Atlas and the Hesperides by John Singer Sargent, 1925
Three details from Nouvelle Carte De La Sphere Pour Faire Connaître Les Divers Mouvemens Des Planetes by Henri Chatelain, c. 1720
A penguin as Atlas bearing the weight of the world on his flippers, from The Penguin Atlas, 1956
Maps of West Africa, Egypt, and Arabia, from Atlas de Cartes Marines by Abraham Cresques, 1375
Part of a zodiac from Atlas de Cartes Marines (also known as the Catalan Atlas) by Abraham Cresques, 1375
Finally, by the publication of the 1975 Westermann Schulatlas, the border adjustment with Poland is fully recognized, and the solid and dashed lines are reversed.
It turns out that West Germany did not legally recognize the Oder–Neisse line with Poland until 1970.
Moving even farther back in time, the Atlas östliches Mitteleuropa of 1959 also shows the adjusted Polish border with a dotted line, as if the loss of Pomerania, Silesia, and East Prussia was merely provisional.
After discovering an anachronistic border between Poland and Germany in a 1969 atlas, I wondered if this was common among all German maps of the time.
Moving back eight years, the Grosser Columbus Weltatlas of 1961 shows an even stronger German presence in the Recovered Territories, with the label “Deutschland” reaching along the entire Baltic coast, and nearly obliterating Poland.
I spent my lunch hour leafing through German atlases in the local college map room, like you do, and found this map of Germany with her 1939 borders. This would not seem strange but it’s from the 1969 edition of the Diercke Weltatlas!
It seems that as late as 1969 Germany did not fully recognize the revised border. If you squint you can see a little dotted line showing the de-facto border with Poland.
I apologize for the quality of my cell phone’s camera.