European Stamp Issues of the Second World War: Images of Triumph, Deceit and Despair (Hardcover)
Today, stamps still claim to commemorate aspects of a nation’s history and achievements. During World War II, however, stamps were symbolically hugely important: they proclaimed military victories, they "authenticated" occupation of long contested territory, restored pride in historic achievements, or simply proclaimed continuing independence. Of course, many nations endured defeat and occupation, and the enforced use of stamps whose heavy overprints or carefully selected illustrations accentuated their subjection. Stamps and their accompanying postmarks offer a fascinating and surprisingly detailed insight into the hopes and fears of nations. The stamps of 22 nations are examined, interpreted, and illustrated, many in full color. The glorification of the Führer on stamps in all conquered lands was inevitable—but many are ambiguous and indicative of rival cultural and political forces. Why, for example, did the British go to the lengths of forging a stamp with the head of Hans Frank, "the Butcher of Poland," on it, and distributing it across the Reich?
Dr David Parker is a retired history lecturer. In the 1990s he led EU projects on education in the new Czech Republic. He is the author of The People of Devon in the First World War, and his collection of stamps from World War II has been amassed over many decades.