SIGN OF LIFE CARDS .. ( LEBENSZEICHEN )
There is another type of postcard that could be sent through the mail. It is
not exactly a postcard, but instead a reproduction of the official German form used to
notify relatives of survivors of allied bombings. In 1943, the German Reichspost released
special postcards that allowed victims of bomb attacks to send a short message to their
relatives. Three versions differing in color and design were printed. They are inscribed
Lebenszeichen von (Sign of life from) on one side, and Eilnachricht
an (special message to) on the back. All have a broad color frame around the
margins. Red cards were for private addressees, green cards for soldiers with field post
numbers. Violet cards were used by the Reichspost to check the postal addresses of people
living in so-called Luftnotgebieten (emergency zones).
This form, often called a Sign of Life, might be sent to a
serviceman from Berlin or Cologne to inform him that his parents were alive and well after
a severe bombing raid. These forms usually passed through the German post at no cost to
the sender. They normally bore no cancellation, although they were sometimes censored.
The MO Unit in Rome forged the green version of the sign-of-life card. The
forgery is inscribed in German in carefully handwritten Gothic script. On the address side
where the genuine card says Express to the OSS added the word you!
At the lower left, they added the text F.D.R, short for für
die Richtigkeit, (for the correctness). It was
used in the war years by persons who were authorized to sign letters on behalf of their
superiors. Beneath those words is the text: The New Germany, Action
Committee. "The New Germany"(Das Neue Deutschland)
was the name of the OSS propaganda newspaper printed and dropped over Germany.
The message side bears a longer propaganda text, Sign of life from:
The Illegal fighters in all the Reich
The card is dated 19-1-45. The propaganda message on the card is:
The United Front of all revolutionary parties fights for our liberation from
the yoke of the SS and the Party. Join us in the struggle! Form your own action groups!
Examples of this card were found on the dead German soldier in Italy.
LEGITIMATE SIGN OF LIFE CARDS
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