create your own website

Propaganda postcards in German, Hungarian, Romanian and Finnish,

issued in the USSR

during the Second World War (forgeries)

General Info

Table of Contents 

1. Research Aim
2. Information Sources Consulted 
    2.1 The Düsel Collection
    2.2 The Michel Catalogue 
    2.3 The “Russian Black Propaganda” Collection 
    2.4 Kirchner’s Book 
    2.5 Other Information Sources
3. Overview of the Düsel Collection and its Sale at Gartner’s Auction House, 21.6.2017
4. Over to the Collectors and Experts 
5. Acknowledgements  

1. Research Aim

The purpose of the study is to gather as much information as possible on those propaganda postcards which were produced in the USSR during the Second World War and looked just like normal postcards, yet they were actually a form of propaganda. The address side as well as other standard elements were all in-line with the usual postcard template, however the imagery and text were propagandistic. These postcards were produced for Nazi Germany and its allies (Hungary, Romania and Finland) and would usually be distributed by air over opposition lines. Naturally, these cards, which were picked up by soldiers, could be quickly disposed of; being found in possession of them during wartime was an offence punishable by law. For the sake of brevity, in this study they shall be called ‘forgeries’.

Only a handful of samples of these cards, are known to exist today; they are exceptionally rare. The Michel Catalogue values each of them at €1,700.

The impulse for this study was an opportunity to become acquainted with Heinrich Düsel’s unique collection of 60 forgeries. The whole collection will be on sale at Auktionshaus Christoph Gärtner. Below is an outline of this collection and links to the corresponding lots.

It’s worth noting that within the Michel Catalogue only 41 postcards in German appear, while cards in other languages are entirely absent. This research significantly broadens this inventory. Supplementing it are the following forgeries (these are significantly rarer than the cards featured in the Michel Catalogue):
21 postcards in German
6 postcards in Hungarian
7 postcards in Romanian 
2 postcards in Finnish

2. Information Sources Consulted 

2.1 The Düsel Collection  

In February 2017, a renowned Belgian collector – the owner of one the largest collections of Second World War propaganda materials – came to the author of this research with a request to evaluate and sell his relatively modest collection, comprising 60 propaganda postcards, issued in the USSR during the Second World War. This collection (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Düsel Collection’) was bought by him some twenty years before from Hans Heinrich Düsel, a famous collector and author of various articles and books on Second World War propaganda. 

Studying this collection, compiling an inventory of all the postcards and attempts to evaluate its value required searching for additional information on the internet, consulting existing literature and articles on the subject, and liaising and coordinating with other collectors. Consequently, a solution, aimed at gathering as much information as possible on this niche area, was hatched. 

2.2 The Michel Catalogue

In the MICHEL DEUTSCHLAND-SPEZIAL, BAND 1, 2015, on pages 1119 and 1120 in the Sowjetrussische Fälschungen für Deutschland section, 41 postcards in German are featured along with their estimated cost. 

2.3 The “Russian Black Propaganda” Collection  

This utterly fascinating collection can be found on the following page of the EXPONET site – a virtual philatelic exhibition. 

This research contains references to various pages on this collection. It’s worth noting that the collection page numbers will only show up if you hover your cursor over them.
It’s worth noting that pages 54 – 64 of this collection don’t feature postcards, but rather leaflets, and thus, these pages are not of interest to this research. 

2.4 Kirchner’s Book 

This refers to POSTCARDS PRODUCED BY THE SOVIETS FOR AERIAL DISSEMINATION IN WWII (1994) from the famous collector and researcher Klaus Kirchner. 

2.5 Other Information Sources

Hans Heinrich Düsel, “Deutscher Soldat, komm!: das "Unternehmen Barbarossa" im Spiegel der sowjetischen Flugblattpropaganda» (Bad Aibling, 1987)
Dr. Hans Heinrich Düsel, “Die sowjetische Flugblattpropaganda gegen Deutschland im Zweiten Weltkrieg, 4. Band” (Ingolstadt, 1985)
Propaganda and Espionage Philately by SGM Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.)
A.D. Gdalin and M.P. Ivanova “Оружием сатиры" (the last two pages of this essay, published in the journal “ЖУК”, vol. no. 02-03, 2009). 
“Военно-пропагандистская филателия” article on Wikipedia (the section entitled "Советская военно-пропагандистская филателия" at the end of the article).

3. Overview of the Düsel Collection and its Sale at Auction at Gartner, 21.06.2017

The unique Düsel Collection consisting of 60 postcards, which can be divided into 5 groups by individual language:

Postcards in German featured in the Michel Catalogue (38 cards)
Postcards in German not featured in the Michel Catalogue (13 cards)
Postcards in Hungarian (5 cards)
Postcards in Romanian (3 cards)
One postcard in Finnish 

Several postcards from his collection Düsel used as illustrations for his articles and books. The author of this research was only able to examine two of the latter. On pages 34, 60, 62, 77, 89 and 144 of the book “Deutscher Soldat, komm!: das "Unternehmen Barbarossa" im Spiegel der sowjetischen Flugblattpropaganda” (Bad Aibling, 1987) and pages 125, 126 and 127 of the book “Die sowjetische Flugblattpropaganda gegen Deutschland im Zweiten Weltkrieg, 4. Band” (Ingolstadt, 1985) are illustrations of the postcards to be auctioned at Gärtner. 
Currently, all Düsel Collections are exhibited for sale at Germany’s major stamp auction house Auktionshaus Christoph Gärtner GmbH & Co KG (hereinafter referred to as the “Gartner auction”) which will take place on 20 – 23 June. All 60 postcards will be sold on June 21 (lots 17639 – 17698), beginning at 1:00pm. 

How to find these lots on the Gartner auction website: 
Click on ‘CURRENT AUCTION’ (the first heading on the upper horizontal menu)
When you land on the page, click on ‘general catalogue’ (the first heading on the second horizontal menu bar)
Once you land on the page, enter 17639 (number of the first lot) into the ‘lot-nr’ field (located on the far right of the blue horizontal menu) and press ‘Enter’
You will then come to a page with a list of all the lots, beginning with lot 17639 (at the bottom of the page there is a link to the following lots in order). 

4. Acknowledgements 

I would like to give thanks to all collectors, experts and researchers who furnished me with valuable information, observations and additional materials. In particular: 
- Mikhail Abramovich Voronin for the opportunity to study his collection of forgeries.
- Jukka Vesterinen (Finland)

5. Over to the Collectors and Experts 

I would be very grateful for any comments, corrections and supplementary information on this research. If you possess any information on other forgeries or their varieties, this information can be displaying on this site with reference to the source.