Article (History Of Germany)
New page title
Article (History Of Germany)
Contact Us
Links (Auctions)
Links (Clubs)
Links (Collectors)
Links (Dealers)
Links ( Educational )
Links (First Day Covers)
Links (Miscellaneous)
Links (Museums-World)
Links (Newsgroups)
Links (Postal Authorities)
Links (Postal Related)
Links (Postal History)
Links (Publications)
Links (Resources)
Links (Services)
Links (Societies)
Links (Software)
Links (Stamp Shows)
Links (Topical)
Links (Trading)
New Issues (Caribean)
News Archive (Sep. 2002)
News Archive (Aug. 2002)
News Archive (Jul. 2002)
News Archive (Jun. 2002)
News Archive (May 2002)
News Archive (Apr. 2002)
News Archive (Mar. 2002)
News Archive (Feb. 2002)
News Archive (Jan. 2002)
News Archive (2001)
News Archive (1997)
Postal News
Reviews (Philatelic Bookshelf)
Reference(Stamp Identifier A)
Reference(Stamp Identifier B)
Reference(Stamp Identifier C)
Reference(Stamp Identifier D)
Referece(Stamp Identifier E)
Reference(Stamp Identifier F)
Reference(Stamp Identifier G)
Reference (Stamp Identifier H)
Reference (Stamp Identifier I)
Reference(Stamp Identifier J)
Reference(Stamp Identifier K)
Reference(Stamp Identifier L)
Reference(Stamp Identifier M)
Reference(Stamp Identifier N)
Reference(Stamp Identifier O)
Reference(Stamp Identifier P)
Reference(Stamp Identifier Q)
Reference(Stamp Identifier R)
Reference(Stamp Identifier S)
Reference(Stamp Identifier T)
Reference(Stamp Identifier U)
Reference(Stamp Identifier V)
Reference(Stamp Identifier W)
Reference(Stamp Identifier Y)
Reference(Stamp Identifier Z)
Reference(Stamp Identifier Indian Alphabet)
Reference(Stamp Identifier Greek Alphabet)
Washington 2006
Copyright / Diclaimer / Privacy Policy

A brief philatelic history of Germany

Horizontal Divider 1

Filed By: TheStampCollectress@Excite.Com ( Reporter)

Horizontal Divider 1


The first stamps of GERMANY after the unification were issued in January 1872. There were stamps issued from 1849 in Bavaria and then other German states right up to 1870, but they are before our present stock.

The first period is called Empire under Emperor Wilheim 1 and then in March 1888 was ruled by  Emperor Friedrich 111 and Emperor Wilheim 11 (June 1888) until 1918.   

Originally the stamps were issued in groschen and thaler currencies as well as kreuzer and gulden until 1875 when only pfennig and marks were used. 

In the 1920's Europe was engulfed in a wave of military nationalism when in 1922 Mussolini established the first Fascist dictatorship. The word Fascist  is taken from the Ancient roman word Fasces, which was the name of the bundle of rods with an axe in the middle. The Fasces was carried by the lictors (officers executing sentence on offenders) before the chief magistrates as symbols of their authority over life and limb. This was followed by Turkey [1922], Poland [1926], Portugal [1926], Yugoslavia [1929], Germany [1933], Austria [1933], Bulgaria [1934], Estonia+Lettland [1934], Lithuania [1936], Spain [1936], Greece [1936], and Rumania [1938].


     Wilheim II


After the First World War the Weimar Republic period starts issuing 


President von Hindenburg

stamps from May 1919 and continues until January 1933. The peace treaty of Versailles in 1919 made Germany and its allies pay high reparations for damaged caused in World War 1 and Germany had to surrender large parts of its country. Areas like West Prussia, North Slesvig, Danzig, Eupen+Malmedy and Memel among others were lost. During this post WW1 period, the value of the German mark steadily deteriorated and faced with budgetary deficits, governments followed a practice of issuing more money to meet its expenses. During 1922 the value of the mark against U.S.$ fell from 162 marks to more than 7,000 marks. Where as before 1914 the rate had been 4.2 marks to the dollar. On April 27, 1921 the Allied Reparation Commission fixed the total War Reparation to be paid at 132,000,000,000 gold marks, and this led to the current government to resign. This of course led to further problems and a further occupation of German lands followed. This occupation vastly worsened the economic situation. As a result of this and a plebiscite and the League of Nations ruling that by July 1, 1923 the mark had fallen to 160,000 to the U.S.$ . By November 20, 1923 it was down to 4,200,000,000,000 to the dollar. Barter was the order of the day and food riots broke out. Finally on December 1, 1923 the mark was revalued at 1,000,000,000,000 [billion] [or North American 1 trillion] to 1 new mark.

