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Third Reich

Commemorative Issues 1940

The Third Reich issued the four stamps shown above (Mi. #739-742, Sc. #494-97) on March 3, 1940 to publicize the Leipzig Spring Fair. The designs feature scenes of the city of Leipzig.

The annual Leipzig Fair dates back to the 12th Century. It was a major fair for trade across Europe. The fair was first publicized by postage stamps in 1940. After World War II, the practice continued annually by the German Democratic Republic, and it continues today by the Federal Republic of Germany.

The stamp shown above, at the left (Mi. #743, Sc. #B169), was issued on March 28, 1940 to publicize the opening of the Second National Stamp Exhibition 1940 in Berlin, which was held from March 28 through March 31, 1940. The stamp pictures the Hall of Honor at the new Chancellery Building in Berlin.

The stamp shown above, in the middle (Mi. #745, Sc. #B171), was issued April 30, 1940 for May Day. It pictures an armed medieval warrior.  This 6 Pf. stamp was for the postcard rate, at the time.

The stamp shown above, at the right (Mi. #746, Sc. #B172), was issued June 22, 1940 to publicize the running of the Blue Ribbon Horse Race in Hamburg on June 30, 1940.

The stamp shown above, in the middle (Mi. #744, Sc. #B170), was issued on April 10, 1940 to celebrate Adolph Hitler's 51st Birthday. The stamp depicts a contemporary photograph of a little girl greeting Adolph Hitler.

The other two stamps shown above, at the sides (Mi. #760-61, Sc. #B186-87), were issued on November 26, 1940 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of Diphtheria Serum.

The stamps depict Emil von Behring (1854-1917), the German bacteriologist that discovered the diphtheria antitoxin. He won the first Nobel Prize awarded for medicine in 1901.

The stamp shown above, at the left (Mi. #747, Sc. #B173), was issued in the Reich on July 7, 1940 for the annual running of the Brown Ribbon Horse Race.

The stamp shown above, at the right (Mi. #750, Sc. #B176), was issued on August 9, 1940 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of German Sovereignty over Helgoland. The stamp depicts the rocky cliffs of Helgoland.

The two stamps shown above (Mi. #748-49, Sc. #B174-75) were issued on July 25, 1940 to celebrate the Union of Eupen-Malmedy with the Third Reich

The 6 Pf. shows a view of Eupen, and the 12 Pf. shows a view of Malmedy.

Eupen and Malmedy were cantons of Belgium, which were formerly part of Prussia. They were populated primarily by ethnic Germans. The Treaty of Versailles had awarded them to Belgium following World War I.

The nine semi-postal stamps shown above (Mi. #751-59, Sc. #B177-85) were issued on November 5, 1940, featuring the theme of Buildings of the Third Reich. The surtax was for Winter Relief charities.

By denomination, from lowest to highest, they depict Artushof in Danzig, Town Hall in Thorn, Castle at Kaub, City Theater in Poznan, Castle at Heidelberg, Porta Nigra at Trier, New German Theater in Prague, Town Hall in Bremen, and the Town Hall in Munster.

The 3 Pf., 5 Pf., 6 Pf., and 12 Pf. denominations were also issued in booklets.

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