading them and didn’t even know I was a “racist”. I remember as a kid I didn’t fear the blacks because of these books. Now look at what we have reaped. Too bad blacks were/are not like these fictional characters.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSfGvptL_TY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47ak4vjiNzw

  • fred

    Not too long ago I was reading Tom Swift to my children and I ran across a message board with some know-nothing busybody warning everyone about how “racist” they were because the black character in the book spoke ebonics. Wha? Three things aren’t right about that. First, the villains in the story were blond. Second, the black character was very well thought of. And, third, many blacks DO speak ebonics. That’s fo shizzle ma nizzle. Nothing is ever enough for those radicals. The only proper response is to tell them to stick it.

  • rjf101

    “But Dr Wollrad did praise the trilogy for its feminist and pro-child innovations, a rarity in the 1940s.”

    Is she a …Christian theologian? I’m sorry madam, but Christianity and feminism are entirely incompatible.

    “Wouldn’t this make Pippi black herself? So why is there a picture of a red headed girl shown here?”

    I’m not really sure why her father was called a “Negro King,” but I know for sure that Pippi Longstockings has always been a red-haired white girl. My mother was a big fan of the movies, and read the books to my brother and I when we were younger. She was shown and described as red-haired.

  • Anonymous

    “When reading the book to my nephew, who is black…”

    Why is she depriving a black child the opportunity to grow up in black culture with black role models?

    Women like her are typically trying to raise a black, dreadlocked yuppie, who will eschew black culture, who will surround themselves with nice white companions, and who will always be ‘special’ because they were white-raised.

    She would be horrified if the child grew up to be an average black who didn’t want to act white.

  • Sylvie

    I suppose you’ve all heard about the recent ‘Tintin In The Congo’ hoo-hah in England? A ‘human rights lawyer’ said the cartoon contained ‘heinous racism’ and it has been taken from Children’s shelves, sealed up and put in the adult section (right next to DeSade’s 120 Days of Sodom I suspect) and in some instances if you want to view the book you have to make an appointment.

  • Deniz

    I love to make jokes about “experts and doctors” of today and tell my German lads that they have become meanwhile less intelligent and their IQ is rapidly decreasing. They sadly agree.

    This is not only because of the “genetic minuses” from the 3rd world but due to their changing mentality. Right here is a proof.

    Great Germans of the history and also “not-so-great” ones must be spinning in their graves…

  • Howard W. Campbell

    Where do I go to beg forgiveness for the Tintin comic books I had as a child? Perish the thought, I will buy some for my kids from Ebay (before they are banned).

    To flyingtiger #2: Let me suggest Saxon as the band (I know they are British, not Swedish).

  • Rhialto

    Wolrand is not a theologian; she is a feminist who earns her living teaching about stuff that may have some connection to some religion.

  • olewhitelady

    #6 Conrad:

    I’ve never read these books, but my guess is that the father’s title was the same as “King of the Negroes”. There have been other books and movies where a white man or woman ruled over some fictional tribe in Africa.

    My original career was teaching, and I noticed that as early as the sixties, less-than-flattering references to blacks were being deleted from classic stories. If this was too difficult, textbooks simply didn’t include the tales themselves.

    I recently read a book, written decades ago, that included lesbian characters. The volume I read was a revised version that I got at the library. (I couldn’t afford to buy an original copy.) I assumed the newer version would clean up all the slangy and now “offensive” references to homosexuals, but it didn’t. Instead, the few mentions of black people were of that: “black people”–a term that would have been considered derogatory during the time of the book’s publication, since having dark skin was (and actually still is) considered undesirable to say the least. At that time, polite terms would have been “Negro” or “colored”.

    It goes without saying that Western white liberals live and breathe to try to elevate all blacks to a level to which they can never reach–any more than all whites or Asians or anyone else could, for that matter. Before integration, white schools recognized that most students weren’t “college material” and were willing to recognize that some pupils were simply “slow learners”. Black schools most likely did the same. Now, liberals want ALL black students to attend college. And, after a half century of abject failure to elevate blacks in general, the left is in a frenzy of despair.

  • je suis paganisme

    ‘When reading the book to my nephew, who is black, I simply left that passage out.’

    This is one reason why Germans, indeed, all of Europe is leaving the Church out.

    Such a posturing busybody. Can’t these people find honest work?

