Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/periods

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Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/periods

Post by gavin-h »

MODERATOR COMMENT:

Two threads have been merged to expand the scope to include all examples of Postal / Philatelic war, known in German as "Postkrieg". So far (as at June 2016), we have examples from West to East Germany, Rhodesia (UDI Period) to UK and Israel to Romania. There must be more out there, so please feel free to add examples here - good scans and commentaries appreciated


I recall some recent discussions on another thread that touched on this issue, so I thought I'd start this one here...

Throughout the "Cold War" period, when East Germany (DDR) received mail from West Germany (Federal Republic) bearing certain stamps or postmarks which they objected to for political reasons, they defaced or obliterated the "offending" items and returned them to the sender.

On 28 July 1965, West Germany issued a 20pfg stamp to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the influx of Refugees from the East, ie fleeing the Soviet Russian advance into Germany:

Image

This stamp was immediately deemed unacceptable in East Germany and any mail bearing with it was treated in the following way:

Image

This cover was posted in Lemwerder, West Germany on the first day of issue and addressed to a Herr Alfred Klabes in Frankfurt an der Oder (East Germany).

The cover was intercepted by the DDR authorities, the stamp obliterated and a cachet "Zurueck" (= "back" or "Return") applied.

Image

Other cachets on the reverse endorse the cover "Street in Frankfurt Unknown, Receiver Cannot be Found", and "Attempt Unsuccessful"

The sender is identified as "M Klabes", presumably a relative of the intended recipient, and I'd guess, someone who knew the likely outcome (a similar stamp 10 years earlier had met with the same response from DDR).
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Re: Philatelic War

Post by muruk »

I lost a set of great grand-parents in the event that this stamp commemorated. They just disappeared into the winter driven by the Russian military.

From the 1950s till the wall came down I was able to correspond from Australia with relatives and other individuals in what you call East Germany, whereas mail between East and West (in either direction) just disappeared.
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Re: Philatelic War

Post by norvic »

The 2 August 2010 issue of Linn's Stamp News has an article on this War and also shows the similar treatment of the 1953 Prisoner of War stamp, Scott 697.
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Re: Philatelic War

Post by Global Administrator »

Amazing cover Gavin.
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Re: Philatelic War

Post by DRC81 »

norvic wrote:The 2 August 2010 issue of Linn's Stamp News has an article on this War and also shows the similar treatment of the 1953 Prisoner of War stamp, Scott 697.
I had not noticed Ian's comment when I first read this thread this morning. Imagine my shock when I turned to Linn's and saw this very topic being covered.
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Re: Philatelic War Between East and West Germany

Post by europhil »

The "Bible" on this subject is "Postkrieg Spezialkatalog" by Dedo Burhop.
The latest edition is the 6th from 1996, available from http://www.philabooks.com/

I have the 3rd edition -
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Re: Philatelic War Between East and West Germany

Post by gavin-h »

Jay - thanks for the link, I'll investigate that one later...

Now, if anyone has a scan of the Linns article (hint, hint...)

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Re: Philatelic War Between East and West Germany

Post by norvic »

gavin-h wrote:Jay - thanks for the link, I'll investigate that one later...

Now, if anyone has a scan of the Linns article (hint, hint...)
Comes on subscription online - and is copyrighted of course. Wouldn't want to risk losing the right to read :wink:
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Re: Philatelic War Between East and West Germany

Post by gavin-h »

Ian,

Of course - I was asking the question re a viewing a sample for private use, not suggesting any kind of public breach of copyright. :oops:

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"Postkrieg"- British Style!

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Those Members with an interest in post WWII Germany will be familiar with the "postkrieg" (postal war) which went on between the Western Sectors, (and later W. Germany) , and the Soviet, (and later the DDR and other Eastern Block countries), from around 1948 well into the 70s. This involved non recognition of stamps, obliterations etc.

Other areas of conflict have, however, also led to postal wars. Here is an example of a cover from Rhodesia during the UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence) period:

Image

SG441,443 (1970) and a nice collection of GB Postage Due stamps! Note the lack of a "Queen's Head" on the Rhodesia stamps.

Amusingly my old (1977) SG British Commonwealth , although listing these issues, does not give values- presumably because they were still not recognised?
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Re: "Postkrieg"- British Style!

