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La Defense du People anti-Jewish propaganda stamp

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.684.1

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    La Defense du People anti-Jewish propaganda stamp

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    Brief Narrative
    Antisemitic propaganda stamp featuring symbols associated with the Volksverwering (or Volkswering, Defense of the People), a Belgian nationalist and anti-Jewish organization, active during the late 1930s and early 1940s. It features a red design on a black background, with text directed at Jews and the image of a human skull beside the organization’s symbol, an encircled Othala rune. The rune was part of a pre-Roman alphabet used in Europe. The Nazis adopted the rune as a symbol, using it as the divisional insignia for two SS divisions. Nazi use of the rune inspired other antisemitic groups, such as Volksverwering, to adopt the rune for their use. Anti-Semitism and intolerance were the foundations of Volksverwering ideology. The organization was formed in the northern, Flemish region of Belgium, which had a more nationalistic culture that was easily influenced by authoritarianism. Many in this region viewed Jews, many of whom were refugees, as a foreign threat to Belgium. In 1938 and 1939, Jewish refugees fleeing the Anschluss and Kristallnacht in Austria and Germany arrived in Belgium, creating a rise in antisemitism and pro-German sympathies. This fueled support for the Volksverwering, who organized a screening in Antwerp of the German propaganda film, “Der Ewige Jude,” in August 1939. After the film, riots occurred in the city, and a rabbi’s house was destroyed and several synagogues were set on fire. After the German occupation of Belgium in May 1940, Nazi authorities, aided by collaborationists, instituted many anti-Jewish laws and ordinances, rounded Jews up for forced labor and began deportations of Jews in 1942. This stamp is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of anti-Semitic visual materials.
    publication/distribution:  1937-1944 September
    issue: Belgium
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    front, top, printed, ink : DEHORS / LES JUIFS! [Jews Out!]
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    The Katz Ehrenthal Collection is a collection of more than 900 objects depicting Jews and antisemitic and anti-Jewish propaganda from the medieval to the modern era, in Europe, Russia, and the United States. The collection was amassed by Peter Ehrenthal, a Romanian Holocaust survivor, to document the pervasive history of anti-Jewish hatred in Western art, politics and popular culture. It includes crude folk art as well as pieces created by Europe's finest craftsmen, prints and periodical illustrations, posters, paintings, decorative art, and toys and everyday household items decorated with depictions of stereotypical Jewish figures.

    Physical Details

    Nazi propaganda
    Object Type
    Poster stamps (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Small, rectangular stamp printed in black ink on red paper with a design depicting a red, human skull in quarter left profile at the center, with detailed, black shading along the right side. At the bottom right, there is a red Othala rune with serifs within the outline of a circle. The background is black. At the top, there is French text to the left of a large exclamation mark with irregular edges and blood dripping from the point.
    overall: Height: 2.625 inches (6.668 cm) | Width: 2.125 inches (5.398 cm)
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name

    Administrative Notes

    The stamp was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016 by the Katz Family.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Special Collection
    Katz Ehrenthal Collection
    Record last modified:
    2023-09-15 10:14:26
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