  • Deirdre

    The part that is so particularly maddening is that all these attempts to find racism lurking everywhere and to “out” the racists is usually done by whites. I find that to be really frightening, because it means that people are policing themselves and each other, which all communists love. So many of our brainwashed peers act like little Red Guards over what might be “racist” or “homophobic” policies and even remarks. If only “White Identity” could be sent to every unenlightened brainwashed idiot white person. Amazing to see this highly civilized group commit suicide. Amazing, unprecedented, and totally insane.

  • Orv

    If you really want to read literature with unflattering depictions of blacks, try The Arabian Nights. Hoo boy! These stories are imaginative, some are very funny, but poltically correct they are not. They come with the advantage that since they are non-western, namby pamby liberals will never denounce them for being racist, and Arabs will never be bullied into abandoning them or watering them down.

  • Anonymous

    Once again, blacks claim what is not their own. Pippi’s father was a “Negro King”? Pippi was a red haired White girl.

  • Anonymous

    Dr Eske Wollrad, why don’t you do something useful with your education? Design a new microscope, a more efficient automobile engine, a new autobahn, etc. Germans invent and innovate. Your current job is completely useless and contributing to the decline of Europe. Stop worrying about how old fairy tales might “harm” third world immigrants. Africans have brazenly told us that we have no business in Africa. I am inclined to agree. But conversely, Africans have no business in Europe. Frau Wollrad, you need to step down from your pulpit and start contributing something useful to the German people. If you are not technical, become a librarian or a clerk.

    We have no interest in your left wing, anti-white rhetoric. You are only fueling the rage that has been caused by mass immigration and interracial crime. Africans have the right to their homelands and culture, as do we. We will not pander to hordes of people that are invading us. If they don’t like our fairy tales or something else about our culture, they need to leave.

  • Sylvie

    Has anyone read George MacDonald-Fraser’s ‘Flashman’ series?

    A politically incorrect (I’m very tired of that term, but I’ll use it anyway)fun-filled romp from start to finish!

  • S.L. Cain

    “Sylvie wrote at 8:04 PM on November 11:

    Has anyone read George MacDonald-Fraser’s ‘Flashman’ series?”

    Just about all of them. Several times. They are great. And their is more truth contained in those uproarious works of fiction than there is in just about every work of social science ever written, combined.

  • Anonymous

    #21: Try and get a copy of “Uncensored Mouse” which are illustrations of the early Mickey Mouse, who was being chased by spear carrying Bantus, who wanted to cook him in a big pot.

  • Anonymous

    5 — Tim in Indiana wrote at 8:04 PM on November 10:

    “Which just goes to show, no matter how politically correct you are, in a few years it won’t be enough.”

    Indeed, for proof just ask the Communist victims of Stalin’s “Great Purge”. This is our future unless something drastic is done, and soon.

    Christian churches are now nothing but a tool of the Establishment Left. Eske Wollrad is a textbook example of a “useful idiot”. The only value to this story is to graphically illustrate what I’ve been saying for years: Feminism today has NOTHING to do with women’s rights and everything to do with advancing the core, Marxian-socialist agenda of the political Left.

  • ProudtobeWhite

    Sylvie is correct, you can bet that when Spielberg’s Tintin animation hits theaters soon, the PC libs will be wringing their hands. Herge’s pro-colonial slant in “Tintin in the Congo” even led to that book being banished from the shelves at NYC Public Library. One particularly “egregious” drawing depicts TinTin being carried by several black porters with exaggerated negroid features, with Snowy running alongside. The horror!

    BFD, get over it, colonialism brought Africa out of the dark ages. Tintin books are like a breath of fresh, pre-PC air. All kids today should read them, uncensored.

  • Mr.White

    Why do you have a nephew who is black?

  • Krister

    In answering Conrads question: You have to remember that this book was written in 1945 and many thought it was plausible that there were blacks in the south pacific, you should know that in the 40ies most Swedish had never even seen a black person. If I recall the story whom I read as a child Efraim Långstrump (the father) has saved this tribe from pirates or a natural disaster of some sort and they decided to make him king so Pippi lives alone in this big house with a spotted horse and a monkey. She is also very rich, she has a suitcase that is full of gold coins. I remember that my aunt took me to see the movie Pippi vs the pirates, I was ecstatic ohhh pirates. This was 1969 and I was 6 years old.