stamps as propaganda

American OSS propaganda forgery of the famous Hitler Skull Portrait “ Futsches Reich  – Ruined Empire” printed in occupied Rome in 1944 by the field printing workshop of the OSS.

A War of Stamps

Allies against Nazi Germany and Nazi Germany against the Allies

Stamps themselves are all some form of propaganda, telling the story of who issues them. However, their strategic use during WWII is quite amazing, as it was a reverse propaganda usage, turning those stamps with Hitler’s profile used throughout Germany as Nazi propaganda into forgeries made by the Allies to undermine Hitler with their very own type of reverse propaganda. The CIA museum in Washington, DC has their OSS collection on display as the OSS was the WWII forerunner of the CIA.

Both sides Axis vs. Allies made forgeries of not only documents, but also currency and stamps that were put on envelopes with fake addresses dropped over Germany with anti-Nazi letters inside. Some MI 5 stamps were of Hitler’s feared adversaries like General Von Witzleben who lead the assassination plot against Hitler in 1944 in order to take over the government. Also, issuing Himmler’s portrait on his own stamps. They undermined the German citizens confidence in Hitler’s 1000 year empire.

British MI 5 forgery in 1943 of Hitler’s portrait being replaced by Himmler the head of the SS, this infuriated Himmler and he ordered a counter propaganda attack of his own forgeries to be made of British stamps depicting Soviet and Jewish motto’s.

Nazi forgeries of British Stamps ordered by Himmler and  printed in the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp by prisoners in 1943 depicting King George VI with a “Star of David” above his crown and a Soviet “Hammer & Sickle” in the left corner. In 1944 both the Coronation and Silver Jubilee stamps of England were forged with images of Stalin with the motto “This is a Jewish War” and “Tehran” for Stalin’s meeting in Iran with Allied Leaders in November 1943.