Our production office received an odd e-mail several weeks ago from a chap saying he wanted to buy some of our beautiful Third Reich period civilian music, and was particularly taken with our very popular 2-CD set: Musik in der Heimat 1934-44, (incidentally one of my favourite collections and the series I probably enjoyed most producing & re-mastering in the studio with our archival engineer Simon ‘Woody’ Wood), but “he didn’t like the ‘1950s cartoon’ artwork and had we any plans to opt for another design very soon?”..!
I’m not sure if the gentleman in question was seriously expecting us to suddenly re-design two complete new covers, just for him, (though to be honest nothing actually comes as much of a surprise to me these days, especially after 30 years in this business, so he probably did..but good luck with that one, fellah!!).
However his remarks did raise an interesting question about the two images we incorporated on those Musik in der Heimat Part covers, as they’re taken directly & from 2 original Nazi-era/Third Reich propaganda post-cards from the 1930s & 40s in our archival German Song-lyric postcard collection, (Liederkarten), not as he was suggesting, from a post-war, 1950s ‘comic’..!
During the 1930s & 40s, Nazi propaganda postcards featuring famous and evocative lyrics to Wehrmacht & Waffen-SS marching & korps songs, along with much-loved sentimental songs from the Home Front, were all the rage with many following on from an earlier custom from Imperial Germany &The Great War). Tomahawk Films, as a professional Archive, collects these beautiful cards, some of which can be seen in full colour on a number of pages of my Tomahawk-published book: The Military Music and Bandsmen of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich 1933-45.
As confirmed lovers of the old German Soldier-Song, The Tomahawk Films WW-II German Archive has been actively collecting these delightful cards for well over 20 years now, ( around the time I started researching my book in fact), yet after all this time we still have no idea of just how many variations on a theme that there are, or indeed were originally produced back then, as new examples keep popping up when we least expect them..! (In fact have long been thinking of penning a Collector’s book on the subject, but I think I may wait until I get an answer to this particular question!!)
Nevertheless, several German Musik enthusiasts who kindly read my book have contacted us to let us know that they also got into collecting these wonderful historical cards as a direct result of having seen them illustrated across a number its chapters, which was a most heart-warming thing to hear. So there is now quite a healthy little collecting field out there for just these exquisite and often quite heart-rending postcards: some also bearing very interesting unit Feldpost frankings on the rear of those actually postally-used during the war years, thus underscoring their direct military connection with Hitler’s Armed Forces in the same manner as went before in the time of the Kaiser’s armies!
For a while Tomahawk Films did actually re-print a series of 12 of our favourite Liederkarten, again taken from originals in our German archive, and these sold well for a number of years, so keep your eyes open for them as I dare say a number of sets are still about; they were clearly marked on the back as being a ‘Tomahawk Films product’ so collectors would know to buy them only as a modern re-print.
Very often they were acquired to frame or use as a German language guide to aid their understanding a little better when listening to Tomahawk’s various Soldier Song CDs, such as Die Waffen-SS Alte Kameraden Singen!, and not buy them thinking they were original pre-1945 collector’s items, like the three beauties from our collection featured on this page..!
Copyright @ Brian Matthews 2012