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Walter Trier (25 June 1890, Praguemarker8 July 1951 Craigleith, near Collingwoodmarker, Ontario, Canada) was an illustrator, best known for his work for the children's books of Erich Kästner and the covers of the magazine Lilliput.

Trier's work either ignored or made light of the nightmares of Nazism and war through which he lived; he preferred delight and fantasy.


Trier was born to a middle class German-speaking Jewish family in Praguemarker. In 1905, Trier entered the Industrial School of Fine and Applied Arts; he later moved to the Prague Academy. In 1906, he entered the Royal Academymarker, Munich, where he studied under Franz Stuck and Erwin Knirr. In 1910, Trier moved to Berlinmarker where he spent most of his career.

Trier married Helene Mathews in 1913; a daughter, Margaret, was born a year later.

An anti-fascist, Trier's cartoons were bitterly opposed by the Nazis. In 1936 he emigrated to London. During the Second World War, Trier helped the Ministry of Information produce anti-Nazi leaflets and political propaganda. He and his wife became British citizens in 1947, the same year that they moved to Canada to be near their daughter, who had moved to Toronto with her husband in the late thirties.


for the periodicalsSimplicissimus and Jugend appeared in 1909. The nextyear, Otto Eysler, the editor of Lustigen Blätter, persuadedhim to move to Berlin and work for that magazine; Trier worked for thesame company's Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung as well.

In 1927/1929, Trier was introduced to Erich Kästner, and heillustrated Kästner's Emil und die Detektive (Emil and the Detectives).

Trier provided the front cover design for every issue of Lilliput from its start until 1949. Each time, the design employed a man, a woman, and a dog. The man and woman were usually young and almost always a couple, the dog was almost always black. It seems the original dog was Trier's. It was run over by a tram and killed, and since then Trier immortalised him in his Lilliput covers; the idea was light-hearted and the settings and styles varied considerably.

On hisarrival in Canada, Trier started work onillustrations for the company Canada Packers.

Exhibitions and murals

In 1934 Trier held a one-man exhibition in Prague.

Trier also created various murals: in the Kabarett der Komiker atKurfürstendammmarker (1929, destroyed by the Nazis in 1933), on the linerSS Bremen (1929), and for Hoffmann–La Roche(Welwyn Garden Citymarker, 1938). And he did stage designs, forSpielzeug (1924) and The Bartered Bride (1931).

Trier held an exhibition of oils and water-colours in the University of Torontomarker in 1951, but died of a heart attack on 8 July of that year.


Books by Trier

  • Brer Rabbit. Harmondsworth, Middx: Penguin, Puffin, c. 1944.
  • Dandy in the Circus. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1950.
  • Dandy the Donkey. London: Nicholson & Watson, 1943.
  • 8192 Crazy Costumes in One Book...For Children from 5 and under to 75 and over. London: Atrium.
  • 8192 Crazy People in One Book. London: Atrium, c. 1950.
  • 8192 Quite Crazy People in One Book. London: Atrium, [1949?].
  • 10 Little Negroes: A New Version. London: Sylvan, 1944.

Books by others illustrated by Trier

  • Földes, Jolán. Peter verliert nicht den Kopf. (translated from Hungarian by Stefan J. Klein)
  • Harris, Joel Chandler. Brer Rabbit.
  • Hirschfeld, Ludwig. Wien und Budapest.
  • Hochstetter, Gustav. Maruschka braut gelibbtes!
  • Kästner, Erich. Das doppelte Lottchen. (Lottie and Lisa.)
  • Kästner, Erich. Der 35 Mai. (The 35th of May.)
  • Kästner, Erich. Eleven Merry Pranks of Till the Jester.
  • Kästner, Erich. Emil und die Detektive. (Emil and the Detectives.)
  • Kästner, Erich. Emil und die drei Zwillinge. (Emil and the Three Twins.)
  • Kästner, Erich. Das fliegende Klassenzimmer. (The Flying Classroom.)
  • Kästner, Erich. Des Freiherrn von Münchhausen wunderbare Reisen und Abenteuer zu Wasser und zu Lande. (Baron Munchhausen.)
  • Kästner, Erich. Der gestiefelte Kater.
  • Kästner, Erich. Der kleine Grenzverkehr, oder, Georg und die Zwischenfälle. (A Salzburg Comedy.)
  • Kästner, Erich. Die Konferenz der Tiere. (The Animals Conference.)
  • Kästner, Erich. Pünktchen und Anton. (Annaluise and Anton.)
  • Kästner, Erich. Puss in Boots.
  • Kästner, Erich. Till Eulenspiegel the Clown.
  • Kästner, Erich. Till the Jester.
  • Kästner, Erich. Das verhexte Telefon.
  • Kipling, Rudyard. Das kommt davon.
  • Meyer, Alfred Richard. Die Reise in die Jugend.
  • Meyer, Wilhelm ("My"). Fridolins Harlekinder.
  • Meyer, Wilhelm ("My"). Fridolins Zauberland.
  • Meyer, Wilhelm ("My"). Fridolins Siebenmeilenpferd.
  • Morgan, Diana. My Sex Right or Wrong.
  • Nelson, Claire. The Jolly Picnic.
  • Roda Roda. Die verfolgte Unschuld.
  • Schloemp, Felix. Der Allotria Kientopp.
  • Schloemp, Felix. Schabernack und Lumpenpack.
  • Seth-Smith, David. Jolly Families.
  • Seyffert, Oskar. Spielzeug.
  • Twain, Mark. Die Abenteuer des Tom Sawyer.
  • Wiseman, Herbert. Singing Together.

Periodicals to which Trier contributed

Books about Trier and anthologies of his works

  • Humorist Walter Trier: Selections from the Trier-Fodor Foundation Gift. The Art Gallery of Ontario, 1981. ISBN 0-919876-56-0
  • Jesters in Earnest. London: Murray, 1944. Cartoons by Trier and four other Czechoslovakian artists.
  • Kästner, Erich, ed. Heiteres von Walter Trier. Hannover: Fackelträger-Verl., 1959.
  • Lang. Lothar, ed. Walter Trier im Eulenspiegel-Verlag. [East] Berlin: Eulenspiegel-Verlag, 1971. Munich: Rogner & Bernhard, 1971. ISBN 3-920802-59-4
  • Lang, Lothar, ed. Das grosse Trier-Buch. [East] Berlin: Eulenspiegel-Verlag, 1972; Munich and Zurich: Piper, 1974. (New editions: 1984 and 1986.)
  • Lilliput: Walter Trier's World. Tokyo: Pie, 2004. ISBN 4-89444-367-8 Presents 99 of Trier's covers for Lilliput; text in both Japanese and English.
  • Neuner-Warthorst, Antje. "Da bin ich wieder!": Walter Trier - die Berliner Jahre. Berlin: SMPK, 1999. ISBN 3-88609-189-9
  • Trier, Walter. Kleines Trier-Paradies. Zurich: Sanssouci-Verlag, 1955.
  • Trier Panoptikum. Berlin: Eysler, 1922.
  • Neuner-Warthorst, Antje, Walter Trier: Politik - Kunst - Reklame, Zürich: Atrium 2006.

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