German cartoonist apologizes for creating Mark Zuckerberg’s ‘large-nosed octopus’ cartoon

Mark-ZuckerbergWith Jewish groups accusing German Newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung of anti-Semitism for creating Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's 'large-nosed octopus' cartoon, an apology has been extended by cartoonist Burkhard Mohr for causing offense to Jewish people.

The controversial cartoon by Mohr was published in the newspaper after Facebook's last-Friday acquisition of WhatsApp mobile messaging app. The cartoon portrays Zuckerberg as a world-dominating octopus featuring the Facebook logo on his head, and gripping the WhatsApp logo in one of his tentacles.

The Jewish groups' opposition to the cartoon was rooted in the fact that, during the Nazi-era, the common depiction of Jews in cartoons was as octopuses, spiders, and even vampires and devils. The cartoon by Mohr fuels to this depiction of Jews largely because Zuckerberg was raised Jewish.

Apologizing for the offense the cartoon had caused to Jewish groups, Mohr said that he had basically intended to highlight Facebook gulping down rival WhatsApp. Mohr also added that he failed to realize that the cartoon draws the parallels to the Nazis' anti-Semitic depiction of Jews as ravenous tentacle monsters.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper also apologized for the cartoon via a short Twitter post that said: "We apologize for the cartoon." Moreover, the newspaper also released a newer, less anti-Semitic version of the cartoon this week. The new cartoon features an open-mouthed, blank-faced octopus with the Facebook logo, grasping the WhatsApp logo one of its tentacles.