Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Propaganda and espionage philately

Sergeant Major Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.)points out on his Web Page, "Propaganda and Espionage Philately" on Pyschwar.com, that since WWI there have been probably about 300 different propaganda stamps, most produced by Great Britain, the United States, and Germany.

According to Friedman, the Russians did not produce propaganda stamps. Instead, they printed dozens of propaganda postcards, many with a forged imprinted stamp.

On his Web page, Friedman defines the difference between a "propaganda parody" and an espionage forgery.

Friedman writes, "In the former, one government will take the stamp of an enemy or occupied government and change the stamp in such a way as to make a political statement and perhaps cast aspersions at and ridicule enemy leaders or occupation forces. These stamps are designed to be recognized for what they are, an attack on the enemy. In the case of the espionage forgery, one government has produced a stamp that is a perfect imitation of the enemy stamp to be used to mail propaganda or instructions to people in the enemy or occupied country. These stamps are part of a secret operation and not meant to be recognized."

Shown above is one of Friedman's favorites - the German parody of Great Britain's 1935 1/2 pence dark green Silver Jubilee stamp. Note that Jewish is misspelled.

To learn more about Propaganda and Espionage Philately, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM