Die hier gezeigten Abzeichen sind zu edukativen Zwecken dargestellt, aus diesem Grund sind sie nicht abgedeckt. Weiterhin möchte ich auf den folgenden Discliamer aufmerksam machen:
Disclaimer: Die hier gezeigten Abbildungen aus der Zeit des "Dritten Reiches", u.a. mit dem damals obligatorischen "Hakenkreuz", dienen der Berichterstattung über Vorgänge des Zeitgeschehens, der staatsbürgerlichen Aufklärung sowie Forschung und Lehre (§ 86a, 86 StGB)
From all the occupation areas in World War 2, when one considers collecting Third Reich stamps, none are more interesting than that of the Eastern Front 1941/45
22nd June 1941 and the German forces cross the border, and the Soviets carry out a scorched earth policy that leaves all public and municipal buildings, and many private homes, destroyed. Nothing is allowed to fall into German hands intact. With all the horror of total war in the east, let us concern ourselves with the postal system.
With the complete destruction of the Soviet infrastructure and every post office destroyed and most of the supply of stamps and postal equipment in flames. The Reichspost entered Russia, and found a postal wilderness. There was simply nothing anymore, it all had to be built from scratch.
The NKVD were not so successful in the Baltic States however, in fact they were lucky to escape with their lives. The states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia had been occupied by the Soviets for less than a year, they struck out against their former masters and fought to save their lands and homes. They saw the Germans as liberators and as a result the postal system, far from being destroyed, was in full working order.The first thing that the Reichspost did was to allow the use of all German stamps in the rear areas, this included ordinary postage stamps, Official stamps and the NSDAP Party issue. The postal rates remained the same as in Germany, for example, a letter could have been sent from say Minsk to Düsseldorf for just 12 Rpf. When looking at ordinary Third Reich stamps, take a look at the postmark, you may get a surprise.
Lithuania was the first area in the east to issue its own stamps, 23rd June 1941, they were Soviet stamps with the name "LIETUVA" and the date of liberation.
The southern area of the country issued its own stamps on 16th July 1941 with the overprint "VILNUS". Some other towns issed their own stamps with their town names, but in some cases only numbered a few dozen stamps, so were not widely used.
Latvia issued Soviet stamps with the overprint "LATIJA", with the date of liberation 1st July 1941, this was a set of six stamps which came on sale on the 17th July 1941 onwards. The issue was valid for the whole of Latvia, there being no local town issues.
Estonia issued Soviet stamps with the overprint "Eesti post", but these were only issued in very small numbers and withdrawn soon after issue.
The first issue for the whole of Estonia were three stamps which came on sale 7th August 1941, with both the Estonian and German spelling of Estonia and emblems on the design.
An issue for Pernau came on sale in August 41, but was soon withdrawn. A second version (overprint different) was put on sale in September, but had no postal value, being solely for stamp collectors.
An interesting set was put on sale in September 41, showing views of Estonia, issued to raise funds for Estonia´s rebuilding programme, they remained valid until March 1942 and could be mixed with the German "OSTLAND" issue.
FIELD COMMANDANT OF PLESKAU 1941-1942
The Commandant of Pleskau (Northern Front), unable to get a supply of stamps for the town, issued both German and Soviet stamps with the overprint "PLESKAU". When the Reichspost head office in Berlin found out that German stamps had been illegally overprinted, the issue was withdrawn, but a number had already gone through the post.
The Field Commandant ordered the printing of local stamps for Pleskau, they went on sale in October 1941, and were again issued in March 1942 with the colours changed. The money made on the sale of the stamps went to the local Pleskau Kindergarten. All Pleskau stamps became invalid when German "OSTLAND" stamps were issued in May 1942. This postcard is addessed to the local Job Center.
OTHER LOCAL ISSUES 1941/1942
December 1941 the district of Ljady ( Leningrad Front), issued 1Rfg "OSTLAND" stamps with an overprint, for use in a an area where normal postal service was not possible due to partisans.
