S006090 POLIZEI/SS/SD 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 Germany during the time period with the largest being held annually, every 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 was produced in February 1942 to commemorate the Day of the German Police. Of Note: In December 1934 the NSDAP, Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei, (National Socialist German Worker’s Party), held the first, "Tag der Deutschen Polizei", (Day of the German Police), which was intended to be an annual public relations propaganda exercise to promote goodwill between the police and the public. During the two day event the police also raised funds for the WHW, Winterhilfswerk, (Winter Assistance Work), which was under the auspices of the NS-Volkswohlfahrt, (National Socialist-People’s Social Welfare Organization). The Day of the German Police was held annually until 1944 and in an effort to raise funds for the WHW and to commemorate the events, numerous donation "gifts" including assorted miniature traffic signs, miniature police figures, lapel pins and postcards were created and distributed to the public.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Roughly, 14.5cm x 10cm, full color, light weight, card-stock, full color artwork postcard featuring a Polizei Unterwachtmeister and a SD-Unterscharführer both in great coats and helmets. Although the artwork is somewhat stylized, visible uniform details include the Polizei EM/NCO’s sleeve eagle, the SD sleeve diamond and cufftitle, shoulder straps and collar tabs. The Polizei Unterwachtmeister is wearing a Polizei green greatcoat with brown collar and holding a K98 rifle. The SD-Unterscharführer is wearing a field-grey greatcoat with a blue/green collar and appears to be cradling a MP28/II Schmeisser. The postcard has the second pattern Polizei emblem to the top right in green and the SS runes to the top left in white. The bottom of the card has red script, "Die Polizei im Fronteinsatz", (The Police employed at the front). The reverse of the postcard also has the Polizei emblem and SS runes and black Gothic script that includes, "Zum Tag der Deutschen Polizei 1942. Die Polizei im Fronteinsatz, Streife der Ordnungspolizei und der Sicherheitspolizei im Osten", (Day of the German Police 1942. The Police employed at the front, Patrol of the Order Police and the Security Police in the East).

GRADE ****1/4                             PRICE $.00 $68 n/s S013687 STACY

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