3D Nazi propaganda to be auctioned

[From The Telegraph (UK)]

3D Nazi propaganda to be auctioned

A rare piece of 3D Nazi propaganda designed to show the German army’s march across Europe is to be auctioned

Published: 21 Dec 2009

The rare boxed set of stereo cards were a basic version of “virtual reality” and allowed families and children feel like they were on the front line from their living rooms.

They were dreamt up by Hitler’s evil war machine and showed the progress of the army as it conquered the West.

Rich Nazi families, who were able to buy them with special viewing glasses, were the target audience for the goods, created by propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels.

His idea was those who could afford the luxury items would be more likely to produce people of officer class material than the poorer members of society.

The 100 cards show the German army conquering Holland, Belgium and France and are dated 1940.

The set is called Der Kampf in Western, which translates as The Struggle in the West, and is set to go under the hammer next month.

Until this month it had been in the possession of a British war collector living in Germany, who had kept it under wraps for decades.

But his need to raise cash means he is hoping they fetch a good price on January 19 at a Mullocks auction at Ludlow Racecourse in Shropshire.

The University of St Andrews’ Dr Frank Mulller, a specialist in Modern European history, said the unusual items were the football cards of their day.

He said: “You could have these things created on anything back then and they would give a remarkable 3D effect to the viewer.

“They were made using a photography apparatus that was made up of two cameras mounted on a frame.

“These cameras would take a picture of the same thing but from a different angle.

“When they are placed in the glasses frame the brain merges them together and create[s] an impression of depth that is still incredible today.

“Material like this item could be used to entertain at patriotic evenings and things like that.

“In 1940 was when things were going relatively well for the Nazis, so I think it’s likely these were made to brag about their success.

“Items like these were very popular and you could get stereo cards of athletes, events, even pilots – they were a bit like the football cards of their day.”

Mullocks historical documents expert Richard Westwood-Brookes said it was incredibly rare to find the cards in such good condition.

He said they would have been prohibitively expensive for a lot of Germans to buy as a set back in the 40s.

But he said they would have been extremely effective in keeping support of the war among the better-off public.

He said: “They would only by available in Harrods-type shops and would have cost the equivalent of about £100 today.

“Their purpose was to boast and show off about the Nazi success in the war.

“It was a way for people at home to feel like they were there in the battlefield and encourage people.

“These go all the way back to Goebbels, things like this always were.

“He would use an[y] means possible to capture the hearts and minds of the country.

“You can see the finest detail when you are looking at them, the technique is that good.

“I think the idea of these were so people could feel like they were on the battlefield from their own homes.”

The cards and viewer are listed to fetch at least £500 when they go under the hammer, but such is the interest in this kind of memorabilia, could be far higher.

ISPR Presence News

Search ISPR Presence News: