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La Defense du People anti-Jewish propaganda stamp

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.684.4

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
distribution: Belgium
Nazi propaganda
Object Type
Poster stamps (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2023-08-07 10:44:33
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