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Poster stamp with a tattered Polish flag

Object | Accession Number: 2018.233.13

Poster stamp featuring an image of a waving, tattered Polish flag, originally designed by Polish artist Marek Żuławski in 1939. Poster stamps were collectable stamps, slightly larger than postage stamps, with designs similar to posters. Although they were not valid for postage, poster stamps could be affixed to letters and envelopes as a means for fundraising, propaganda, and educational purposes. The stamp uses text and the imagery of the ragged Polish flag and the crowned Polish white eagle, to remind the viewer that Poland was “The First to Fight” German invasion. On September 1, 1939, Germany invaded and quickly conquered western Poland, triggering World War II. Almost immediately a government in exile was established in France, and then Britain. Throughout the duration of the war, Poles kept fighting the German forces. The Polish government in exile commanded an army of approximately 150,000 soldiers, and were a significant component of the Allied war effort. Inside occupied Poland, resistance fighters, called partisans, formed the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa, AK) and fought the German occupiers from within the country. Marek Żuławski was a Polish artist who lived in London at the outbreak of the war. During the war, he worked in the Polish section of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) radio.

Alternate Title
Poland First to Fight
designed:  after 1939
creation: London (England)
War Propaganda
Object Type
Poster stamps (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Forrest James Robinson, Jr.
Record last modified: 2020-10-26 12:33:34
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