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Third Reich

Commemorative Issues 1934


In 1934, the new government of the Third Reich began issuing commemorative themed stamps in earnest. Even back in the early 20th Century, the stamps of Germany were very popular with collectors Worldwide, and orders for them came from almost every country on the planet. The Nazi's quickly learned of the propaganda value of their postage stamps, not only to show the wonders of their country, but also to spread their political, social, and cultural views. The Third Reich utilized this medium to its fullest extent, throughout the remaining years of the regime.


The four stamps shown above were issued on June 30, 1934 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the German colonial empire. The issue and the personalities depicted are thoroughly described on the main page of the German Colonies section of this website.


The two stamps, above left, show the sun and swastika rising above Nuremberg Castle. The stamps were issued on September 1, 1934 to publicize the Nazi Congress, held at Nuremberg.

The two stamps, above right, depict hands holding Saar, symbolizing that "Saar Belongs to Germany" and the German eagle holding a swastika. The set was issued on August 26, 1934 to publicize the upcoming Saar Plebiscite. Think there was a little psychological persuasion going on here?


President Hindenburg died in August 1934, and the last traces of the old Weimar Republic quickly faded away. The Hindenburg Memorial Issue, shown above, was issued at the beginning of September.

The 3 Pf., 5 Pf. 6 Pf., 8 Pf., 12 Pf., and 25 Pf. stamps of the Hindenburg definitive stamp series were overprinted in black, between the stamp designs, as a sign of mourning.

Stamps or envelopes, with black borders, are a traditional sign of mourning.


The two stamps shown above was issued on November 6, 1934 to commemorate the 175th Anniversary of the Birth of Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805).

Schiller was a poet, philosopher, playwright, and historian. Working in Weimar, he often collaborated with his friend, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. This period is referred to as the "Weimar Classicism".


The nine semi-postal stamps, shown above, were issued on November 5, 1934 for "Nothilfe", or "aid to the needy". The surtax amount on the stamps went to charitable organizations.

The theme of these stamps is "German occupations", and, by denomination, from lowest to highest, they depict -- a businessman, blacksmith, mason, miner, architect, farmer, chemist, sculptor, and judge.

With many countries, surcharged postage stamps, or what we call semi-postal stamps, were issued annually, and usually depicted cultural or nationalistic themes. The money raised from the surtaxes usually went to children's funds, funds for the needy, or to pay for other national programs.




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