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Archival description
Airborne leaflets collection
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6: Choosing a book in the camp library

Item is the 6th leaflet in a "series of twelve leaflets showing the life of prisoners-of-war in German camps" that aims to convince Allied soldiers they will be well-treated if they surrender. This leaflet shows Allied prisoners of war choosing books in a well-stocked prison camp library.

Airborne leaflets collection

  • CA MRUASC C0017
  • Collection
  • [191-]-1991, predominant 1939-1945

Fonds mostly consists of propaganda leaflets dropped from Allied and German aircraft during World War II, but also contains leaflets from other conflicts (including the First World War, Vietnam War, Gulf War) and political campaigns. The airborne leaflets targeted enemy combatants, munition workers, and civilians and were designed to undermine morale, persuade their readers to surrender or stop fighting/working, or provide access to censored war news.

Alle madri, alle mogli, alle fidanzate ed alle sorelle d'Italia

Item is a leaflet depicting Italian prisoners of war captured by the English on the recto and an impassioned plea to Italian women on the verso. The leaflet strives to reassure the women that Italian prisoners of war in English captivity are well treated, and encourages them to advocate for peace with England.

Allied airborne leaflets in German

File consists of German language leaflets produced and dropped by Allied forces to undermine German morale, convince soldiers to surrender or desert, and persuade munitions workers to stop working.

Betr: Deutschland nach dem Kriege

Item is a leaflet designed to combat misinformation spread by Hitler and the Nazi regime. The recto compares quotations from European leaders about the culpability of Germany for the First and Second World Wars, to excerpts from German newspaper headlines. The verso contrasts a German document claiming poor treatment of war prisoners by the Allies to a photograph of German prisoners of war enjoying a hearty meal.

Courage, amis belges!

Item is a set of four uncut stamps designed to encourage occupied Belgians. Leaflet depicts planes and containing the words 'Courage, Belgian friends! England fights to preserve you. It will prevail!'.

Das sind eure Fuehrer!

Leaflet (title translated as "This is your Fuehrer!") contains information from a report published by the American press about Nazi corruption, enumerating how much money the Nazi leaders, including Goering and Goebbels, have stolen for themselves.

De Wervelwind: maandblad voor vrijheid, waarheid en recht

Item is a miniature magazine of war news for the Dutch population. This magazine was published by the Dutch government-in-exile in London, and was disseminated by Royal Air Force planes across the German-occupied Netherlands.

This issue contains a variety of war updates and reports, including: Sir Stafford Cripps' return from India, a treaty signed between Great Britain and the Soviet Union, Allied shipping updates, and the activity of the Dutch Queen in England. It also contains a speech by the Queen, reports on the battle of the Java Sea, an article on war ethics, news on church resistances, an article about London as the free capital of Europe, a satirical piece on life in Germany, an article on pagan English writers, an article on the protection of bonafide shareholders, and updates on important government measures.

De Wervelwind: maandblad voor vrijheid, waarheid en recht

Item is a miniature magazine of war news for the Dutch population. This magazine was published by the Dutch government-in-exile in London, and was disseminated by Royal Air Force planes across the German-occupied Netherlands.

This issue contains updates on Allied war progress, British announcements for the Dutch, a tribute to Dutch martyrs, British RAF updates, a feature on the men of the submarine fleet, the Netherlands on the radio front and the labour front, the Allied guerrilla front in the Balkans, Church resistance, a satirical cartoon mocking Hitler, updates on the royal family, and important government announcements.

Dêlníci!

Item is a leaflet addressed to Czechoslovakian workers in German industries in west and southwest Germany. The leaflets warns that Allied soldiers will be invading western Germany, and provides advice on how to flee the war-zone and to protect valuable resources that will be needed by incoming Allied troops.

Deutsche Frauen! Rettet eure Männer!

Item is a leaflet addressed to German women, claiming that German lives are being thrown away in Italy while Mussolini has already fled. The recto urges women to protest the ongoing slaughter of German troops in Italy and Sicily. The verso contains a photograph of a dead soldier.

