For the people of the Saar Plebiscite Territory, 1934 was a year of great excitement. It was also a banner year for postage stamp re-issues!
After almost 16 years of French occupation, the residents
of the Saargebiet were FINALLY going be allowed to vote in a referendum
to determine which nation their state would become a part of.
In November 1934, the current 50 C. magenta definitive stamp was revalued to 40 C., as shown above.
On November 1, 1934, all the current definitive postage stamp denominations, as well as the 1925 10 Fr. Madonna of Blieskastel stamp, were re-issued with the overprint "VOLKSABSTIMMUNG / 1935", or "POPULAR VOTE (PLEBISCITE) / 1935", in various colors. All the re-issued stamps are shown above.
These overprinted stamps were issued to promote the referendum to be held in January 1935.
The four current Saargebiet airmail stamps shown above were also overprinted to promote the upcoming plebiscite.
On December 1, 1934, the Sargebiet charity stamp issue of 1934 was also overprinted to promote the upcoming plebiscite.
The plebiscite was held on January 13, 1935. Over 98% of the electorate participated in the referendum, and the approximate results were as follows:
On January 17, 1935, the vote was approved by the League of Nations, and on March 1, 1935, Saar became a state of the German Reich.
postage stamps continued to be valid for use through the end of
February 1935. After March 1, 1935, the postage stamps of Saargebiet
were replaced by the postage stamp issues of the Third Reich.
The set of four stamps above was issued by the Third Reich on January 16, 1935, a few days after the Saar Plebiscite, to celebrate the return of the Saar to Germany. The stamps have an allegorical depiction of "Saar (a child) returning to the arms of Mother Germany".