Post by gavin-h »

Interesting cover - you don't see many of those around!
OldDuffer1 wrote:Amusingly my old (1977) SG British Commonwealth , although listing these issues, does not give values- presumably because they were still not recognised?
Precisely that reason - I seem to recall at one time there was a statement about trade embargos or something in the catalogues.

I remember being given some of these stamps (sadly not on cover) by a friend of my Grandma and being very frustrated to find no price in the catalogue (I was probably only 8 or 9 at the time...).

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Re: "Postkrieg"- British Style!

Post by aethelwulf »

OldDuffer1 wrote:Amusingly my old (1977) SG British Commonwealth , although listing these issues, does not give values- presumably because they were still not recognised?
This is the policy for Scott as well. They always kept up the listings for Cuba et al, but just left the value columns blank. Since it was theoretically illegal for Americans to own the stamps, then it shouldn't be possible to put a value on them.
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Re: "Postkrieg"- British Style!

Post by Eli »

OldDuffer1,

Very nice postal history cover and thanks for the story behind it, which is for me new one. I hope this is the correct place to bring another "postal war" and example non recognition of stamps from other area:

Year 1960 was declared by the UN as "year of the refugees". Many countries issued stamps to publicize the year. Israel issued two stamps, one depicting Jewish Yemenite refugees arriving to Israel on a flying carpet. The second depicting Jewish Yemenite refugee family building their new home on the land of Israel. You can see the stamps here. These stamps were not recognized by several of the Eastern European Communist countries like Romania and DDR that then supported Arab countries. Here is a piece :mrgreen: of a cover sent from Israel to Romania franked with year of the refugee stamp. It was returned with the mark says that the stamps are not accepted.

Image
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Re: "Postkrieg"- British Style!

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Thanks for contributions, gavin-h, aethelwulf and Eli; I would love to see other (i.e. non-Germany) examples such as you showed us, Eli.
Burhop: Postkrieg Handbuch Spezialkatalog does give examples of Israel- Poland,DDR,Romania and USSR from 1967-1972 - I can't make out the date on your example, however.

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Re: "Postkrieg"- British Style!

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Gavin-h did start a thread, back in 2010, on the postkrieg between W. and E. Germany etc. but it didn't seem to get very far, for some reason.
"Philatelic War Between East and West Germany":

Now merged with this thread and re-titled!

I have a, far from complete, collection of examples myself and could add them to that thread, if anyone was interested. Some of them have already appeared here and there on these Boards.
Of course, sadly, we no longer have europhil to keep us straight on these matters.

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Re: "Postkrieg"- British Style!

Post by Eli »

OldDuffer1,

Thanks for your response. The date on the Israeli cover is April 28, 1960 (1960 is not visible, but the Hebrew date in equal to 1960). I just want to add that others "1960 Year of the Refuges" stamps, like those of West Germany (depicting refugees walking from East to West) and Austria, were not recognized by several of Eastern European communist countries.
OldDuffer1 wrote:I would love to see other (i.e. non-Germany) examples such as you showed us, Eli.

Burhop: Postkrieg Handbuch Spezialkatalog does give examples of Israel- Poland,DDR,Romania and USSR from 1967-1972 - I can't make out the date on your example, however.
Here is one example from Israel from 1967. Six Days War was fought between June 5-10, 1967 by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Iraq. War started after Egypt blocked the straits of Tiran (Hence blocked Israel way to the far East), moved its army toward the Israeli borders and signed military treaty with Jordan. After the war, on august 16, 1967, Israel issued a set of three stamps called "Victory Stamps" depicting IDF arms, straits of Tiran (don't have it) and the Western Wall in Jerusalem:

Image

This set was not recognized by several Eastern European countries. DDR used to returned covers franked with this stamps in addition to announcement says that according to UPU rules, it is forbidden to use propaganda stamps against the peacekeeping:

Non admis - Art 21 & 1 lettre d) de la Convention de l'UPU - propaganda sur timbres-poste dirigée contre le maintien de la paix
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Re: "Postkrieg"- British Style!

Post by The Pom »

gavin-h wrote:Interesting cover - you don't see many of those around!
OldDuffer1 wrote:Amusingly my old (1977) SG British Commonwealth , although listing these issues, does not give values- presumably because they were still not recognised?
Precisely that reason - I seem to recall at one time there was a statement about trade embargos or something in the catalogues.
My recollection, though it may be wrong, is that the stamps weren't listed/priced because of this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodesia%27s_Unilateral_Declaration_of_Independence


I believe that because of UDI, the stamps were not recognised as legitimate/official Commonwealth issues.
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Re: "Postkrieg"- British Style!

