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German Occupation


The German occupation of Latvia, Lettland in German, was completed in early July of 1941.

Latvia had been an independent nation, until 1941, when it was forcibly integrated, along with the other Baltic states, into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.  It was "liberated" by the Soviet army in 1944 and was again integrated into the Soviet Union.

During the years of Nazi occupation, special campaigns killed 90,000 people in Latvia, including approximately 70,000 Jews and 2,000 Gypsies. Those who were not Jews or Gypsies were mostly civilians whose political opinions and activities were "unacceptable" to the occupation government.

The contemporary 5 Kop., 10 Kop., 15 Kop., 20 Kop., 30 Kop., and 50 Kop. denomination Soviet Union stamps were overprinted "LATVIJA / 1941. / 1. VII" for use in the new German province during July 1941.  All of them, except for the 15 Kop. and 50 Kop. denominations, are shown above (Mi. 1-6, Sc. #1N14-19).

The overprinted 20 Kop. and 30 Kop. denominations were also printed on thick paper.  They are shown above.

The German province of Lettland was incorporated into the Reichskommissariat Ostland, and, from November 1941, German stamps, overprinted "OSTLAND" were used.

Though not very highly priced in Michel, issued quantities of these stamps were actually very small.  Taking into account that these were issued around 75 years ago, combined with the fact that after the war, the Soviet government resolved to obliterate everything that had been part of fascist Germany, the surviving quantities of these stamps available to philatelists are probably very small.

Following the defeat of Germany, Latvia, along with the other Baltic states, became member states of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Latvia became an independent nation following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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Germany - German Occupations

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