REICH "PEOPLE'S ARMY" PROOF DESIGN
every so often I will put out a new article relating to Axis and
Legion Postal History or Military Awards. This featured article
is about the Party semi-postal stamps, enjoy!
semi-postal stamp shown above with postmark was a proof design
for the mobilization of the Home Guard.
This semi-postal was probably
one of a set of five stamps that commemorated the party formations,
which were the the Volksturm, SA, Waffen-SS, NSKK and NSFK. The
NSKK and NSFK Party issues were designed and prepared for printing
when the war ended.
The Volksturm stamp depicts three different
party members uniting under one flag. Based on the figures on
the stamp one might assume that the design was commemorating the
"Volksturm" (People's Army).
The wounded man with the head bandaged
is wearing an SA uniform and is carrying the anti-tank weapon
or commonly referred by the Germans as the "Panzerfaust."
youngster in the center is a member of the Hitler Youth and the
older person in civilian clothing wears the Volksturm arm-band.
Below the figures show two tanks crossing a burning field. The
proof stamp was designed by the famous Third Reich artist von
Axter-Heudtlass, which show their initials "Vah" printed on the
top left corner. The color proof is olive green, most of the party
commemorative stamps were issued in the carmine color. This proof
item is more interesting because it was canceled in Berlin showing
the November 11, 1944 date, assuming that the stamp was designed
during that period. Not sure how many proofs survived the war.
This stamp was not approved probably because it illustrates a
negative political impact of a defeated army.
The stamp that was
approved and issued is shown on your bottom left. This stamp shows the
Home Guard holding rifles with bayonets ready. In the background
overshadowing the Home Guard an eagle. It was issued in a Postal Directive
with Hitler's proclamation for the People's Army on September
On April 21, 1945, two more semi-postal issues
commemorating the SA and Waffen-SS were printed in Vienna and placed on
sale on two main postal receiving centers in Berlin.
SA and Waffen-SS semi-postal stamps were sent to the Berlin main post office
"C 2" and the main philatelic center "W 8" on or about the 19th April 1945
(central distribution information provided by Mr. Peter Bradford).
There is a possibility that other post offices within the
central vicinity could have been distributed with these late semi-postals
even when Berlin was being constantly bomb by Russian Artillery.
By April 21st 1945 all Government facilities, Post Offices, Banks and Businesses
Legitimate postal covers carrying these stamps are extremely rare only a few
might have survived.
Notice the late postal cancel on the Waffen-SS Stamp.
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