Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stamps?

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Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stamps?

Post by chrisjm »

Image

I have a number of these, illustrated, and whilst I have looked up basic information on them there seems to be an almost infinite variety! I'm not sure if any of the ones I have are more or less interesting than others.

The top two left to right appear unused but ungummed and not sure what the partial red overprint may mean.

Third down left has what seems a stamped 'signature' rather than a cancellation - or maybe it is a type of cancel, others have various perforations or appear 'torn' out, 'cut' etc.

I don't know whether to spend time investigating these any further or not? Advice and information appreciated as ever.

Chris

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Re: Notopfer steurmarke

Post by nigelc »

SG lists at least 19 versions of these depending on watermark and perforation. They also have notes about private perforations and other varieties that they don't list. SG's used prices range from 30p to £550! :shock:
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Re: Notopfer steurmarke info needed

Post by Wolfgang »

This is a field for specialisation!
At least you need a Michel Specialised catalogue.
chrisjm wrote:
.....partial red overprint may mean.

Chris
Only part of a meter, as even on metered mail a 2 Pfg stamp had to be added.
chrisjm wrote:
....Third down left has what seems a stamped 'signature' rather than a cancellation

Chris
This is part of the cancellation.
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Re: German Notopfer Steuermarke info needed

Post by europhil »

I posted this over 10 years ago on another forum.
The origins of this stamp are in the June 21, 1948 Currency reform by the western zones of Germany, which caught the Soviet with their pants down and lead to a rushed currency reform in the Soviet (and Berlin) on June 24th (June 25th in West Berlin). Emergency stamps were over- printed in many post offices (the so-called "District Handoverprints") every night to meet the next day's demand, until machine-overprinted stamps became available on July 3rd.

This immediately lead to the Soviet Blockade of West Berlin and the Berlin Airlift (Operation Vittles). The population of West Berlin suffered greatly during the time of the blockade, which was not lifted until May 12, 1949. (The Airlift continued until Sept. 30.)

As a means to defray the costs of this massive resupply operation and to provide continuing assistance to the people of Berlin, the German parliament (with military government approval) passed a law requiring a 2 Pfennig tax on various classes of mail. (Covers franked contrary to this law exist, e.g. Notopers used to pay postage and ordinary stamps used to pay the tax.)

The tax was to be paid ONLY by the "blue flea" stamp, first issued on Dec. 1, 1948 and inscribed "NOTOPFER / 2 BERLIN / STEURMARKE". This translates to "Emergency Victims / 2 Berlin / Tax Stamp". Although this is technically a tax stamp, it was in fact sold by the post office and it had no use other than on mail.

Covers franked contrary to this law exist, e.g. Notopers used to pay postage and ordinary stamps used to pay the tax.

The Notopfer was not required on all pieces of mail. Initially, the Notopfer was required only in the Bizone (combined American and British zones). It was later used in the French Zone (see below). It was never used in Berlin itself. It was not required on mail to Berlin, on mail to the Soviet Zone and on mail to foreign destinations. Examples used inadvertently to the Soviet Zone or Berlin were often defaced and returned by the Soviet Zone authorities (and are very collectable).

For mail that was not exempt per the above, initially every class of mail required the Notopfer. This represented a 10% tax for letter mail, but was a whopping 50% for printed matter. Businesses complained loudly about this and printed matter was later made exempt.

Even official mail that was otherwise free required a Notopfer!

The period of use for the Notopfer was Dec. 1, 1948 to March 31, 1956, thus surviving the transition from occupied Germany to Federal Republic. Overall, more than 10 billion of the "fleas" were printed. Depending on how specialized one wants to collect these, a collection could consist of dozens, hundreds or even thousands of stamps. And then there's the postal history ...

The French Zone was a bit of a maverick. They at first elected not to participate. When they did, it was sporadic and with a few twists:

Baden used the Notopfer on July 1-2, 1949 and again from July 17 on. They also designated that a portion of the funds would go to the relief of Kehl (another interesting story).

Rhineland-Pfalz used the Notopfer in Feb. & March, 1949, and again from July 1 on.

