Signal. Sonderausgabe der
Berliner Illustrirten Zeitung.
Deutscher Verlag Berlin,
1940 – 1945.

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Reading Signal

(updated Wednesday, February 3, 2010)





Documents & Research




About Signal

Signal was a unique product of Germany's high-powered propaganda machinery: a nearly folio-sized magazine created in an effort to rally other European nations under the Teutonic banner, and to promote and justify German hegemony over Europe. It reached a maximum circulation of 2,500,000 copies per issue and was published fortnightly in a total of 25 different languages.

Based on the layout of LIFE, Signal utilized an exceptionally modern blend of articles and pictures. It was lavishly illustrated, including full-page color plates. Outfitted with an elite of staff authors and war correspondents, and partly independent from the rigid censorship of Goebbels' Propaganda Ministry, Signal quickly established itself as the number one propaganda publication in wartime Europe.

In its March 22, 1943 feature on Allied and Axis propaganda LIFE conceded: "The Chief U.S. foreign propaganda magazine Victory is but a pallid imitation of the German Signal. Victory has less than half the circulation of Signal, contains no terrific propaganda sock like its Nazi counterpart."   (click for full article)

Three issues of Signal from 1944In a War of Words, Signal was a most effective weapon which the German propaganda experts succeeded in putting to maximum use. The magazine had a significant impact on the European volunteer movement against Bolshevism. By downplaying social and political differences among the various European nations, and by attempting to line them up behind Germany in its "struggle for freedom", Signal promoted a "New Order" of Europe, designed as a Pax Germanica.

About the purpose of this webpage

I'm presently engaged in conducting a thorough research of Signal as a product of German foreign war propaganda.

During the past decades a variety of facsimile printings of selected articles from Signal has been issued, which, sure enough, has been a profitable task for the respective publisher. For even today the articles of Signal retain their uncanny attractiveness, which is a strong indicator for their dangerous propagandistic qualities.

Very few publications, however, have treated Signal on a scientific basis and went beyond the mere reproduction of its most intriguing articles. As a result, much of the contents of Signal have been made available to an interested public, but little has been published about the modus operandi of this magazine, its doctrine, or the way it influenced the European volunteer movement against Bolshevism. This webpage seeks to gradually contribute to the research on Signal, in order to further highlight its significance throughout war-time Europe.

As time permits, I shall be gradually turning this webpage into an extensive resource on all things Signal. Right now, however, it is still in a rather nascent stage. You can scour the contents by clicking through the menu at the top of each page. Collectors will find the List of Published Issues and Editions to be of particular interest.

I can be contacted through the email address included on the bottom of each page.

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