Post by gavin-h »

OldDuffer1 wrote:Gavin-h did start a thread, back in 2010, on the postkrieg between W. and E. Germany etc. but it didn't seem to get very far, for some reason.
"Philatelic War Between East and West Germany":
http://stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=19477
I have a, far from complete, collection of examples myself and could add them to that thread, if anyone was interested. Some of them have already appeared here and there on these Boards.
Of course, sadly, we no longer have europhil to keep us straight on these matters.
I think maybe that thread was too narrowly focussed, looking at a specific example.

Maybe a better way forward would be to have a single thread "Postal War / Postkrieg - all areas, all periods" and see what we get.

If you like, I could use my "moderator superpowers" to merge my thread and this one of yours, and amend the title accordingly. Let me know what you think - I don't want to just do it if you'd prefer another way...

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Re: "Postkrieg"- British Style!

Post by OldDuffer1 »

That would be fine by me, gavin-h, although my contributions would have to be added at the end of a long list of "to do" just now!

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Re: "Postkrieg"- British Style!

Post by gavin-h »

OldDuffer1 wrote:That would be fine by me, gavin-h, although my contributions would have to be added at the end of a long list of "to do" just now!
Threads now merged - hopefully others will also add examples and keep things going... :idea: :idea: :idea:

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: all areas, all periods - show us y

Post by Eli »

OldDuffer1 and gavin-h,

Good idea to merge the two thread to one and thanks for that. may I suggest to further expand the title of this thread to something like "Stamps and Politics"? I mean a thread that members can show different items beside unrecognized stamps, like: stamps that caused dispute between countries, withdrawn stamps due to political reasons, changing stamp designs for propaganda (like Nazi Germany changed GB stamp designs to use for their propaganda), etc. I think that expanding the subject will give opportunities to many members to participate in this thread and show their items. I personally can contribute about two or three posts to such expanded thread.

Regards, Eli

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by gavin-h »

Good idea, Eli.

Heading amended accordingly - looking forward to seeing some more examples...

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Re: "Postkrieg"- British Style!

Post by Armarantine78 »

The Pom wrote:
gavin-h wrote:Interesting cover - you don't see many of those around!
OldDuffer1 wrote:Amusingly my old (1977) SG British Commonwealth , although listing these issues, does not give values- presumably because they were still not recognised?
Precisely that reason - I seem to recall at one time there was a statement about trade embargos or something in the catalogues.
My recollection, though it may be wrong, is that the stamps weren't listed/priced because of this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodesia%27s_Unilateral_Declaration_of_Independence


I believe that because of UDI, the stamps were not recognised as legitimate/official Commonwealth issues.
Yep - due to UDI, they were declared illegal (except in Zambia, from memory). I also believe that it was Britain that led this campaign and they weren't actually illegal...technically.

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Here is a card from Nazi Germany times, recently offered on eBay.de. I imagine it translates as "Not worth a penny!"
Of course, unfortunately, this was presumably also also literally true so attracted “Nachgebühr” (Postage Due)!

Image

Image
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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by killmenow »

Great thread. I had a huge collection of the postkrieg between Rhodesia and England and Arab countries and Israel and eastern bloc countries and Israel. Still have a few covers. Will add mine to the thread

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by killmenow »

This is a full cover of they type that Eli posted. It was from a letter sent from Israel to Romania but returned to sender because of the use of the Word Refugee Year stamps

Image

Lawrence
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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Nice cover, killmenow, - what a crazy World!

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by killmenow »

This is from after the 1967 war.

Image

Strange propaganda, a stamp depicting the Western Wall or Wailing Wall

Lawrence
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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Strange indeed. Too religious for the communists? Then that would have ruled out hundreds of stamps! Or just objecting to anything from Israel?
To emphasise the point here is the 1982 DDR issue: "Solidarity with Palestine" which I just happen to have in my collection!

Image
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and FDC

Image

I guess you could consider this political?
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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by killmenow »

My main collection is Arab Propaganda. It started off with the Arab Postkrieg.