Wurttemberg used the Notopfer from Jan. 10 to May 31, 1949. For the rest of the year they used overprinted Notopfers or specially printed stamps, the proceeds of which went into a fund for housing reconstruction. From Jan. 1, 1950 on they reverted to the use of unoverprinted Notopers.

The area around Lindau caught a break, as the use of the housing reconstruction stamps was not required there. This part of Bavaria had been given to Wurttemberg so the French could have a corridor to their zone in Austria.

The Notopers were even used in parts of Austria! - the mountainous border areas that were served by the German post office since there was no land access to the rest of Austria.

Getting back to basics, the Michel catalog, or a specialized handbook by Peter Harlos, lists the various permutations of watermark and perforation that makes this issue so interesting. I won't go into the details here, except to mention one particular perforation used early on.

The sheet of 200 Notopfers was the same size as a sheet of 100 (pfennig value) Buildings Series stamps. One of the first attempts at perforating the Notopfers was to use the Comb 14 perforator used for the Buildings and supplement it with a Line 12 perforation between each vertical pair. Such stamps are very interesting, but alas they are really cheap.

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Re: German Notopfer Steuermarke info needed

Post by librarianc »

A customer of mine who specialized in these issues (years ago) had multiple albums and stockbooks. They were a study unto themselves, and were a very popular study - according to him anyway! :shock:

It seems that the papers, perfs and printings were quite varied.

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Re: German Notopfer Steuermarke info needed

Post by europhil »

Would your customer's initials be GR?

No real paper varieties that I'm aware of, but ...
2 different printing methods.
4 different design types.
3 watermarks, with a total of 7 watermark positions.
16 official perforation varieties (plus imperforate).
An almost uncountable number of postmaster and private
perforations and roulettes (Michel does not even begin to
scratch the surface here).

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Re: German Notopfer Steuermarke info needed

Post by chrisjm »

Thanks everyone for such an extensive amount of info, clearly there is more to these than meets the eye! I'm not sure i'll follow up too much now but you've 'placed' them for me. there are a couple more cut from an envelope with 20pf 'building' stamps attached from 1949 so can also see how they were used on post.

chris

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Re: German Notopfer Steuermarke info needed

Post by imhotep »

The first on the right seems to be the most interesting. Partly unperforated and looks like a privat or postmaster perforation.
Very interesting, but difficult to deal with.



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Re: German Notopfer Steuermarke info needed

Post by chrisjm »

Image

Thank you Peter, given your reply i thought i'd show the last two i have of these. I think it's probably a step too far for my 'novice' resources and knowledge to follow up much more I have since i posted the original question, and having been given advice here, looked in more detail at the Michel pages and will follow up some more yet but feel i may easily become 'lost' in the intricacies!

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Re: German Notopfer Steuermarke info needed

Post by imhotep »

Yep, I started to collect both but gave up when I came to the more specialized things (beyond the Michel catalogue). :mrgreen:

What you show in your pictures, is the normal way, those little things were used.



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Re: German Notopfer Steuermarke info needed

Post by clay11 »

Interesting timing. A couple of day ago, I received a copy of ArGe Fiskal Philatelie's Die Notopfer- und Wohnungsbauabgabemarken als Zwangszuschlagmarken im Nachkriegsdeutschland by Jurgen Fricke. This 73 page, color booklet covers these stamps in great detail, including errors, color varieties, overprints, perforations, etc.

It is probably the most comprehensive study of these stamps I've seen.

You might be able to buy a copy of it on their website.

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Re: German Notopfer Steuermarke info needed

Post by europhil »

I wasn't able to locate the information on Fricke's booklet.
Can you give a specific link?

The standard reference for years has been "Die Notopfer- und
Wohnungsbaumarken 1948-1956" by Peter Harlos, 2nd edition,
300 pages published in 1996.

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Re: German Notopfer Steuermarke info needed

Post by chrisjm »

Hmmm ...

Thanks , as i say possibly a few steps (or miles) beyond my range and understanding, Michel's basic info is taxing me enough just now! Still, onward and learn.

chris

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Re: German Notopfer Steuermarke info needed

Post by clay11 »

Jay,

I've asked the editor of the Journal to let me know how to obtain additional copies.

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Re: German Notopfer Steuermarke info needed

Post by europhil »

Thanks, Clay.

