A NAZI fake of a 'LIFE' magazine

German fake copy of LIFE magazine: frontcover

The information below comes from:

'Messages from the sky over Britain'
'The fascinating story of publicity and propaganda leaflets disseminated over Great Britain
by airship, aeroplane, balloon and rocket,
in peacetime and in war'

by R.G. Auckland & Keith B. Moore. (Blatter No. 24 , Published by the Psywar society , ISBN 1 873253 09 5 , July 1998).
A word of thanks to Mr. Auckland and Mr. Moore for their permission to use these texts.
If interested in this work, let me know and I will put you in contact with the person that can sell this book to you.

"LIFE" is the title of a well-known glossy American magazine that circulates all over the world. It was also the title of an 8-page folder dropped by German planes over a few U.S. air bases in East Anglia, including Lakenheath, during the autumn of 1943. The front page was an actual reproduction of the true LIFE issue for July 26, 1943, with pictures of 8th Air Force crews but the remaining seven pages showed gruesome and horrifying pictures of aircrews who had been killed over Germany, together with many speeches, reports and quotations on the subject of the air bombing of the Third Reich. It is thought that this mini-magazine was produced to bring home to the Americans the awful disaster of the Schweinfurt raids when 198 U.S. bombers were lost out of 291 taking part. Very little information indeed seems to be available about this particular fake magazine and those copies that were not confiscated by the American authorities on base were undoubtedly 'collected' by U.S. personnel and taken home to the States. The only two copies known were once in the collection of the president of the Psywar Society, Captain P.H. Robbs. No mention of the incident appeared in the contemporary national press.

The Auckland/Moore book shows 4 out of 8 pages in Black and White reprinted from old photocopies. As no other pictures were available, the other pages miss.

Recently I managed to find an original of this fake 'LIFE' magazine, so now I can describe the complete magazine with good scans of all of the 8 pages! To be able to compare the fake with the original 'LIFE', I also traced one of these.


The original 'LIFE' magazine front cover looks very much the same as the front cover of the fake. Only differences on the frontpage are:
-size; the fake has a page size of only 202 x 260 mm ; the original has a page size of 265 x 355 mm
-the fake has an altered price text ; the thought behind this alteration is not known to me yet
-the subscription price text is missing on the fake
-the fake has no '' text in the lefthand bottom corner of the frontpage
-the fake has an extra cursive title 'LIFE' with a question mark behind it

Click here to have a quick look at both front pages together...

The original 'LIFE' contains many articles. One of these is about the 8th airforce in England and shows one photograph and several drawings. The text tells about the achievements against the Germans.
One of the statements made in the text:
'Since the U.S. aerial operations started, 1,199 German fighters have been destroyed with a loss of only 276 American bombers'.
Maybe this sentence or a similar one from the article, caused the Nazis to prepare a special fake copy for airdropping over the UK based 8th U.S. Army Air force .....

The fake LIFE consists of a 'poster' size sheet of paper that is folded in such a way that it looks like an ordinary magazine. But when opening to page 3, the reader finds that he has to unfold the complete poster to be able to read on.

Size of the total poster:
52.0 x 40.4 cm
When folded as a magazine, 8 pages of approx 20.2 x 26.0 cm are formed.

It is of no use to describe here in detail what is shown on these fake pages. The description from 'Messages from the sky over Britain' is accurate enough. You can read the rest yourself:

Click here to view a layout of the both sides of the poster ...

Every page of the above preview 'layout' can be viewed with the following links:

Click here to view page 1 of the fake 'LIFE'

Click here to view page 2 of the fake 'LIFE'

Click here to view page 3 of the fake 'LIFE'

Click here to view page 4 of the fake 'LIFE'

Click here to view page 5 of the fake 'LIFE'

Click here to view page 6 of the fake 'LIFE'

Click here to view page 7 of the fake 'LIFE'

Click here to view page 8 of the fake 'LIFE'

As you can see, very little is known about this leaflet poster. I ask any person that can tell me more on this propaganda item to contact me. That way it will be possible to update this page.

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