The German president operated the government by emergency decree from 1930 with chancellor Bruning [1930-1932] followed by von Papen and then Kurt von Schleicher. A very traumatic period this, with raging inflation and high unemployment which led to the forming of the Third Reich. (January 1933 - May 1945). 

In 1933 Hitler became chancellor with the help of a very old president von Hindenburg and ex chancellor von Papen..........a few months later he declared himself dictator of Germany and banned all political parties except for his own NSDAP. Germany rebuild its roads and unified its labour unions and reduced unemployment as well as reforming the army.

In 1936 Germany formed a military alliance with Italy which was called the Rome-Berlin Axis and later on in 1940 this was extended to include Japan.

On the 12th of March 1938 troops invaded Austria and met no opposition and the next day the proclamation of the union of Germany and Austria was made. In March 1939 Germany broke the Munich Pact and occupied the Czech part of Czechoslovakia and so forming the protectorate Bohmen+Mahren. On the morning of the 1st of September 1939 the invasion of Poland began, without any declaration of war and then after three days World War II had begun......

Spring 1940 saw the invasion of Denmark and Norway and later in May the neutral countries of Holland, Luxembourg and Belgium were invaded as well as France.  


The influence of GERMAN stamps is wide spread, with issues in Africa, the Far East, and the Pacific. As well as occupied areas during the First and Second World Wars. This makes Germany one of the most interesting areas of philatelic interest and study.Click on stamp to view 

After the second World War, Germany was divided into four zones of occupation and the Allied Military Post and the American, British, French, and Russian Zones were set up with their own stamp issues. The Anglo-American zones used the same stamps. The French zone issued a general set of stamps and then split issues into the territories of Baden, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Wurtemberg. The Russian zone issues were from 1945-46 for six different provincial administrations, and then used the general issues [see the Anglo-American stamps] until re-valuation of currency in June 1949. Stamps in use were then a separate issue until the German Democratic Republic was formed. In 1949 the German Democratic Republic (D.D.R.) and the German Federal Republic (West Germany) was formed and started to issue stamps in October and September 1949 respectively. West Berlin comprising of the British, American and French zones also started to issue it's own stamps which were West German stamps with the word Berlin added to the text.

On the re-unification of Germany on the 3rd of October 1990 the Berlin wall separating East and West Berlin was pulled down and the last stamps issued by the D.D.R. were in October of that year, and Berlin issues on the 27th September 1990 when East Germany was re-united with the Western area. From April 1995 all stamp issues replace the Deutsche Bundespost inscription with Deutschland, the first change since 1950.The next major change will be on the 1st January 2002 when the Euro will become the main currency in Europe.

This all makes for a varied and interesting area of stamp collecting and one that is both fascinating and rewarding for the collector. Besides the normal issues there are charity stamps, official and military field post, overprints, inflation, occupied areas, varieties, propaganda and overseas usage.    


Album Publishing Co., Inc. has the largest stock of German Philatelic reference books in the U.S., with many in English. From Old German States to modern, forgeries to varieties, and even English translations of sections of the Michel Specialized Germany Catalogue, we are likely to have what you are looking for.
Germany Philately Society
The Zeppelin Study Group of the Germany & Colonies Philatelic Society 
See 'Bonhams'- On 1st November 2001 a merger took place between Phillips Auctioneers and Bonhams and Brooks. We are therefore trading as 'Bonhams'. The merger has only brought about a change in name; the Stamp Department at 101 New Bond Street will continue to provide the same high standard of service.
Bonhams Auctioneers conducts frequent Stamp auctions containing material of interest to collectors of Germany. All our catalogues can be found, once published, on our web-site  .For further information regarding buying and selling at Bonhams please contact Stuart Billington at 101 New Bond Street, London, W1S 1SR. tel 0207 468 8373 or e-mail . 
Peter Richardson: specialist German dealer - covering all aspects of German philately from pre-stamp to current issues. Stock includes stamps, covers, booklets, mini-sheets, FDC/ETBs, postal stationery, postcards, propaganda cards, Nazi era documents and ephemera and more.


Many areas of German philately have links with Russian philately. The Worldwide Society of Russian Philately is an excellent Internet society for the study of postage stamps, postal history, postal stationery, revenue and cinderella stamps of Russia and related areas. You can go direct to their "Display Room if you have any questions which Russian collectors worldwide may be able to help you with. 
The Czechoslovak Philatelic Society of Great Britain. The society is devoted to all aspects of Czech philately, including the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. Along with an award-winning, quarterly journal - Czechout -  the society publishes a number of monographs containing much original research. Regular meetings are organised around the country. Auctions are held containing high-quality material and a packet circuit is in operation.