What is a Black Postcard anyways?

Well, from doing a little search on the glorious phenomenon called the inter-web, I recently discovered that Black Postcards are not only linked to events and works in pop culture, but also history.

First let’s checkout the pop culture… You are here reading this post, so obviously Black Postcards (the band) is working its way into realm of pop culture. Help keep us there… buy our EP next week when it comes out! 😀

Next up, Black Postcards finds its way yet again in the form of music. It just so happens that it is a song by a band that has influenced my ‘indie rock’ likings. Checkout the band LUNA, or better yet the song’s writer, Dean Wareham. Dean also has published a book called Black Postcards, which tells the story of his rock ‘n roll journey being a part of the legendary underground band Galaxy 500 and previously mentioned band LUNA.

Now, let’s provide some information on the historical meaning of Black Postcards. It seems that during WWII, the British utilized black propaganda, or ‘Black Postcards,’ to try and turn the German people against the evil doings of Adolf Hitler. Here’s a little more… I’ve posted a link at the bottom if you’re really interested…

Many types of philatelic propaganda were produced by both the Axis and the Allied powers during World War II. “White,” “gray,” and “black” propaganda in the form of forged and parodied stamps, postcards, letters, and letter sheets rolled off the presses on both sides of the lines.

“White” propaganda may be defined as that issued by an acknowledged source, usually a government or an agency of a government. For instance, every airdropped issue of the World War II propaganda newspaper, Frontpost, bore the legend, in German, “Published by American troops in Western Europe.” White propaganda is associated with overt psychological operations. It does not hide its origin.

Although there is no attempt to conceal the origin of “gray” propaganda, neither is the source specifically identified. A World War II example is the joint UK/US Political Warfare Executive (PWE) / Office of Strategic Services (OSS) newspaper, Nachrichten für die Truppe (News for the Troops). It was never identified as an Allied product, but German readers knew very well that Allied aircraft (and especially the US Special Leaflet Squadron) were dropping the newspaper.

“Black” propaganda, the type associated with covert psychological warfare operations, purports to emanate from a source other than the true one. Examples include forged identity cards and ration coupons, counterfeit currency, and propaganda letters and postcards. During World War II, black propaganda accounted for approximately five percent of the material packed into leaflet bombs, with the other ninety-five percent being various kinds of gray and white propaganda. In this way, substantial quantities of black propaganda were distributed.

This article deals with those black items produced by Great Britain in the form of German postcards. These cards, which vilified the Nazi Party and its functionaries, were meant to cause dissension within the ranks of the German people. The British sincerely hoped that finders would believe an anti-Nazi group within Germany had printed the cards. However, it is doubtful that many finders believed the postcards to be of German origin, and their propaganda classification probably should be somewhere between black and gray.

The Official Secrets Act protected Britain’s World War II covert propaganda system from public scrutiny for many years. Today, after publication of several conflicting books on the subject, it remains a confusing subject.

Continue reading the full story at SPYWAR.org

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