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German Cover - what is the "2 Berlin" stamp for ?

Post by danyeung »

I would like to ask for help from the Stampboards members.

I think the "2 Berlin" is not a stamp. Is it a postage due or something else ? What is it for ?

Image

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Re: German Cover - what is the "2 Berlin" stamp for ?

Post by europhil »


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Re: "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stamps, info need

Post by Global Administrator »

"Overall, more than 10 billion of the "fleas" were printed."

Great summary europhil .. I had no idea of the history of these things, and had never seen the term "blue flea stamp" ever used before.

I hope to learn something new about stamps every day, and this is today's new lesson! :mrgreen:

I added to heading to add the "2 BERLIN" wording so that google picks up on it for web searches.

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by Drew Thompson »

Fantastic topic and info. Thanks for educating me!

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by danyeung »

Jay, thanks very much for directing me to the right post.

The postmark is Braunschwf dated 19Nov52.

Can you tell the destination from the address ?

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by nigelc »

I believe the postmark is "Braunschweig 1"

The destination is Hamburg.
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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by Global Administrator »

danyeung wrote:Jay, thanks very much for directing me to the right post.

The postmark is Braunschwf dated 19Nov52.

Can you tell the destination from the address ?
Frau Hermann,
Pinasberg, 23
Hamburg 4.
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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by danyeung »

Nigel and Glen, thanks for your help :)

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by tacomabob »

I have a 2BERLIN notopfer stamp that is
perforated 14 x 14 but I don't find it listed
among the varieties per the Byrum catalog.
Does this get into the more specialize area?
Any ideas from anyone ?

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by europhil »

Comb perf 14 is usually very common, but depending on type
and watermark there are a few better varieties. A scan of
both sides would be useful.

Why would you use a 40 year old catalog when even Scott
has a simplified listing of these now? I haven't had occasion
to use Bynum in over 20 years and I couldn't even find them
when I looked in there.

Michel of course is the best readily available reference. An
even better one is Die Notopfer- und Wohnungsbaumarken
1948-1956
by Peter Harlos.

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by tacomabob »

Why would you use a 40 year old catalog

Possibly because I am over 80 years old ?

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by Machaggis52 »

tacomabob wrote:
Why would you use a 40 year old catalog

Possibly because I am over 80 years old ?
:D
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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by quicksingle »

Hi all,

Is there notopfer study group/society?

Because i find them very interesting.
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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by europhil »

There was a Notopfer Study Group in GPS, but it disbanded several
years ago when the leader gave up his collection.

BDPh still has an active study group (Arbeitsgemeinschaft) -
http://www.arbeitsgemeinschaft-notopfer-und-wohnungsbaumarken.de/

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by serenity »

Image
Would my perforations measure at 14 by 8 1/2? I apologize for not knowing correct measurments, but unfortunately I do not own the special ruler yet.~☮ :oops:
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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by fromdownunder »

Serenity, perforations are not measured by counting the number of holes in a stamp. They are measured by how many perforations there are every 2 cm.

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by serenity »

fromdownunder wrote:Serenity, perforations are not measured by counting the number of holes in a stamp. They are measured by how many perforations there are every 2 cm.

Norm
That makes a BIG difference
Wow you know how long I have thought it was by counting perfs!!! lol lol~and wondering why it never seemed quite right!! Thank you so much for clearing that up~ I learn by repetition, not so bad on my end mostly but for someone trying to teach me they tend to go through a little hell! ☮~Thanks again~☮
So the only way I will know my perf sizes in the future is to invest in supplies I should have purchased a long time ago :idea: :idea:
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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by fromdownunder »

serenity wrote:
fromdownunder wrote: Wow you know how long I have thought it was by counting perfs!!!
I suppose we should be thankful you did not try to measure the perfs using your method on this one:

Image

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by serenity »

Ok, so if I measure the perfs every 2 cm, do I measure the whole going in or the piece that sticks out? Thanks
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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by europhil »

Either way works.

One of my pet peeves is people not reading the Introduction to
their catalogs. They would be surprised at how much information
is there.

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by serenity »

Thank you europhil! :D
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Is this a stamp ?

