Artists’ Propaganda Depict Heroic Images of German Military and Home Life

The rarest card from the postcard series “Deutsche Kuenstler und die SS” is D02, which is of Heinrich Himmler. To date, I know of only one copy. I have not seen the back so have no information exact title or name of the artist.

The postcard series Deutsche Kuenstler und die SS has is origins in a propaganda campaign of the same name that first manifested itself as a publication in early 1944. Some of the art is from Waffen SS war reporters, while others are from non-military artists. The images run from graphic portrayals of soldiers, combat and military images to pastoral and Germanic. A second postcard series from this propaganda campaign, titled Austellung Deutsche Kuenstler und Die SS, will be covered in a future post.

The publication is a small book, approximately 6.5 x 9 inches/A5 in format. The book contains a foreword by Waffen SS General Berger and more than 60 images of the art. The artist and title of each item are noted beside the image. Some of these images appear on the postcards, but not all. This publication is very difficult to find.

Images for all the cards, both front and back can be found in the book “Postcards of the Waffen SS Services cards.” This book has allocated a catalogue number, D01 through D24, for each postcard. These numbers are used when referencing the cards in this article.

We believe there are 24 cards in the series, based on a sequential numbering system and the assumption that the first and last cards in the sequence are already known. When our book was first published, only 23 cards had been found. Subsequent to the release of our book, a collector contacted me and confirmed our expectation that the image of Heinrich Himmler was indeed card D02. I have not seen the back and no information from the collector nor was I provided on the exact title or name of the artist.

Postcard D04 “SS Obergruppenfuehrer Theodore Eicke” by artist Hermann Otto Hoyer. Numbered on the back Nr. 9404.

Postcard D16 titled “Helga” by artist Carl Diebitsch. This is another very rare card. I have personally only seen this card three times. I have seen it mistakenly described, as the theme is not overly SS. There is a good chance this card can be found as a “sleeper” in some unknowing dealer’s stock.

Postcard D03 “Waffen SS in Battle” by artist Will Tschech. Numbered on the back Nr. 9403.

Postcard D13 “SS Panzergrenadiers” by artist Ernst Krause. Numbered on the back Nr. 9413.

Postcard D15 “Europa” by artist Karl Schuster-Winkelhof. Numbered on the back Nr. 9415.

Postcard D18 “Young Girl in Costume” by artist Walter Hartmann. Numbered on the back Nr. 9418.

These cards appear to have been produced in mid-1944, but never issued. None have so far been seen used before the end of the war. One card, D16, is known to have been used post-war, in the late 1940s. There appears to have been only one printing by the firm Friedrich Franz Bauer G.m.b.H in Berlin, under the license from the SS Main Office in Berlin. The postcards are all a standard size of 4.2 x 5.9 inches (10.4 x 14.8 cm). They are printed on a good quality cream base photographic stock with letter press printing on the reverse in black. The fonts used are a Gothic for the single line series title, Times for the artist, title and SS office text, and an early sans serif for the publisher/center dividing text. There is a printer’s mark in the lower right corner of the card that appears as “M/1293 e0.” Condition on the cards is usually excellent, as they appear not to have been issued.

Pricing is based on cards in very good+ to excellent condition. Prices for cards used before the end of the war should be significantly higher. These cards are not known to have been forged or reproduced up to this time. There is a tremendous range of prices for the various cards from the series. This reflects the scarcity of some cards and the desirability of certain images.

Postcard D07 “Dispatch Rider” by artist Alfred Roloff. Numbered on the back Nr. 9407.

Postcard D05 “The Tiger” by artist Georg Lebrecht. Numbered on the back Nr. 9405

Postcard D15 is representative of the backs of these cards.

Cover for the German artists and the SS book “Deutsche Kuenstler und die SS” with more than 60 artists’ images.

The Himmler card D02, should it come up for sale today, I would expect to sell for $300 to $500. The cards with strong military or Waffen SS themes sell for between $75 and $125. The more “mundane military images would realize $35-$75. Finally the pastoral and non-military related items can sell between $15 and $35. As with D16, there is a good chance many of the non-military cards can be found as a “sleepers” in some unknowing dealer’s stock.

You can get a feel for the variety of postcards produced by the Waffen SS and the prices they can command by searching WorthPoint’s Worthopedia for “Waffen SS Postcard.

Matthew Roth is the owner of MAR Historical and been collecting and selling German Third Reich historical collectibles for more than 30 years. He has also authored several books on German WWII postcards that, along with books by other authors on German Third Rich Stamps and Militaria, have been brought to print by his company MAR Publishing. He lives and works in Broomfield. Colo.

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