Escape Aids – German Propaganda Magazines

Signal was the primary German propaganda magazine in the occupied countries during WWII, appearing  in the languages of each country.  Here is what I wrote for a website specializing in the magazine,

“The 6000 Allied airmen shot down over northwestern Europe during World War II who successfully evaded capture and made their way back to England owed their success to many things, sometimes even a copy of Signal magazine. With most of the escape routes requiring travel through the Low Countries and France in order to reach Spain, train travel was a necessity, even though risky. Not only was there the danger of identity checks by police, but other passengers sharing the same train compartment might be an airman’s undoing if they tried to engage him in conversation. To keep the airman occupied and discourage unwanted talk, what better than a copy of Signal? Even if he was unable to read the language, he could pretend to and the other passengers might take him to be a collaborator or a German and leave him alone.”

Tom Applewhite remembered reading a copy of Signal.  In particular, he remembered a German officer, whom he described as “a matinee idol pretending to look through a transit for spotting artillery shells. He looked as if he had rouge on his cheeks,” said Applewhite. The magazine “was beautifully done. Its contents, however, were propaganda articles,” he added.

Thanks to Alexander Zwoller of the Signal website, here is almost certainly the picture Tom remembered, from issue number 16/1943:

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