Above: the genuine British halfpenny stamp ... Below: the updated parody

In 1942, in blocks 18 and 19 in Sachsenhausen concentration camp, the S.S. established a unit of about 150, mainly Jewish engravers, printers and paper experts. The price of their survival was that they should make perfect counterfeit British currency notes.
Millions of pounds sterling (in nominal value) of these notes were produced and distributed through worldwide purchases of arms and art by the S.S. The British government dared not denounce these forgers because to do so would have caused a flight from the pound and probably the collapse of sterling, whereas accepting the forgeries as legal tender simply increased the money supply. The British counter-attacked by forging and distributing large numbers of German ration books to destabilize the tight control of most food and material in the Third Reich.

Believing that ridicule might incur dissent – possibly even assist a rumored coup d’etat – Britain then produced and distributed a parody of the German 6 pfennig postage stamp in which Hitler’s face was replaced by that of Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler

Enraged by this lèse majesté, Himmler (who had been advised that ten million philatelists constituted a worldwide freemasonry) in order to embarrass and discredit Britain in the eyes of her allies and neutral countriesretaliated by ordering blocks 18 and 19 to produce propaganda mockups of British stamps.

Compare the real British halfpenny stamp (above) to this uppdated parody. On the parody, on either side of "THIS WAR IS" we see the two Stars of David. Stalin’s face (his nose somewhat enlarged) has replaced that of George VI, the heraldic symbols of the United Kingdom have given way to the Hammer and Sickle and the Star of David. On the bottom line, on either side of Jewsh War, we see the Hammer and Sickle again. The stamp is dated 1939 and 1944. There is no authoritative explanation for the misspelling of ‘Jewish’.

King George VI and Stalin on the mock penny-halfpenny British stampThe mock penny-halfpenny British stamp, On either side of U.S.S.R. and Britain there are Stars of David;, in the center to the left is King George VI with the Orb of State in the border. In the center, the right half of the Crown of the United Kingdom reveals the Hammer and Sickle protecting a Star of David, and below we see an arabesque of the U.S.S.R. To the right, Stalin has replaced Queen Elizabeth and to his right the Hammer and Sickle appears again. Teheran 28.11.1943 refers to the meeting between Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill where they agreed upon their different zones of interest in the post-war world.

Following the invasion on June 6, 1944, the S.S. stopped producing these stamps so as to concentrate on increasing production of the counterfeit currency. In May 1945, the S.S. disposed of the printers’ plates and stacks of notes in a deep lake in a remote Austrian valley.  They have never been found. Most of the inmates of blocks 18 and 19 survived the war.

 

       
Spot the fake ... the genuine stamp is on the left. The other is propaganda

I am currently writing a history of the caricature of the horned satanic Jew – 12th century to 2015 - and would gratefully receive examples of such anti-Semitic drawings.  

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About the author

Anton Felton

Anton Felton, M.Phil, F.C.A., C.T.A., was born in 1935 and educated at University College School and University College London.  He qualified as a Chartered Accountant and advised many bestsel...
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