The first stamps, for what would be the
Generalgouvernment of Poland, were issued, beginning December 1, 1939.
These stamps were overprinted "Deutsche Post / OSTEN", which literally
means "Eastern German Mail". Up until the Spring of 1940, the use of
the regular postage stamps of the Third Reich was also tolerated in the
The watermarked swastikas Hindenburg definitive postage stamp issues of the Third Reich were utilized for these German occupation stamps. The new stamps were overprinted "Deutsche Post / OSTEN" and they were surcharged in Polish currency, ranging from the 6 Groschen through the 2 Zloty denominations, at the top. All of them are shown in the images above.
These remained valid for postage until the Fall of 1940, though the first official issues of the new territory, inscribed "General / Gouvernment", would appear in August of 1940.
When the new occupation government was established in 1940, existing stocks of Polish definitive and postage due stamps were overprinted with the NAZI emblem, the revalued denomination, and the name of the new occupation government. They are all shown in the scans above.
The overprinting on each of the Polish stamps was positioned to obliterate the country name and denomination on each of the stamps, thus the overprinting varies in location and arrangement on each of the stamps in this set. The overprints and surcharges were applied to these issues by the State Printing Offices in Vienna.
These overprinted and revalued Polish stamps were used up until regular postage stamp issues became available in late 1940. They did, however, remain legally valid for postal use until November 1941.
Counterfeits do exist, though in most cases it is not a serious problem in collecting this set.
The impressive looking set of Official Stamps shown above was issued in early April of 1940. The stamps are all photogravure. The Groschen denominations are perforated 12 1/2 and the Zloty denominations are perforated 13 1/2 x 14 1/2.
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