Postal Heroes – HSE Spring 2020 Newsletter

Dear Philatelic Friends and Collectors,

Here at the Hungaria Stamp Exchange we hope you are staying safely at home able to enjoy family and friends (even if only remotely) and spend time enjoying your stamp collection which may offer interesting views of far off cultures and geographies.

During these extremely challenging times when many of us may be homebound or not engaging in many journeys, we hope you will enjoy reading about the many connections near and far made by the post in various locations, countries, and geographies around the world. Also please join us in honoring and celebrating the many front line heroes helping us everyday: the medical providers and first responders, food producers and the postal workers.

The Fighting Postmen of Gdansk

This  seems to be the relevant time to commemorate the “fighting postman of Gdansk” who stood resolute in defense of their post office a Polish symbol of free city of Danzig during the Nazi invasion at the start of World War II.  Although these heroes were defeated in the short-term, eighty years later they have become a symbol for standing tall for freedom against oppression around the world.

Last Stand at Westerplatte

While the Polish defense of Westerplatte symbolizes the start of the WWll and Poland’s commitment to fight for its freedom, another dramatic event unfolded a short distance away in the main Polish post office in the center of Gdańsk (Danzig) which was a free port set up by the Treaty of Versailles at the end of World War l .

Polish Corridor and the Free City State of Danzig

The compromise created the Free City State under the Protectorate of the League of Nations which existed from its creation in 1920 to its demise in 1939, an area which was home to both Germans and Poles alike.  A small group of postal workers defended the main Polish post office located in the Free City of Danzig for 14 hours from barrages of gunfire spent by over 150 Nazi soldiers, explosives and a basement pumped full of petrol and later set aflame. While the Polish postmen fended off their fierce opponents their wait was in vain, for help that never came. The postmen’s resistance was a legendary symbol of Polish bravery, fighting spirit, love of country and sacrifice. Gdańsk was later reunited with the rest of Poland after the conclusion of World War ll.

HSE is pleased to offer the following stamps representing the Free Port of Danzig

3927 Poland – Polish Post
1K33-1K36 Poland – Port Gdansk

A picture containing rug
Description automatically generated
#241-254 Danzig   (Free city of Danzig 1939)

Poland – Exile Government in Great Britain
#3KB1 Poland - Exile Government in Great Britain (MNH)

HSE is pleased to highlight our offerings of Postal History Stamps and Stamp Day Commemorations from Hungary, as well as Postal Service stamps from Bulgaria (4410), Croatia (B81, 1005), Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland.

Stamp Day is a celebration for stamp collectors focusing its topic on a specific location or event of historical or geographic significance. As part of the celebration is a special stamp issuance usually including souvenir sheets and first day covers. A surcharge included provides support to organized stamp collecting.  Recent Stamp Days have included 89th Stamp Day of Szombathely, which grew up on the site of the Roman town of Savaria and  92nd Stamp Day honoring the military martyrs of the Hungarian Revolution and War of Independence of 1848-1849, with a favorite Hungary one being the 85th Stamp Day Kalocsa Collection.

Hungary Definitive Postal History Series . Hungary  continues issuing its series stamps on postal history, which began in 2017.The stamps of the series entitled Postal History issued annually depict characteristic objects and work tools used by the postal service. Items are selected from the artefacts of the Post Museum, from the Interwar period and the Second World War.    

Issuances include Post Boxes including one specially designed for the Parliament building, Treasury and parcel scales, postal uniforms and vehicles and stylized postal horn.

The Hungarian postal administration was the first in the world to experiment with the use of motor vehicles in providing postal services. On November  19,1900, 21 three-wheeled motorized vehicles were introduced to aid letter collection. Building on the success of the motorized tricycles for the collection of letters after the successful trial run of the prototype the Hungarian Royal Post put another eight motorized postal vehicles into operation on 15 January 1906 to aid letter transport and forwarding between large post offices and railway stations in the capital.

The postal horn instrument has been used since the Middle Ages and continues today a common symbol of the post, representing the postal administration of many Eastern European countries supplemented by their national colors and insignia. From the middle of the 19th century horse-drawn postal vehicles were only used to carry mail items and the post horn was a distinguishing sign on these routes.    

The 1967 Hungarian issuance of a souvenir sheet celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the Hungarian Postal Authority and is illustrated with the representative mail coach and postal horn.

Europa 2020  

offerings are very special this year as Europa 2020 celebrates Ancient Postal Routes which were the primary way in ancient times to connect together the peoples of differing  cultures and geographies.  The EUROPA stamps are one of the most popular themes for topical collectors and country collectors. And this year’s selection is truly amazing.

Ancient Postal Routes : Romania The need for mail transport dates back to ancient times, notably the Roman Republic with the introduction of horseback mailmen service for fast mail and carriages for heavy transport mail. During Roman times the beneficiary of this service was the emperor, his family members and high ranking officials. There were regulated stops at fixed distances with stations and relays for feeding, horse changing and layovers. Later, individuals could also be transported by post chaise.

In the 19 Century, post relays were established as well as State couriers and officials with travel documents.Letters were charged by according to weight and distance from the station. A postal budget was derived from the State, with additional taxes and tolls. Letters were charged by according to weight and distance from the station. A postal budget was derived from the State, with additional taxes and tolls.

Ancient Postal Routes: Hungary Europa 2020. In the territory of Hungary at the time of Louis the Great in the 14th century, guilds established postal routes, which, besides their own correspondence, carried the letters of private individuals, while travelling merchants and craftsmen took the messages and orders of customers to distant places. One of the most well-known postal routes was that of the butchers. Armed drivers escorting cattle from the Hungarian Great Plain to markets abroad carried the correspondence of the cities and their burghers based on individual instructions. The main motifs of the stamp designs are a brass sign used by the butchers’ guild to officially summon meetings and a horn.

Maxi cards 

With Hungary new issuance for 2020 celebrating  the 150th anniversary of the picture post card, what better time to highlight the exciting and colorful offerings of the Maximum cards from Hungary, Croatia and Serbia  which are of special interest to Topical collectors.

In philately a maximum card, or maxicard, is a postcard is made up of three elements: the postcard, the stamp and the postmark. The postage stamp is placed on the picture side of the card where the stamp and card match or are in maximum similarity (concordance). The cancellation or postmark is usually related to the image on the front of the card and the stamp.  The objective of maximaphily is to obtain a card where the stamp and picture are in close concordance, ideally with an appropriate cancellation, too.

Maximaphily became organized  after the  World War ll. Maximaphily is closely associated with thematic or topical stamp collecting and many thematic collections are enhanced with appropriate maximum cards.

In addition to being a means of paying for postal services, the postage stamp has become one of the most recognizable symbols of national culture. The postage stamp not only represents postal value, but is an impressive cultural and artistic phenomenon. It plays a significant role in promoting the value of ideas, heritage, and the specifics of a society.

At a time when many in the world are looking within, hopefully your stamp collection and its research can offer you the ability to continue to enjoy many countries, past and present, cultures and geographies. We here at HSE are pleased to offer this special newsletter featuring postal and other heroes past and present, as well as postal routes and specialty postal cards. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing.

Our sincere wishes for your good health,
The Bauer Family
Alan, Diane, Andrew, Stacie & Diana

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