A view of the Third Reich through the window of stamp collecting.
1934 Dienstmarken (Official Stamps)
On the 18th January 1934 the postal authorities issued a new official set for gouvernment use by the various departments of the State, (but not the NSDAP ).
The stamps were to be used only when the stocks of the old Weimar Republic official issue had been exhausted. It was very common to see both the old and the new issues used on the same covers. The stamps were printed on Swastika watermarked paper.
It took several months for some of these stamps to filter through to the various departmental offices, it is unknown at which date each stamp was first used for its intended purpose, however, they were on sale to philatelists from the 18th January 1934 in Berlin W30 and Munich 2.
The 1934 Airmail Set
A close up of this very attractive design
This issue was designed with foreigners in mind and these stamps were sent around the world in the latest German passenger aircraft and the most modern Zeppelins. The design shows a German eagle flying around the globe with a swastika sun. The stamps have swastika watermarks.
The issue date is given as 21st January 1934, although they were only on sale from the 22nd January at two philatelist counters, Berlin W30 and Munich 2. The post offices were required to sell the remaining stocks of the 1926/1927 airmail stamps first, before the new issue could be put on sale. The first of the new airmail stamps went on sale in the post offices from the 1st July 1934 and the rest of the set filtered through into normal use after that date.
These stamps were withdrawn from sale on the 31st December 1939.
30th January 1934. 1st Anniversary of Power Takeover
The Prepaid "stamp" on the postcard
The postcard went on sale on the 29th January 1934 for the first anniversary of the NSDAP coming to power. However, Hitler as Reichskanzler did not hold all the power, Hindenburg as Reichspräsident was still able to influence proceedings, or at least the people in his office could. Even the SA (as seen on this postcard) were still calling for a second revolution and depose the Reichswehr.
1st May 1934. National Labour Day (Commemorative Postcard)
The design on the postcard
On the 30th April 1934 a commemorative postcard went on sale in the post offices, for National Labour Day. German workers had been asking for this day as a national holiday for years, in 1934 Hitler granted it to them. The postcard was also to used as propaganda for the German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeits Front).
Also on this day German trade unions were banned, unless they went over to the German Labour Front (a body in which the workers had no say). Trade unionists were arrested and their funds given to the NSDAP.
30th June 1934. German Colonies 50th Anniversary
One of the major propaganda tools of the Nazis was the occupation of German colonies by the Allies after the First World War. The Allies countered this by saying that the Germans were unfit to run their own colonies. The NSDAP fought a major propaganda campaign during the 1930s to win back their colonies, including a propaganda film called "Carl Peters (1941)" which the Allies banned after the Second World War. The full length film can be found online.
The film poster Carl Peters (1941) Carl Peters featured on the 12 Rpf stamp
Here is a quote from Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, the commander of the German forces in German East Africa (1914-1918) from his 1957 book "Mein Leben" (Translation is my own): "In 1953 in Daressalam I wanted to greet my old Askari. At mid day I arrived in the local market place and I was surrounded by over 400 Askari, they had tears in their eyes and covered my hands in kisses. Around open campfires the Askari talked all through the night and they said that I had shaken the hand of every one of them, they said it is something that the English never did".
26th August 1934. Saar Vote Issue
In August 1934 the NSDAP started a campaign to win back the Saar, which was occupied by the French since the end of the First World War. A major part of this propaganda campaign was the issue of this set of stamps, to help focus public attention on the political question. A vote would be allowed and Germany would win back her Saar coalfields in the Saar. Coal that had been transported day and night to France since 1919.
1st September 1934. Stamp issue for the Nuremburg Rally
The 1934 Nuremburg Rally (5th to 10th September) was the first Rally to have a special stamp issue.
4th September 1934. Hindenburg Mourning Issue
Paul von Hindenburg passed away on the 2nd August 1934 and two days later the gouvernment and military leaders swore loyalty to Adolf Hitler and the powers of President and Kanzler were merged into the role of "Führer".
Six stamps and two official postal stationary postcards from the Hindenburg series were overprinted with a black border in mourning for Hindenburg. These stamps were valid until the 31st December 1935.
5th November 1934. The Schiller Birthday issue
The 175th Birthday of the writer Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805). Taken from a drawing by Professor Bauer, (watermarks Swastikas).
5th November 1934. Charity Issue
As in 1933, the year 1934 saw a winter charity issue. The theme being professional vocations. (watermark Swastikas). The set included nine stamps, a stamp booklet and an official stationary postcard.
29th December 1934. Winter Help Lottery Postcards
The design on the postcard
In December 1934 the German Postal Authorities issued 200 picture postcards, these were not available at the post office counter, but purchased on the street in an envelope for 50 Rpf. The postcards were printed in 100 pairs, not all postcards were pre-paid, most were left blank and a stamp was required to use them in the post. In general one postcard in every pair had a pre-paid "stamp", although a small amount were NEVER pre-paid.
All 200 postcards were valid until 31st December 1935
1934. Hindenburg Issue pneumatic post
Pneumatic post was delivered in a tube under compressed air and would reach its destination at high speeds. The postcards were placed in a metal container and then sent on its way. I have seen an example with cancellations to show thr trip took only 20 minutes! "Rohrpost" (Tubepost) existed within Germany at Berlin and Munich.
To give some sort of idea how rare these postcards are, an unused postcard is about 25 euros and a used one for Berlin can fetch up to 150 euro (Munich up to 1750 euro!).
German Police Post
We have often seen stamps with holes in them, these were used by various firms and departments to stop internal fraud. Stopping employees from using the stamps for private use. In this case we have "POL" and these Polizei (police authorities) were used all over Germany from 1926 to 1945 (some cases during the Allied Occupation too).
The example I have is on a Hindenburg Issue stamp, but they were on many of the stamp issues, this can make some more expensive than others and the "POL" can differ from city to city, this can effect the value for the philatelist too.
A stamp with "P.O.L." perforations
Another police item
"Lernt Deutschland Kennen!" (Get to know Germany)
The "Lernt Deutschland Kennen!" ( Learn to know Germany!) series ran into many hundreds of postcards, here I have added only two as examples, an early green one and a later brown issue.
The series ran until 1944 ( from 1941 with Hitler replacing Hindenburg).