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Rudolf Hess stamps? In Germany? D’oh!

Here’s how not to allow personalized stamps to be produced:

BERLIN — German neo-Nazis used a personalized stamp service offered by Deutsche Post to create a 55-cent stamp carrying a portrait of Hitler’s deputy Rudolf Hess, the company said Wednesday.

The latest newsletter of the far-right National Democratic Party gloated about being able to slip the stamp past Deutsche Post’s quality control personnel.

“The Hess stamp is out there,” wrote Hannes Natter in the May edition of Deutsche Stimme, or German Voice.

Deutsche Post spokesman Dirk Klasen confirmed that someone managed to slip an order of 20 of the stamps past the company by using a service that has been printing customized stamps since February — usually for birthdays, anniversaries or other celebrations.

“It runs in most cases without difficulty,” Klasen said. “Only with the Hess image did something go awry.”

Oh, well, I suppose it could have been worse. The neo-Nazis could have slipped in a photo of Rudolf Hoess, the infamous commandant of Auschwitz, rather than Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy, who in one of the strangest incidents of World War II parachuted into Scotland in 1941 on a self-initiated peace mission and was promptly arrested. He was tried at Nuremburg and ended up spending the rest of his life in prison. After all, Hess may have helped Hitler rise to power, but his madness later turned to a bizarre bid for peace, while Hoess’ madness was to build the largest single engine of mass murder the world has ever seen.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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