Disguised anti-fascist leaflets published in Nazi Germany
• Masked anti-fascist leaflets published in Nazi Germany
At the beginning of 1980 - ies John Rate, librarian "Branch of curiosities" was not in the New York Public Library notion that he found when he accidentally discovered a dusty box in a secluded corner of the library. On a label attached to the box, it was written: "Do not open until the end of the war." The contents of the box was no less intriguing than the inscription.
Inside discovered ancient samples of tea bags and seed, tourist brochures, advertising brochures for cosmetics and cheap editions of classic literature. It would seem, why all this had to hide in a secret during the war?
On closer examination, John discovered that behind this seemingly innocent collection of advertising during the Second World War, in fact, hiding hundreds of masked anti-Hitler leaflets, as well as many miniature editions of antifascist newspapers, printed on paper or tiny print fabric. Most of this material has not yet been cataloged and available for viewing by appointment only in the department of rare books library.
Inside the package with samples of shampoo and seeded tomatoes really are a hidden anti-Nazi literature, once wrote the German opponents of Hitler's regime. Since the freedom of speech or of the press did not exist, political refugees from Germany who had escaped the Nazi terror and mass arrests, secretly moved to Prague. From there, the group of German resistance published newspapers, books and brochures that were trafficked to Germany. About 80% of this cleverly disguised material of the Communist Party of Germany was issued. To modern days have survived only very few of these publications.
In the photo above a guide 1936 for the Olympic Games in Berlin. The headline reads: "Learn about beautiful Germany." In fact, it is a brochure describing the conditions in Germany under Hitler. Inside it there is a map (pictured below), which marked the place of concentration camps and prisons in Germany.
These pamphlets were often disguised as innocent samples of some popular brands of food, shampoo, shaving cream or tea. Their masquerade shockers and cheap editions of the classics. It is not entirely clear how these pamphlets were in the far corner of the warehouse in the New York Public Library, but there was found an envelope, which in 1941 was addressed to the library.
The letter is addressed to the library number 1923 New - York City. On the reverse side of the envelope bears the stamp "Geoffnet (dissected) Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (the highest military command) with the original Nazi stamp. The contents of this particular envelope is missing.
How much more effective propaganda weapon were these masked avenues? According to the German historian Hans Mommsen, unlike other countries occupied by the Nazis in Europe, the German opposition was "resistance without the people ... which enjoyed the support of only a small part of the population", as the majority of the German population either supported the regime or treated him with caution.