In our collection we have many magazines and catalogues. Among them are magazines “Signal” from the WWII. The magazines were published, in 25 languages, by Deutscher Verlag Berlin.
At the beginning, on the magazine’s cover was printed as it is a special issue of “Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung”.
The magazine was published from April 1940, twice a month. Last one was issued in March 1945.
On the second page it is specify, as Signal was published by Deutscher Verlag, but it was only name of the building, in Berlin, where offices of the magazine were located. The real publisher was the Wehrmacht under the authority of the German Ministry of Propaganda.
The first number, in 1940, was published in four languages: German, English, French and German/Italian. During 1940 Signal was edited in further three languages: Danish, Dutch and Norwegian.
In 1941 the publishing was extended for next eleven languages: German/Spanish, German/Hungarian, Bulgarian, Swedish, Croatian, Romanian, Arabic, Persian, Portuguese, Turkish (French) and Greek.
In 1942 Finnish, Serbian, Slovak languages were added, and one issue in Russian was published.
During 1943 only seven issues in Russian language were published.
The most unusual was a decision taken by the German Ministry of Propaganda, in 1944, to publish Signal in Polish language. The first issue was editing on August.
Presumably, the decision was caused by Warsaw Uprising at 4th August 1944, and as a warning of approaching Russian army. This conclusion can be confirmed by the picture on the cover, showing a French woman at the big filed of the ruins.
The war and occupancy in Poland was not short and trouble-free. There were not nice topics for Signal magazine. In Bundesarchiv are many pictures taken in Poland, but all they are full of tragedy.
The magazine had several editors, many freelance journalists, economists and historians. The excellence of articles was a great help in making Signal a best seller in many countries. The outstanding qualities were photographs, later in colour. The cameramen came from Propaganda Kompany (PK) – established in 1938, by the Wehrmacht.
The photographers followed the German army on all fronts; on the earth, on the sea and in the air (look at the pictures in the article ‘Arriflex camera’).
The photographers were supplied with the latest and most modern equipment, as movie cameras:
- Arriflex, Askania, Zeiss Movikon
And still cameras:
- Agfa-Gevaert colour cameras, and Leica and Centex cameras.
At many military actions were taken pictures, by movie and still cameras. Films were mainly taken by Arriflex cameras, as it was a hand held camera and very portable. Askania camera was used only at static events.
Since 1944 all Signal issues had colour covers. Summarizing in one sentence, the Signal magazine was as a kind of surrealism, looking retrospectively. Main topics are films, theater, mode, cosmetics, much kind of luxury sports and beautiful women. The subject of war was showed as not tragic event. The German and foreign divisions soldiers are happy, heroic, supermen and conquer.
In our collection are annual sets of the years of the publication: 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, and 1944, in German, Dutch, French, and Polish languages.