Soviet stamps overprinted with a new value for use in LUGA are also known to exist. (Leningrad Front 1941).
"ALEX" Alexanderstadt 1941 (Ukraine)
Sarny 1941 (Ukraine)
Another version for Sarny Ukraine, printed on thin cardboard.
Wosnessensk Ukraine 1941.
In the Ukraine, the local issues put on sale for Alexanderstadt, Sarny and Wosnessensk, were all replaced by the German "UKRAINE" issue by June 1942.
The Dienstpost was run by German postal officials and dealt with all post which did not come under the military Field Post system in the occupied areas. Normally the Dienstpost was for German civilians who worked in German occupied countries, although soldiers could use it as well. Sometimes the Dienstpost office would be in the same building as the FELDPOST, and in some cases even on the same postal counter.
The reason for "Dienstpost" in World War Two was for a secure way to get post to Germany (or to another country under German control ), unlike the local postal service which ran the risk of being intercepted and opened by partisan bands. Infact in many areas, local people in occupied countries were forbidden to use the Dienstpost system, it being reserved for German Nationals, or foreigners in German service. Dienstpost could use all German stamps, and can only be identified by the Dienstpost cancellation.
Third Reich stamps (Hitler series) were issued from November 1941 with the overprint "OSTLAND", Thes stamps were on sale in all post offices in the German run Reichskommissariat Ostland.
There were also "OSTLAND" pre-paid postcards and stamp machines in larger cities like Riga, with 4 Rfg and 6 Rfg stamp rolls.
In January 1942 a set of four postcards were issued in Germany, and were also on sale in Russia with the overprint "OSTLAND". If the cancel was KAUEN, RIGA or DORPAT, then the chances are that they were cancelled in Berlin-Charlottenburg 9., which was the stamp collectors counter in Berlin. (Three are shown here).
Similar to the Ostland stamps and pre-paid postcards, were also issued in the Ukraine, although with no stamp machine rolls. With the overprint "UKRAINE".
A letter addressed to a Labour Office, genuine letters that went through the postal system are considered rare.
A set of four postcards overprinted "UKRAINE" went on sale in January 1942. If cancelled ROWNO, it may well be from the collectors counter in Berlin.
UKRAINE HILFSPOST 1944
When the Dienstpost evacuated the Ukraine in Spring 1944, a Hilfspost was set up to cover any futher postal activity before the area was evacuated. Some times this "post help" was only active for a few weeks or even days, before further postal activity became impossible.
Part of a general issue for the Ukraine after the Dienstpost had been evacuated.
An example of the local issues for the northern Ukraine, some were only on sale for a few days or hours before the Russians liberated the cities and towns.
Local issue for the Gorochow area, most of the area illustrated on the map in the stamp had already fallen before the stamp made it to the post offices.
These two stamps exist in small numbers but were never issued as the Ukraine had been liberated before they could be delivered.
In October 1944 Kurland (northern Latvia) became cut off from the rest of the eastern front and resupply was almost impossible. After a while postal material was running low and the stamps in every day use, could no longer be supplied. There was however a supply of the values seldom used, and these would replace the 6 Rfg stamps which had run out. ( 6 Rfg was the postcard rate). stamps of 5 Rfg, 10 Rfg and 20 Rfg were overprinted "KURLAND 6 (Rfg)". The 12 Rfg stamps used for 20g letters had also run out, and these were replaced by FELDPOST parcel stamps, overprinted "KURLAND 12 (Rfg)". All of these stamps were put on sale on the 20th April 1945.
LATVIAN LEGION STAMPS
This is a picture taken from an old magazine showing the proofs for a Latvian Legion issue, which may never have been printed.
Vlassov Army Stamps
The Vlassov Army which fought on the German side, issued its own stamps, three of them are shown here.
This has been a short look at the German occupation of Russia through the window of philately, I hope you have found it interesting. I have left out lots of local issues and pre-paid postcards, which will have to be covered at a later date.