FIT - Germany

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First Issues Timelines - Page 3 - Germany


















3.1 Previously ruled by the Danish Monarch, the German population of Schleswig Holstein revolted in 1848. Stamps were issued in 1850, partly in an effort to establish a separate identity from Denmark. A mixture of joint and separate issues were made by Schleswig and Holstein until their eventual incorporation into the North German Confederation (NGC) by Prussia in 1871. See also note 3.19.
3.2 Bergdorf, originally jointly controlled by Hamburg and Lübeck, was bought by Hamburg in 1867 and then used Hamburg's stamps. Hamburg joined the NGC in 1867.
3.3 Hanover issued its own stamps in 1850, but was captured by Prussia after siding with Austria, Thurn and Taxis issued its own stamps in 1852, after operating a postal system covering the Holy Roman Empire since the sixteenth century: the Count sold the postal system to Prussia in 1867.
Saxony also came under Prussian control through siding with Austria.
3.4 The majority of the remaining German states retained their independence until joining the NGC in 1867 or 68 and then the German Empire in 1871.
3.5 Mecklenburg comprised two grand duchies. Both used the stamps of Schwerin before Strelitz issued its own in 1864.
3.6 The North German Confederation (NGC) was formed in 1867 and provided a postal union for all states north of the river Main.
3.7 Prussia's continuing domination led to unification into the German Empire in 1871, when the King of Prussia became the Emperor of Germany. The Empire included Alsace and Lorraine, captured by Prussia in their war with France.
3.8 Baden issued its own stamps until 1871 when it joined the German Empire.
3.9 The full unification (excepting Bavaria and Wϋrttemberg) took place in 1872.
3.10 Wϋrttemberg  issued its own stamps in 1850 but came increasingly under the influence of Prussia and switched to German stamps in 1902 (continuing to issue its own Official stamps until 1922). After the First World War (WW1) a provisional government and then a republic were established , but German stamps were again used from 1920. Wϋrttemberg was also a separate entity in the French Zone of Germany after the Second World War (WW2), see below.
3.11 Alsace and Lorraine were taken by Prussia in the Franco-Prussian war, but returned to France after WW1.
3.12 Belgium issued overprinted stamps for the area of the Rhineland it occupied and additionally for Malmady and Eupen which the League of Nations awarded to Belgium after the inhabitants showed little interest in remaining German.
3.13 Following Germany's defeat in WW1, the Kaiser was exiled and the Weimar Republic established in 1918.




















3.14 In the geopolitical reorganisation after WW1, Germany lost Alsace and Lorraine and parts of West Prussia (see below) . Bavaria and Wϋrttemberg ceased to issue their own stamps and became part of Germany.
3.15 Upper Silesia, a West Prussian Province, held a plebiscite in 1921, after which the territory was divided between Germany and Poland.
3.16 Allenstein, part of East Prussia, voted overwhelmingly to remain part of Germany. In WW2, it was captured by Russia and became part of Poland, as Olsztyn.
3.17 Similarly, Marienwerder, a district of West Prussia, held a plebiscite in 1920, voted to remain within Germany, and did so until captured by Soviet forces in WW2, after which it became part of Poland, as Kwidzya.
3.18 Saar, which incidentally issued some of the finest stamps the world has seen (see here), bordering France, Germany, Luxemburg and Alsace Lorraine, came under the control of the League of Nations in 1919, with France controlling its mines. Following a plebiscite in 1935, it returned to Germany until WW2 when it became one of the French Occupation zones.
3.19 Schleswig was divided into two and in a 1920 plebiscite, the Northern Zone voted to join Denmark and the Southern to remain in Germany.
3.20 Memel, as seaport on the Baltic, once Swedish, was taken by Prussia
3.21 Hitler's Third Reich was created in 1933. German forces reoccupied the Rhineland in 1936, then Austria and Sudetenland in 1938, the rest of Czechoslovakia and Memel in 1939. The invasion of Poland in 1939 began the Second World War (WW2). Many German Occupation issues resulted over the next few years of conflict, many of which are listed here.
3.22 With the end of the war, the Allies (principally America, Russia, Britain and France) occupied Germany. The first stamp issue was for the British and American Zones, as the Allied Military Posts.
3.23 Before the onset of the Cold War, a single issue covered all except the French Zone.
3.24 Thereafter, the Russian Zone was divided into six areas for postal purposes. Mackay also notes that towns and districts produced their own stamps during this period, mentioning Spremberg and Cottbus.
3.25 The French Zone issued a definitive set in 1945, followed by individual issues for the four areas in 1947.
3.26 East Germany (German Democratic Republic) was formed from the areas of the Russian Zone in 1949. Its stamps were also used in East Berlin.
3.27 West Germany (German Federal Republic) was formed from the British, American and French Zones in 1947.
3.28 West Berlin, located within East Germany, comprised the non-Russian administered areas of the city.
3.29 Reforms throughout Eastern Europe led to the opening and destruction of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the collapse of the East German government and then the final reunification of Germany in 1990.

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