K012469 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. By the end of the war almost two hundred war artists had served in the Wehrmacht. The SS-FHA, SS-Führungshauptamt, (SS-Operational Headquarters), also realized the importance of propaganda and as early as 1938 they began to actively recruit voluntary artists, photographers and journalists who were assigned to a SS-War correspondent’s company. In 1940 the SS-War correspondent’s company was fielded to record the exploits of the Waffen-SS, (Armed-SS), in the field. In 1941 the SS-War correspondent’s company was expanded to battalion strength. Further expansion increased the SS-War correspondent’s battalion to regimental strength in 1943. The artwork, photographs and reports from the war correspondent companies were utilized to maintain morale, assist in recruitment and record the exploits of the Waffen-SS in the field. Much of the war correspondents work appeared in the SS newspaper, Das Schwarz Korps, (The Black Corp). The artwork and photographs of the war correspondents were also used in recruitment posters and postcards. This example appears to be a fund raising card produced by the KdF, Kraft durch Freude, (Strength through Joy), organization which was a sub-section of the DAF, Deutsche Arbeits Front, (German Labor Front). The KdF mandate was to provided inexpensive recreation for workers.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 15cm x 10xm, mid-weight card-stock, postcard with black and white printed, sepia toned, artwork featuring tanks crossing a bridge as soldiers work on it in the background and a soldier wearing a black Panzer wrap uniform and beret with a large likeness of a Panzer Assault Badge in the foreground. The artwork has the printed caption, "Im Kampf um die Freiheit", (In the battle for freedom). The obverse has additional printed script that includes, "KdF.=Sammlergruppen, Abgabepreis 20 Rpf.", (Strength through Joy=Collection Group, Duty Price 20 Pfennigs).

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $25.00

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