Deutschland verlor

Item consists of images of graves and dead German soldiers with the description: "Another winter in Russia." The verso claims to show the real numbers of German casualties in comparison to how many soldiers that Hitler states have died in three years of war.

Diary of death

Leaflet depicts the purported blood-stained diary of an Allied soldier who died in Italy, with a message that the reader may meet a similar fate if they continue to fight.

Die Nahrungsmittelvorräte sind erschöpft

Item is a leaflet with a graph showing year-to-year reductions in rations received by Germans. The leaflet claims that rations and food shortages will only grow worse for Germany and German-occupied areas if the war continues.

Die R.A.F. an die Deutschen frauen

Item is a Royal Air Force leaflet addressed to German women. Recto of leaflet lays the blame for civilian casualties and bombings at Hitler's feet, provides advice on how to survive bombings, and warns of an increase in air raids until the war ends. Verso depicts Hitler addressing German women.

Due popoli - una guerra, ma... chi va a piedi?

Item is a leaflet with an illustration depicting Italian troops marching and Germans in vehicles making the 1000 km retreat across North Africa to Tunis, and an appeal to Italian soldiers on the verso. The leaflet attempts to convince the Italians that they are being exploited by their German allies, and will end up paying for German mistakes. The title plays on a Fascist slogan celebrating the Italian-German wartime alliance.

Ein peinliches versprechen!

Item depicts a newspaper headline and an image of Hitler, under the title "An embarrassing promise!" On the verso are quotes from Hitler's headquarters describing different battles of 1941 which they claimed would bring ultimate victory.

English banknote

Item is a leaflet, likely produced for use in North Africa against Egyptian and other Arabic-speaking troops in the British Army. The leaflet mimics a Bank of England one pound banknote on the recto, with an Arabic inscription. A translation of the inscription reads:

Signs of dissolution
If you contemplate this bank note, you’ll remember that time that you’d get for it 10 times its weight in shiny gold.
This is because this piece of paper was guaranteed by the great [British] empire with all its power and wealth, but its greatness is gone, and its wealth disappeared.
So what is the value of the bank note today? You probably know that.
Every day that has passed in this war that England instigated, has torn apart the power of the English empire, and every battle that England lost was a cause of deterioration of its currency.
The day - when a beggar on the street would refuse the English pound given to him as a gift – has come close.
God wanted the dissolution of Britain and it will be…

Fruehjahrs - offensive

Item depicts aerial photographs of bomb-damaged German factories, accompanied by exhortations to armament factory workers in Germany (including foreign workers) to quit working. The verso states, "Hitler can no longer win the war, he can only prolong it."

"Fuehrer befiehl, wir folgen dir."

Item depicts corpses of German soldiers in Africa and on the Eastern Front, under the Nazi slogan "Fuehrer commands, we follow you." On the verso is "Hitler's Mathematics," with calculations relating to war losses.

Führer worte!

Item is a leaflet juxtaposing incendiary comments from Hitler on the recto with a promise from England on the verso for justice and economic security for all and the righteous punishment of Nazi war leaders. The leaflet encourages German citizens to act against Hitler and other leaders to end the war.

German banknote

Item is a German 1000 Mark banknote originally issued in 1922, and later over-printed for use as a leaflet to encourage recruitment for the Nazi Party.

The reverse of this banknote has been overprinted with an anti-semitic cartoon titled "Eine Überraschung" (A Revelation) which depicts a stereotyped Jewish man being surprised by a large, dazzling swastika with the text "Hitler" above, and "Nationalsozialismus" (National Socialism, aka Nazism) below. The man is exclaiming (in what appears to be a sort of racist Yiddish-German pidgin):

Godd der Gerachte! Scho / wieder ä naier kometh! /
(God the just! So again a [new one?] comes!)

Underneath is the text:
Volksgenossen! / Kommt zu Hitler, /
werdet Nationalsozialisten!
(Compatriots! [literally "people's comrades"] Come to Hitler, become National Socialists!

After the First World War, Germany struggled to pay war reparations imposed by the Treaty of Versailles, resulting in hyperinflation that decimated the value of the Mark. Currency like this became valueless, and so was used by the Nazis as a cheap and plentiful material for propaganda leaflets.

