First Advisor

Kathleen Merrow

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in History and University Honors






Overprints and surcharges (Philately), Postage stamps -- Europe -- 20th century, World War (1939-1945) -- Propaganda, Germany -- Politics and government -- 1933-1945, German propaganda




This thesis hopes to bridge the gap between philately and history and examines how postage stamps issued by the Third Reich during the Second World War portrayed their colonial and racial policy in the Netherlands and Poland. Through my research where I examine Nazi primary source documents and rely on an expansive discourse community whose focus is communications theory, postal history, and colonial history, I focus on how these stamps were an extension of the Reich’s Ministry for Propaganda. Dutch stamps closely align with German-issued stamps from the same period, through the depiction of hypermasculine men in a rural setting while Polish stamps help to reflect the power dynamic that the Nazis instilled through their brutal occupation. This thesis further encourages historians to develop a new field of postal history, as it accurately can show the effects that regime change has on society.


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