Second World War: Stamping Out Hitler and Mussolini

Child during the Second World War remembers donating change for stamps to cover drawings of Hitler and Mussolini as a fund drive.

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After 40 years I still have some vivid memories of the Second World War. My Dad was fighting in the War. I was living with my grandma - in rural Ontario, Canada. 

We all wanted to do our part to help win the War. I used to day-dream about flying a plane over Hitler's house and dropping a bomb on him. I was sure that would put an end to the War, and I would be a hero.

We all wished we could wipe out the enemy. Our teacher gave us coupon books with pictures of Hitler and Mussolini drawn on the pages. We would bring in a certain amount of change and were given a stamp to cover a portion of their faces. The object was to stamp out (cover up) the entire face of the enemy. The money collected was sent to the war effort.

Every evening, chores done, Grandma and I would listen to all the war news on the radio. We tried to figure out if my father was in the area of all the casualties. It was hard to grasp the enormity of it. There were no vivid TV pictures showing the human suffering.

One day I was at a friend of my grandma's, re-waxing her hard-wood floors. There was a commotion at her back door, and when I looked up, there stood my dad. He was safe; he was home. I nearly knocked him over when I ran into his arms. I learned much later that Dad was home before the end of the war because like so many men, he had contracted malaria overseas. He had brought me a wonderful gift, a bicycle. I learned to ride it by getting on a knoll and pushing off. Because rubber was needed for the war effort, the bike had wooden wheels. That did not matter to me. What mattered was my dad was home from the war, he was safe.

Noma J. Boyle Pine
Mountain Club, California

Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then Capper’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from Capper’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.