Post by Girish Vaidya »

Found this while sorting the stamps-

Image

with another stamp for comparison of size-

Image

does not look like a stamp and is probably German, just curious to know what it is :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by Global Administrator »

The word "BERLIN" might be a clue perhaps? :lol: :lol:

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by Girish Vaidya »

Fantastic and instant information :) :)

Thanks a lot

we learn something everyday

and every stamp has a story and its own history :idea: :idea:

Thanks again

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by Chkpoint Charlie »

There is a new watermark variety listed in the latest Scott catalog. I have not seen it yet. Perhaps someone could post a copy of it.

I just went through my copies and enjoyed all the different varieties I came across. My stamp collecting friend is going through his copies and we came across two with a funny watermark, I am hoping these are the new variety! We both are enjoying the hunt and as you see the value is secondary by a large margin. :)

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Earlier in this thread these stamps were described as "Blue Fleas". There is also the "Yellow Flea" required during certain periods in the Wurttemberg Region of the French Zone:

Image

They also produced versions of the Berlin Tax stamp overprinted: "Wohnungsbauabgabe" ("House Building Delivery").
Great German word: "Zwangszuschlagsmarken"!

Image

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stam

Post by ligneN »

This translates to "Emergency Victims / 2 Berlin / Tax Stamp".

Notopfer here does not point to "victims", but to a: sacrifice or contribution.

It is the contribution of the stamp buyer/user to the emergency situation support.

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stamps?

Post by aerogi »

Scan_20210403 (4).jpg
I have just discovered I have this in my collection. Could anyone check what the catalogue value is of this particular overprinted issue?

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stamps?

Post by OldDuffer1 »

aerogi wrote:
03 Apr 2021 19:49
Image

I have just discovered I have this in my collection. Could anyone check what the catalogue value is of this particular overprinted issue?
See above for descriptions of these. Since this was an overprint on the Berlin Tax Stamp then theoretically there should be the same range of variations (although the imperf. version is much scarcer in the overprinted type).
Michel gives the cheapest used at €2.20 but varieties can go up to €1300! (Best to assume you have the commonest, unfortunately!)

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stamps?

Post by aerogi »

OldDuffer1 wrote:
03 Apr 2021 22:21
aerogi wrote:
03 Apr 2021 19:49
Image

I have just discovered I have this in my collection. Could anyone check what the catalogue value is of this particular overprinted issue?
See above for descriptions of these. Since this was an overprint on the Berlin Tax Stamp then theoretically there should be the same range of variations (although the imperf. version is much scarcer in the overprinted type).
Michel gives the cheapest used at €2.20 but varieties can go up to €1300! (Best to assume you have the commonest, unfortunately!)
Yeah, probably it will be a low value. It is with perf 12, so I would assume according to Colnect it is Mi:DE-BIZ Z3

You learn something everyday. I am going through a German collection I bought in the early 2000s, and there is a page with all these blue and yellow fleas. And the overprinted I only discovered today.

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stamps?

Post by aerogi »

Scan_20210403 (5).jpg
Scan_20210403 (6).jpg
Some yellow fleas variants.

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chaulkdust
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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stamps?

Post by chaulkdust »

Does reference book Die Notopfer- und Wohnungsbaumarken
1948-1956 by Peter Harlos also contain the various plate faults. Michel only covers the 1st 12 PF's.

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Rigasprat
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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stamps?

Post by Rigasprat »

This was sold lately
E104CF04-F306-4BB2-A96B-C84A95122500.jpeg

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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stamps?

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Rigasprat wrote:
19 Aug 2021 18:17
This was sold lately Image
"Vov"!

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Ulbert
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Re: Info on blue "2 Berlin" German Notopfer Steuermarke stamps?

Post by Ulbert »

Diese Diskussion ist sehr hilfreich. Ich habe vor etwa einem Jahr angefangen, Westdeutschland und Berlin zu sammeln und es macht mir wirklich Spaß. Ich habe zum Beispiel diese beiden Flöhe. Blau mit dem Datum des ersten Gültigkeitstages und Gelb, wo es wunderschön fehlt A . Sie werden mehr geschätzt als gewöhnliche Flöhe. Ich weiß, es ist eher eine Frage der Nachfrage, es gibt keinen Katalog. Vielen Dank.
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