Giay thong-hanh

Item is a safe-conduct pass promising proper treatment of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese combatants who surrender to South Vietnamese forces.

I want to go home

Item is pamphlet containing an address to soldiers and civilians in England about the futility of the war, as well as a collection of demoralizing war poems reputedly written by English soldiers. Poems include: 'I Want To Go Home', 'What Are We Fighting For?,' 'Mediterranean Song,' 'I Don't Want To Be A Soldier,' 'When This Bloody War Is Over,' 'Has Any One Seen The Colonel?,' 'Happiness Lost,' 'Stand By Your Glasses Steady,' 'Who Was The Man?,' and 'Lonesome For My Dad.'

"Ich fuehle mich so frisch. Es kommt der Fruehling."

Item depicts a grinning Hitler standing over a pile of frozen corpses of German soldiers with a quote "I feel so fresh, the spring is coming!" that it attributes to Hitler on February 24, 1941. On the verso is a description of the agreement signed by Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt.

Illustrierte geschichte zweier weltkriege

Item is a pamphlet containing photographs from World War I and World War II, with commentary drawing parallels between the two conflicts and inviting readers to question the information they receive from the German government because they have issued misinformation in the past.

Iron crosses

Item depicts a box of Iron Crosses, Nazi military decorations, on the recto, and a field of cross-shaped grave markers on the verso, suggesting that the Nazi pursuit of military glory will lead to mass death.

Killed on the last day of the war

Item is a leaflet with an image of a field of crosses and the words "Do YOU want to be the last to die?" on the recto. The verso predicts that an American invasion of Italy would be pointless and result in the loss of many lives without impacting the outcome of the war.

La guerra come ve la spacciavano

Item is a leaflet that depicts Italian soldiers marching in a triumphant parade on recto, and a mutilated corpse of a soldier on the verso, showing the difference between "the war as they sold it to you" and its actual reality.

Le courrier de l'air

Item is an issue of Le courrier de l'air, a miniature newspaper leaflet dropped by the Royal Air Force in German-occupied France to provide uncensored war news to the French population. The headline translates as "Hitler's advance toward the abyss," and is accompanied by a cartoon of a vulture on a "victory" sign in a barren field strewn with bones.

Lijkplechtigheden van Adolf Hitler

Item is a mock funeral card for Adolf Hitler. The leaflet begins by inviting the reader on behalf of Hitler's lieutenants and allies to attend their beloved Führer's funeral. The leaflet then mocks the (fictional) death of Hitler. In Dutch, Hitler dies from fever after a failed blitzkrieg, and in French, Hitler dies from failing to cross the English Channel. It explains that the funeral mass will be performed by the Italians under the direction Benito Mussolini (in Dutch, it states that the Italians will sing under his leadership until they themselves pray to be dead as well!). In French, it is stated that Mussolini will conduct the requiem followed by The Flight from Africa and the Retreat from Albania. After the mass, a grand funeral parade will pass under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris with Winston Churchill and General de Gaulle in the entourage, seated in a specially made railway carriage created by Goebbels, the minister for Nazi propaganda. The funeral will have neither flowers or wreaths, only dance music. Afterwards, the English, Americans, Russians, French, Belgians, Dutch and Norwegians celebrate, as the Italians become the victims of history and the Germans remain "dasselbe Schwein", or the "same pigs".

London blitzed again!

Item is a leaflet with an illustration of a women yelling 'London blitzed again!' on the recto, and quotations from news sources regarding German raids on London on the verso.

Longing for you-

Item is a leaflet with an illustration of a beautiful women on the recto and the phrase 'Longing for you - but for how much longer?' The verso text tries to convince soldiers to stop fighting by appealing to their fears about the faithfulness of wives and sweethearts back home.

L'ordre nouveau...de la servitude

Item is a leaflet warning French citizens that the 'new order' promised by Hitler is a lie that will result in subjugation, starvation, and death of non-Germans. The verso contains quotes from Hitler and the National Socialist party claiming that the they will conquer all of Europe.

Lübeck

Item is a leaflet comparing the destruction caused by the German bombing of Coventry in 1940 to the British bombing of Lübeck in 1942.

