H012458 ARTWORK POSTCARD. (Kunstwerk Postkarte)

BACKGROUND: Artwork, as a propaganda tool, was widely used during the Third Reich and Hitler’s own humble artistic background also helped foster a general interest in German art. Many art exhibitions were held through-out German during the time period with the largest being held annually, ever summer from 1937 to 1944, at the German House of Art in Munich. As early as 1938 the OKW, Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, (High Command of the Armed Forces), actively began recruiting artists who were assigned to a units Propaganda Company along with photographers and journalists which accompanied all three branches of service in the field. In his position as the Reichsminister, für Volkserklärung und Propaganda, (National Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda), Dr. Paul Josef Goebbels assisted the Armed Forces by compiling a list of suitable photographers, journalist and artists, and provided an eight week war correspondents training program for them. The photographs, artwork and reports from the Propaganda Companies were utilized to maintain morale, assist in recruitment and record the exploits of the German Armed Forces in the field and was utilized in assorted magazines, postcards and posters. By the end of the war almost two hundred war artists had served in the Wehrmacht. Of Note: The word Propaganda did not have the negative connotation to the Germans as it does to the English. Also Of Note: This example utilizes the late war, branch of service/weapons type emblem that was originally displayed in the Berliner Illustriete Zeitung, (Berlin Illustrated Newspaper), in February 1945. These new branch of service/weapons type emblems were intended to provide an esprit-de-corps and boost morale although the were introduced too late in the war and were not actually used by the troops although some were modified and utilized by the Bundswehr after the war. A photographic example of these branch of service/weapons type emblems can be seen in J. M. Hormann’s book, Uniforms of the Panzer Troops 1917-to the Present, on page 77.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 5 3/4" x 4 1/8", light-weight cardstock postcard features tan, sepia toned, close-up artwork of a uniformed and helmeted soldier cradling an MP40 on his lap with a mosquito net folded back over the top of his helmet. The top edge of the postcard has a horizontal broad sword with a canted swastika on its pommel, flanked by laurel leaves while the bottom edge has printed script, "Infanteristen Grenadier mit Mückenschleier im russischen Sumpfgebiet", (Infantrymen, Infantry Riflemen with a mosquito veil in the Russian swamp zone). The reverse of the postcard has black printed Adolf Hitler quote, "Über allem steht in seiner leistung der Deutsche Infanterist", (Over All The German Infantryman stands in his achievement). The reverse also has the black printed, 1945 branch of service/weapons type emblem consisting of a vertical shield shaped base with a upward pointing broad sword superimposed on an oak-leaf with printed script to the top edge, "Infanterie", (Infantry). The unused postcard is in overall very good condition with light age yellowing.

GRADE ****                             PRICE $35.00

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