by "Operation Cornflakes"
This is an OSS/OWI archive belonging to Gerald Mayer, head of the Office of War Information in Bern, Switzerland in the 1940s, and an operative for the Office of Strategic Services under Allen Dulles. Mayer arrived in Bern, Switzerland as head of its Office of War Information in 1942. His official job, according to an article entitled "Poison Cornflakes for Breakfast," written by Herbert A. Friedman in 2016, was to produce American literature, brochures and magazines focused on the dissemination of official U.S. government information on the war. By night, however, the printing presses were turned over to the more incendiary work of the OSS which produced "illegal (in Switzerland) anti-Nazi propaganda until dawn, when they quietly slipped away and transported it clandestinely to Germany." The intent of "Operation Cornflakes" was "to place American propaganda on the German breakfast table each morning." One of Mayer and Dulles' collaborators in this effort was Raymond Schuhl, a veteran artist with the French propaganda machine, the Deuxieme Bureau, who worked with Hansi during World War I. He used his considerable skills to design propaganda leaflets for the OSS, under the code name "Salembier." He even faked his own death in a bombing in Algiers, likely to protect himself and his family from pursuit by the Nazis. His inscription in the book accompanying this archive refers to this close collaboration with Mayer. Mayer was born of American parents in Berlin, was educated at schools in Switzerland and the U.S., and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. Following the war, his work with the OSS and Allen Dulles was officially acknowledged, and he received the Medal of Freedom and was named Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor. [see his obituary in the New York Times, Jan. 8, 1980]. This archive, with its connection to Gerald Mayer, adds another dimension to the subversive side of the propaganda wars against Nazi Germany. It contains over 350 specimen copies of printed propaganda leaflets, political cartoons and graphics, newspapers, postal stamps, etc., distributed behind German lines during World War II, as part of the clandestine "Operation Cornflakes." An extensive collection of material used in the clandestine information wars against Nazi Germany during World War II. Each item carries the official OSS Bern file number (or letter) stamped on it. The material includes a sheet of ten of the forged 12-pfennig postal stamps depicting Hitler's head as a skull; copies of the newspaper "Das Neue Deutschland," the 'official' paper of the fictitious Germany peace party of the same name; copies of a fake newspaper "Frankfurter Zeitung;" Arthur Szyk illustrations, postcards and stickers, of "The New Orderlies," showing a German officer on horseback surrounded by a motley crew of Axis troops, and of "Il Duce" showing Goering pulling Mussolini along by a chain; leaflets encouraging the citizens trapped in occupied France; cartoons lampooning Hitler; circulars advocating slow-downs by German workers, etc. A complete list of the material is available upon request. A copy of the book "A Travers Les Lignes Ennemies, Trois Annees d'Offensive Contre Le Moral Allemand," by Hansi and E. Tonnelat [Paris: 1922], is included with this archive. It is specially bound in vellum, with an original painted cover illustration of an early variant of a U.S. B-17 bomber flying over New York harbor and dropping leaflets, signed by Hansi and dated 1943 in the lower right corner. Hansi has also signed the half-title. A printed card, a fake death notice for Commandant Raymond Schuhl, of the Legion of Honor Croix de Guerre, is laid down on the front endpaper. Schuhl's fiery inscription to his friend and fellow collaborator Gerald Mayer appears below it, dated 15 November 1944, and punctuated with "Mort aux Boches!" Also included is a photo of Allen Dulles and (presumably) Gerald Mayer; a black & white photo postcard, likely a group of OWI/OSS staffers, posed in front of a building in Switzerland; a note to Gerald Mayer's son in response to his request for information on Allen Dulles, dated 1984; an envelope with a green Hitler 12-pfenning stamp, addressed to Hitler at "Berchtessatan," a play on his 'Berchtesgaden,' [Eagles Nest], substituting with the word "Satan;" and a small sheet of 4 Hitler skull stamps, perforated. (Inventory #: 40680)