Luftpost no. 11

Item is an issue of the Luftpost newspaper dropped by the Royal Air Force that provides statistics of daily German military deaths and stories about America's military might. It also features a German soldier entering the Soviet Union about to be attacked by a hand holding a giant sickle.

Luftpost no. 20

Item is an issue of the Luftpost newspaper dropped by the Royal Air Force with articles about how the SS have taken over the German government, and illustrated with photos of British and Soviet soldiers meeting.

"Militaerische idioten"

This leaflet makes fun of Hitler's belittlement of the Allies as "military idiots" against whom he couldn't test his skill, by describing how those same "military idiots" have destroyed his U-boats and forced him to strengthen his armies. On the verso is a a quote by Churchill stating that Germans are "victims of their own lies."

News from Burma

Leaflet is illustrated with a photo of tanks and a dead Japanese soldier, and refers to Japanese military losses in Burma.

Où le Tommy est-il resté

Item is a single-sided leaflet depicting French soldiers entangled in barbed wire fencing, with the phrase 'Where did Tommy rest?' It seems to be an attempt to drive a wedge between the wartime allies, insinuating that French soldiers are being sacrificed while the British (frequently nicknamed "Tommy" or "Tommy Atkins" in World War One) sit out the worst of the fighting.

Remember

Item is a leaflet with an illustration of a couple in a car that tries to convince Allied soldiers to stop fighting and return home.

Safe conduct pass

Item consists of a safe conduct pass for Iraqi soldiers designed to look like an Iraqi 25-dinar banknote that was dropped by US forces during Operation Desert Storm.

Safe conduct pass

Item is safe conduct pass that states that it can be used by German soldiers who wished to surrender safely to Allied forces. The verso of the leaflet contains excerpts from the Hague and Geneva Conventions regarding the treatment of prisoners of war.

Schwarze Listen für die schwarze Schmach

Item is a leaflet with a photograph of a circled SS officer in a crowd, with the words 'Black lists for black shame.' The verso exhorts German citizens to not believe Hitler's lies about the war and seeks to reassure them that the individuals (including members of the SS), not Germany as a whole, will be held responsible for the war.

Simplicissimus

Item is a leaflet comparing cover illustrations from 1915 and 1939 editions of the German satirical magazine Simplicissimus depicting England surrounded and threatened by submarines. The verso quotes a German admiral boasting about the supremacy of German U-boats, paired with a claim that England has managed to sink thirty-one U-boats in as many days.

So - oder so -

This leaflet claims to be a safe-conduct pass for German soldiers who wish to give themselves up, and features an illustration of a German soldier up to his neck in water and in danger of drowning. This leaflet was apparently dropped on German troops near the end of the North African campaign before the Axis surrender.

Souvenez-vous

Item is a small photograph booklet aimed at French citizens encouraging them to remember how Americans helped France in World War I and promising that helping is coming once again.

Surrender leaflet

This leaflet was presumably meant to be dropped on Japanese prisoner of war camps, and has Japanese text on the recto and verso, with a short explanation in English: "This leaflet gives your Japanese guards the official news that Japan has surrendered and tells them to treat you with every care and attention. You guards have been told to withdraw to their own quarters."

To live for her -

Item is an illustrated leaflet with the phrase "To Live For Her -" showing a beautiful blonde woman, and the phrase "- Or To Die For Him?" accompanying the image of a dead Allied soldier with the sinister face of Stalin looming in the sky overhead.

Weitere Kürzungen

Item is a leaflet that predicts German citizens will see their rations cut because the war has destroyed German crops and livestock. The leaflet insinuates that the German government has no long-term plan for supplying soldiers and civilians and that supplies will soon run out.

Why die for Stalin?

Item is a leaflet that seeks to convince Allied soldiers that Stalin and Communism are the true threat to Europe and democracy, not Germany.

Wolkiger beobachter

Item is an issue of the "Cloudy Observer" containing illustrations of Hitler and Stalin with a message that "sheep" follow the two leaders. The verso has a cartoon depicting Karl Marx hiding under a Hitler mask.