Winterhilfswerk Forgeries

WWII Forgeries

In January 1943, the British printed this parody of the annual German Winterhilfswerk issues.  The printing consisted of 10,000 stamps in booklet form, with each booklet containing a single pane of 10 stamps (MiNr 30 x5 and MiNr 31 x5).  The booklets were delivered to the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in January 1943, with 100 booklets to the Free French in April 1943.

The SOE issues the booklets to Free Polish units assigned to the Mediterranean theater. Prior to widespread use, however, the propaganda operation was canceled and the booklets were to be returned to Britain, where they were to be destroyed.

A small number survived the recall, primarily in the hands of Free Polish forces who didn’t return them.

For more on these issues, see Propaganda and Espionage Philately, by SGM Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.).