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Third Reich

Airmail Issues 1934

The Third Reich issued their first and only airmail definitive postage stamps in 1934.

The eleven airmail definitive airmail postage stamps shown above were issued on January 21, 1934.  They are all typographed on paper with the swastika watermark.

The design of the 5 Pf. through the 100 Pf. denomination stamps features a majestic-looking eagle, flying in front of a world globe, with the sun emblazoned with a swastika rising behind it. This is an allegorical representation of the "symbolic rising" of the new German Empire.

The designs of the two highest denomination stamps are as follows.

  • 02 M. - Otto Lilienthal (1848-1896), a human flight pioneer, who was the first person to make repeated successful glider flights.
  • 03 M. - Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin (1838-1917). He was a military officer during the German Empire, and he later became an aircraft manufacturer. He was the founder of the Zeppelin Airship Company.

The catalog attributes are as follows.

  • 005 Pf.  (1934 - Mi. #529, Sc. #C46) - Bright Green.
  • 010 Pf.  (1934 - Mi. #530, Sc. #C47) - Bright Carmine.
  • 015 Pf.  (1934 - Mi. #531, Sc. #C48) - Ultramarine.
  • 020 Pf.  (1934 - Mi. #532, Sc. #C49) - Dull Blue.
  • 025 Pf.  (1934 - Mi. #533, Sc. #C50) - Brown.
  • 040 Pf.  (1934 - Mi. #534, Sc. #C51) - Red Violet.
  • 050 Pf.  (1934 - Mi. #535, Sc. #C52) - Dark Green.
  • 080 Pf.  (1934 - Mi. #536, Sc. #C53) - Orange Yellow.
  • 100 Pf.  (1934 - Mi. #537, Sc. #C54) - Black.
  • 002 M.  (1934 - Mi. #538, Sc. #C55) - Green & Black.
  • 003 M.  (1934 - Mi. #539, Sc. #C56) - Blue & Black.

Lightly hinged mint sets of these Third Reich definitive airmail stamps are reasonably priced.  Never hinged sets are VERY expensive.  Used examples of the Pfennig denominations are inexpensive.

These airmail stamps come with both the gum ridges horizontal and with the gum ridges vertical.  The ones with the vertical ridges are the more expensive of the two varieties.

These airmail stamps were valid until the end of 1939.  After that, definitive and commemorative postage stamp combinations could be used to pay the air postage rates.

The plane in the photo above is a Junkers JU-52 in about 1934.

These airplanes were manufactured between 1931 and 1952, and they were the primary passenger and transport planes of Lufthansa, the airline that carried air mail for the German postal service.  As an airliner, the Junkers JU-52 was capable of carrying seventeen passengers.

During World War II, they were also used by the German military as troop transport aircraft, and occasionally, as bombers.

These popular German-built aircraft of the 1930's and 1940's were purchased and used as civilian passenger and transport aircraft by 52 other countries, including the United States.

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