Lawrence

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by Eli »

OldDuffer1 wrote:Strange indeed. Too religious for the communists? Then that would have ruled out hundreds of stamps! Or just objecting to anything from Israel?
OldDuffer,

I have already written the reason why DDR objected this stamp (The Western Wall stamp that Killmenow posted above on a cover sent to DDR). You can read it here: Israel Victory Stamps.


Thanks for posting the DDR stamp. In year 1980, Bangladesh issued a stamp with the description "We salute the valiant freedom fighters of Palestine". The stamp was withdrawn several hours after it was issued since the Arabic word "mukatelin" which means "killers", was printed on the stamp, rather than the word "mujahedin", meaning "warriors". The mistake was noticed by the Islamic Foundation, a government organization, after the stamps arrived from the Russian printer. This stamp became relatively rare:

Image

To read more on this stamp (please, scroll down):

https://www.rhcourtney-collector.com/Bangladeshcatalog92.html
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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by killmenow »

Eli

I think these stamps were reprinted as they are no longer so rare.

Lawrence

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Unfortunately for us the "misprint" is becoming more and more true! (Too political?)

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by billw2 »

OldDuffer1 wrote:Strange indeed. Too religious for the communists? Then that would have ruled out hundreds of stamps! Or just objecting to anything from Israel?
To emphasise the point here is the 1982 DDR issue: "Solidarity with Palestine" which I just happen to have in my collection!

Image
Mi2743
and FDC

Image

I guess you could consider this political?
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend".

Israel is closely allied with the USA, hence the DDR was going to support Israel's enemies.
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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by BrieffiesWF »

Recently three specialized Postkrieg collectors, Jan Heijs, Wolfgang Elsner and Dieter Becker, launched this great website http://postalwar.info/index.php. It includes a forum, where you could pose your questions and you're able to buy the book Postkriegs-Spezialkatalog/Catalogue of Postal War 1870-2008., which was revised and translated to English by Heijs in 2011. Furthermore, you can consult multiply articles and browse through many (newly discovered) postal wars.

http://postalwar.info/index.php. is updated on a very regular basis, so it proves to be a great source!
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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Thanks, BrieffiesWF, for that useful and interesting link. Hopefully I will be able to post my small collection in the not too distant future.
A fascinating area of study illustrating the stupidity of mankind!

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by BrieffiesWF »

OldDuffer1 wrote:Thanks, BrieffiesWF, for that useful and interesting link. Hopefully I will be able to post my small collection in the not too distant future.
A fascinating area of study illustrating the stupidity of mankind!
You're welcome!
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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by Machaggis52 »

killmenow wrote:This is from after the 1967 war.

Image

Strange propaganda, a stamp depicting the Western Wall or Wailing Wall

Lawrence
Petty revenge. The combined Arab forces were defeated by Israel, so 'revenge' was sought in other ways.

I was 15 at the time, and quite distraught that I couldn't go and fight for what I always regard as my spiritual homeland.
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With kind regards, Jim

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Post by OldDuffer1 »

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by OldDuffer1 »

A very unusual item, just obtained from Brazil:

Image

Dated 1987, it has been returned from USSR with this notice attached:

Image

This reads: "Retour interdit timbres-poste" (quite usual for these notices to be in French).

They have also tied it up with string with a metal seal attached:

Image

Seal has a star and "U.R.S.S"?

Since the reason for return is quite obscure I will leave it as a little puzzle (no prizes!).

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Since there have been no takers I will give a clue- we think it is the lady with the crown.

By the way managed to work out seal says "URSS MOSKVA" (Not very surprising- so presumably never got further than Moscow?).

There is also a piece of what looks like a form in Russian script attached and signs that a sealing tape may have been applied.

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by mpstamps »

Hello together,

Has anybody infos on this cover and the slogan cancel? Could not find many on the web.

On the back of the cover is a handwritten marking, that the recipient is unknown.

Thanks for your help.

Best wishes

Manuel



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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Yes, mpstamps. This was quite a common reaction during the period by the West Berlin authorities to suggestions that Berlin was the capital of the DDR.

The red notice reads: "Berlin Hauptstadt Deutschlands- Nicht Der Sowjetzone" - "Berlin Capital of Germany- not of the Soviet Zone". The item was then returned to sender.

Quite insulting, I suppose, since the DDR was formed in 1949!

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by mpstamps »

Thanks for info. I guess this cover was philatelic inspired :-) But do you know is this slogan cancel common or has the cover some value?

