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Saarland - Saar Protectorate

Issues of 1947

Saarland is the German name for the Saar Protectorate, established by French occupation forces at the end of World War II, and for the present-day state of the Republic of Germany.

In July 1945, US military forces turned Saar over to the French, and they established an occupational administration there. In 1946, the French military segregated Saar from the allied occupation zones and established the separate Saar Protectorate. France would continue their administration of and economic influence over the protectorate through the end of 1956, when it would become a state of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Between January and March of 1947, the French military administration of Saarland issued a set of definitive postage stamps, in the same style and fabric of the issues of the other German states in the French occupation zone. They are all shown above (Mi. #206-25, Sc. #155-74).

All of these stamps were printed in photogravure on papers of varying quality, and they were perforated 14. The 12 Pf., 45 Pf., and 75 Pf. denominations were printed on paper that was watermarked wavy lines. The other denominations were printed on unwatermarked paper.

This new definitive set featured six designs, which were: a miner, steel workers, harvesting sugar beets, Mettlach Abbey, Marshal Ney, and a view of the Saar River near Mettlach. The first four designs were repeated in varying denominations and colors within the set, as indicated in the images above.

Beginning in November 1947, the French administration started re-valuing the current postage stamps in French currency. Several examples from Printing II are shown above.

There were two different printings of these re-valued stamps.

  • Printing I - the surcharges were applied to the original stamps issued earlier in the year (Mi. #226I-38I, Sc. #175a-87a).
  • Printing II - the surcharges were applied to a special printing of the original stamps (Mi. #226II-38II, Sc. #175-87). There are differences between the stamps, as well as the surcharges, on the two printings.

The Printing II stamps were actually issued before the Printing I stamps, according to Michel. This issue was only used for a couple months before it was replaced by the new stamps for the Saar Protectorate in 1948. Most of the Printing II stamps are common. Many of those from Printing I are rare, especially in used condition.

All of these stamps come in a multitude of paper, printing, and plate varieties. For detailed information on the printings, surcharges, and varieties of these issues, refer to the Saarland section in the Michel Deutschland-Spezial-Katalog volume II.

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Saarland - Issues of 1947