My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

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My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

From Michel Specialized (Part 2) English Edition: “After the monetary reform of June 21st, 1948 that was carried out in the three western Zones, led to a break between the Soviet Military Administration (SMA) and the other allies, the SMA selected June 24th, 1948 to carry out its own monetary reform that was to include both the SBZ as well as the entire territory of Greater Berlin*.

Since there was no issue available in the new currency (those stamps only became available on July 3 with the mechanical overprint issue Mi183-197) and one could not be created quickly, it was decreed that all available Pfennig value stamps of the second Control Commission issue on hand in the post offices should be overprinted with a district stamp and sold for the new currency”

They were valid only from 24th June to 10th July, (although some sources suggest also “first post” on 11th July), in any part of the Soviet Zone. They were also valid for this period in West Berlin.
See: “ The Russians in Germany Stamps 1945-49 (Soviet Zone)”
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=16899
for much more on these district hand stamped issues.

Here is a typical example:

Image
SBZ Mi173I Bezirk:3 (Berlin- Grünau 1)

It should be noted that many unauthorised overprints were made at the time and many later fakes exist. By collecting ordinary covers with these issues on it seemed more likely that these would be genuine stamps! (Although faked covers do of course exist, they tend to be of higher value ones).

*However the Western Authorities decided to introduce the Deutsche Mark in West Berlin.

Example of “Berlin” banknote:
BERLIN MARK.jpg
Also: for an example of the Soviet Zone “emergency” notes see:
“The bank note with a stamp! 1948 East German "Kupon" note”
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=54725&p=3821608#p3821608

I decided to form a collection of covers which would include every day of validity and every Bezirk (District). There are 10 District numbers (plus a variation of District 29) and 17 days of validity. (Obviously not every Bezirk on every day- this would need 187 covers!) It also includes a few extras such as out of validity covers (postage due- “nachgebühr”).

Each district includes a number of towns (there is some overlap) and in the case of Berlin, districts of the city. Including different colours and fonts there are around 2530 different possible overprints and taking into account different stamp values around 30000 different possible combinations!

Later I started a collection (not mutually exclusive) based on a map of the Soviet Zone. This is currently incomplete due to other interests but I will show what I have after the above one.

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Part 2

Here is the “First Day” Example:

Date: 24.06.48 Bezirk:37 (Güstrow)
BEZIRKS1.jpg
SBZ Mi166VIII,169VIII,171VIII,173VIII.

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

2nd Day:

Date: 25.06.48 Bezirk14 (Freiberg)
BEZIRKS2.jpg
SBZ Mi174II

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

3rd Day:

Date:26.06.48 Bezirk41 (Zwickau)
BEZIRKS3.jpg
SBZ Mi167X

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

4th Day:

Date: 27.06.48 Bezirk16 (Erfurt 1)
BEZIRKS4.jpg
SBZ Mi171III,177III + 1/10th value TRIZONE Mi919,921,967,968,969,970

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by johnrcrow »

Nice to see this area being pushed. Not an easy one too.

Any chance of outlining the rarity value of such examples? I suppose the approximate CV would point the way.

I agree that stamps on covers authenticates them more, the singles always being suspect as there were many forgeries (as you also indicated).



I have added this thread to the Index of threads on German stamps in Stampboards.


https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=91671&p=6764375#p6764375


Looking forward to seeing more.

John

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Thanks for you kind words, johnrcrow. Although I could quote cat. values I don't think they really represent the values of the covers. Apart from one I will show later I certainly have never paid anything like the suggested values. As you may have guessed, some are obviously "philatelic", ( although I have tried to avoid these where possible)- these generally fetch much less than normal usage covers.

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

5th Day:

Date: 28.06.48 Bezirk36 (Potsdam)
BEZIRKS5.jpg
SBZ Mi174VII

As far as values are concerned these depend firstly on the District, then on the Town (or Area for Berlin) and finally on the stamp face value.Some towns also have variations in fonts and/or colour of overprint. As usual a "single franking" will generally have a higher value than a mixed.

For the cheapest stamp (generally the 24Pf- Mi174) the values given in Michel 2009 for "on cover" are 30 for all Districts apart from Berlin (Bezirk3)-40; Magdeburg (Bezirk29 + Variant)-60; Potsdam (Bezirk36)-35; Schwerin (Bezirk37)-40; Stettin (Bezirk38)-200. (Values in Euros).

Particular Town marks can value 2000x or more of the cheapest one!

Then we have the possibility of overprints on the "Numerals" and several other of the Trizone series.

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

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6th Day:

Date: 29.06.48 Bezirk41 (Glauchau)
BEZIRKS6.jpg
SBZ Mi167X,168X,170X,174X + 1/10th value TRIZONE Mi946,950,953,954

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

7th Day:

Date: 30.06.48 Bezirk14 (Zittau)
BEZIRKS7.jpg
SBZ Mi174II,176II

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

8th Day:

Date: 01.07.48 Bezirk3 (Berlin- Unknown District).
BEZIRKS8.jpg
SBZ Mi174I

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

9th Day:

Date: 02.07.48 Bezirk14 (Dresden 26)
BERIRKS9.jpg
SBZ Mi174II

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

10th Day:

Date: 03.07.48 Bezirk16 (Weimar)
BEZIRKS10.jpg
SBZ Mi167III

This was also the date of the Machine overprinted SBZ issue.