Best wishes

Manuel

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by norvic »

OldDuffer1 wrote:A very unusual item, just obtained from Brazil:

Image

Dated 1987, it has been returned from USSR with this notice attached:

Image

This reads: "Retour interdit timbres-poste" (quite usual for these notices to be in French).

Since the reason for return is quite obscure I will leave it as a little puzzle (no prizes!).
The USSR (and most East European countries) forbade the sending of postage stamps mint or used direct to collectors. They could only be exchanged via the State exchange office. Any stamps sent this way were liable to be (a) returned (b) destroyed (c) taken by the SEO while the letter devoid of any collectables was sent on to the addressee.

On the break-up of the USSR there were no equivalent organisations in the 14 new republics. When Royal Mail International (RMI) division revised its International Manual, the wording previously contained in the USSR entry was copied word-for-word to the 15 new entries (Russian Federation replacing the USSR, plus the other 14). At the same time exchanges were taking place quite openly with Ukraine, Russian Federation, and one of the central asia 'stans', I can't remember now which it was. By discussion with RMI I gradually had the UK rules on prohibited items changed.

One of the drawbacks of the old rules was that if you sent a registered letter and it was not delivered (ie assumed lost) there was no payout because the contents were prohibited. This was still the case with items I 'lost' in the mid-90s so I stopped doing exchanges.

Edit: Unless there is another explanation, I don't think this piece qualifies as a Postal War cover within the meaning of this thread.
Ian Billings - Norvic Philatelics GB stamps info: https://blog.norphil.co.uk, NPhilatelics on twitter, www norphil.co.uk, shop.norphil.co.uk for our e-commerce site [currently closed for the duration]

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by OldDuffer1 »

You may well be right, norvic. I was completely unaware of these restrictions.
The cancellation suggests it came from an "Agencia Filatelica" so possibly contained stamps.

It seems strange considering the USSR was very much into philately and even encouraged it it several ways.

I like to think that it was the stamps showing "Our Lady of Fatima" who was supposed to have been seen in various visions and was connected with the idea that if Russia was "consecrated" then this would lead to world peace in some way. Apparently even the Orthodox Church objected to this and obviously the Communist state as well.

Certainly the notice is similar to others I have seen objecting to stamps on a cover. (Although the Russians were in the habit of ripping the stamps off they objected to and putting a notice on that the stamps had "fallen off"!).

However, probably your more prosaic explanation may be the correct one. I would still see this as a form of "postkrieg" , however, since presumably the regulations were there to provided political control, and not just for financial reasons?

Have you seen any similar covers?

mpstamps, covers of this type are quite commonly seen and can usually be picked up for a few Euros- it must have happened very frequently!

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by Wolfgang »

Something from Papua New Guinea:

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Papua New Guinea stamps and postal history: https://www.i-ng.org
I am always interested in buying commercial mail from PNG.

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Yes, Wolfgang. Not quite Postal War but postal problems due to war!
(Could be a whole new thread).

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Re: Postal War/Postkrieg: Stamps and Politics. All areas/per

Post by honza »

Ahoj everyone!

Vaguely connected to this thread, I imported a blue SG part 3 catalogue America, Asia & Africa into Libya in 1969 and the Israel pages had all been removed. I think this was before Gaddafi during the reign of King Idris.

Cheers,

Honza

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Re: Philatelic War

Post by AdmiralCollector »

norvic wrote:
10 Aug 2010 02:27
The 2 August 2010 issue of Linn's Stamp News has an article on this War and also shows the similar treatment of the 1953 Prisoner of War stamp, Scott 697.
Well, after almost a decade, I am able to show a post card with the 1953 Prisoner of War stamp that received the same treatment.

The stamp:

Issued in 1953 by West Germany, it pictures a man behind barbed wire with the inscription "Gedenket unserer Gefangenen" -- which translates as "Remember our Prisoners." The stamp offended the USSR (and thereby also East Germany) by honoring captured German soldiers who had fought for Nazi Germany in World War II, many of whom were still in Russian prison camps across Siberia.
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DSCN1844.jpg
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The post card:

This post card was mailed from Konstanz (West Germany) to Eisenach (East Germany) and thus became part of the Postkrieg that went off and on from 1948 to the early 1970s. Unlike the cover that started this thread, this post card shows no sign of being returned to the sender probably because there is not return address on it.
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DSCN1842.jpg
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DSCN1843.jpg

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