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Local Stamps

Cottbus - 1946

From an Old Postcard

Local stamps were produced during 1946 for the Soviet occupation zone town of Cottbus in Brandenburg. It is situated SE of Berlin on the Spree River.

A reminder:  One must realize that in the months and years following the collapse of the Third Reich, up to about 1948, there was really no civilian or commercial infrastructure, no local government, and the only national governments were those of the Allied occupation military forces.  All of the local issues of Germany from this period, especially the ones with obliterating overprints on the stamps of the former Third Reich, have been heavily counterfeited.  Authentic mint and used stamps from this period are actually very scarce.  One must assume that unauthenticated mint condition examples of some of the local issues are either forgeries or reproductions.  Likewise, one must assume that unauthenticated used condition examples from this period are either of "philatelic" in origin or have been favor-canceled.  These all have minimal philatelic value.  If one is buying unauthenticated examples of the post-war local issues, please keep this in mind and DON'T spend too much money on them.

Cottbus dates from the 10th Century, when the Sorbs built a castle on a sandy island in the Spree River. During Medieval times, the town was known for its wool industry, and drapery products from Cottbus were exported all over Europe. Today it is the site of the annual Eastern European Film Festival.

The set of local stamps shown in the images above were issued in January 1946. The surcharged stamps feature city and district scenes, and they are inscribed Cottbus / Aufbau Marke or "Cottbus / Reconstruction Stamp" in English. These stamps were all perforated 11, though many of them exist imperforate. The funds from the sale of the stamps went for reconstruction projects in the Cottbus area.

The depictions on the stamps are as follows:

  • 1 Pf + 1 Pf - Court tower.
  • 3 Pf + 2 Pf - Children's Home in Branitzer Park.
  • 4 Pf + 2 Pf - Mill in the Spreewald.
  • 5 Pf + 3 Pf - Spreewald (forest).
  • 6 Pf + 3 Pf - Spremburg Tower.
  • 8 Pf + 4 Pf - Old Market.
  • 10 Pf + 5 Pf - Spreewald traditional costume.
  • 12 Pf + 6 Pf - Linden tree gate.
  • 15 Pf + 7 Pf - Old town gate.
  • 20 Pf + 10 Pf - Old city hall.
  • 25 Pf + 12 Pf - Old Cottbus mail coach.
  • 30 Pf + 15 Pf - Pyramid tomb in Branitzer Park.
  • 40 Pf + 20 Pf - City wall.
  • 50 Pf + 25 Pf - Werner Bridge.
  • 60 Pf + 30 Pf - New city hall.
  • 80 Pf + 40 Pf - Ladies in traditional dress.
  • 1 Mk + 50 Pf - Old Cottbus and coat of arms.
  • 2 Mk + 1 Mk - Old houses.
  • 3 Mk + 1.5 Mk - Part of the People's Park.
  • 5 Mk + 2.5 Mk - City theater in Cottbus.

The Mark denominations also exist without the "faint under-printing". These are a little scarcer than the originally issued stamps.

For Stamp Day in 1946, seven denominations of the previous set were overprinted, in different styles, with a date and a new surcharge value. Two of them are shown in the image above.

The 25 Pf. + 12 Pf. denomination was also re-issued in two new colors, and they were both imperforate. One of the stamps was printed in red orange and the other one in orange yellow.

The red orange 25 Pf. + 12 Pf. stamp was also overprinted with Tag der Briefmarke / 10. 1. 1946 and a new surcharge value of + 10 RM.

There are many plate and paper varieties of most of the Cottbus local stamp issues. Refer to the Michel Deutschland Spezial Katalog volume 2 for details.

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Germany - Allied Occupation

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Local Stamps - Cottbus - 1946