Date: 03.07.48
SBZ op cover.jpg
SBZ Mi190

Reverse:
SBZ op cover rev.jpg
Soviet Zone Censor Mark (Berlin)

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

11th Day:

Date: 04.07.48 Bezirk14 (Dresden)
BEZIRKS11.jpg
SBZ Mi174II

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

12th Day:

Date: 05.07.48 Bezirk27 (Leipzig 1)
BEZIRKS12.jpg
SBZ Mi172V,182,183

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

13th Day:

Date: 06.07.48 Bezirk41 (Chemnitz)
BEZIRKS13.jpg
SBZ Mi177X,182,189 + 1/10th Value TRIZONE Mi912,922,923,943,946,A956

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

14th Day:

Date: 07.07.48 Bezirk29 (Salzwedel)
BEZIRKS14.jpg
SBZ Mi174VIa

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

15th Day:

Date: 08.07.48 Bezirk38 (Anklam)
BEZIRK15.jpg
SBZ Mi170IX,186

Reverse:
BEZIRK15 REV.jpg
SBZ 1/10th Value TRIZONE Mi947

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

16th Day:

Date: 09.07.48 Bezirk29-Variant (Köthen 2 Land)
BEZIRKS16.jpg
SBZ Mi174VIb

Note that the mauve pencil marks appear not to have been applied by the P.O. but by a collector at a later date.

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

17th and last full day:

Date: 10.07.48 Bezirk3 (Berlin)
BEZIRKS17a.jpg
SBZ Mi173I,A179I,182,183,185

Date: 10.07.48 Bezirk41 (Werdau)
BEZIRKS17b.jpg
SBZ Mi174X

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by maptrekker »

Great covers and excellent presentation in chronological order.

If you actually have an example from the 11.07 "first emptying of the mail boxes" I will be totally in awe.

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Thanks again for your kind words, maptrekker. As far as the "first post" example is concerned the Jury is still out!

Part 3: After the last day of validity- Tolerated and not tolerated.

Although Michel does not state this, some sources suggest that 1st post on the 11th July was permitted. It may be that, although not officially sanctioned, this was “tolerated” at a number of Post Offices. Covers will also be seen with later dates which have not had postage due applied. These may be tolerated or just “missed”!

Note that July 11th was a Sunday- could the “first post” have been later than usual?

Date: 11.07.48 Time:10.00 Bezirk27 (Leipzig)
BEZIRKS18a.jpg
SBZ Mi167V,169V

Date: 11.07.48 Time:18.00 Bezirk20 (Wernigerode)
BEZIRKS18b.jpg
SBZ Mi170IV + 1/10th Value TRIZONE Mi947

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Not tolerated:

Although the 1/10th value concession for previous Trizone stamps continued in the Soviet Zone ( and West Berlin) until July 31st 1948, this was not extended to the District Hand Stamped issue. For more discussion on this see:“ The Russians in Germany Stamps 1945-49 (Soviet Zone)”
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=16899

For more on how Postage Due (“Nachgebühr”) was calculated at this time see:
"Allied Occupied Germany: “Nachgebühr” Markings (Postage Due)"
https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=51189&p=3657026#p3657026

Date: 11.07.48 Time:20.00 Bezirk27 (Lugau)
BEZIRKS18c.jpg
SBZ Mi174V

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Later covers:

Date: 27.7.48 Bezirk27 (Leipzig)
BEZIRKS19.jpg
SBZ 174V

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

As well as the 2nd Trizone series a number of other issues were also overprinted. Although apparently not officially approved they appear to have been accepted for postage. Here is an example of the Stephan issue (Mi963) out of validity.

Date: 13.07.48 Bezirk16 (Ilmenau)
Image
SBZ MiIIIaIII

Note that the piece has been removed and re-attached to the cover.

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

As mentioned above the 1/10th value concession for Trizone issues was was not extended to the District Hand Stamped ones. Here is a cover which assumes that it was, but only the Trizone stamps have been counted towards postage.

Date: 15.07.48 Bezirk14 (Grossenhain)
BEZIRKS20.jpg
SBZ Mi170II + 1/10th value TRIZONE Mi951

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Part 4

For some obscure reason I decided to try to collect covers from the towns shown on this map. Some, of course, were already included in the previous collection. The main emphasis was to obtain as clear an overprint as possible, with the date being unimportant as long as within validity. This is not complete and is not likely to be so in the foreseeable future!

BEZIRKS MAP.jpg
Bezirks Map (Own colour markings).

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

It is also interesting to learn a little more about conditions at the time and a have added a little extra information where relevant.

BEZIRK3 (Berlin)

The Berlin Blockade (24 June 1948 – 12 May 1949) was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War. During the multinational occupation of post–World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway, road, and canal access to the sectors of Berlin under Western control. The Soviets offered to drop the blockade if the Western Allies withdrew the newly introduced Deutsche Mark from West Berlin.

The Western Allies organised the Berlin Airlift (also known as Berliner Luftbrücke, literally "Berlin Air Bridge" in German language) from 26 June 1948 to 30 September 1949 to carry supplies to the people of West Berlin, a difficult feat given the size of the city's population.

berlin blockade.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Blockade

See previous for covers.

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

BEZIRK14

Bautzen
"Off to Bautzen!" This winged phrase was considered the worst threat to anyone who messed with the state. "Bautzen II" was the most feared prison in the GDR, notorious as the "Stasi prison" par excellence for opponents of the regime, escape helpers, spies, foreigners, "republic refugees". At the doorbell it said "Volkspolizeikreisamt" and "Staatsanwaltschaft".
bautzem.jpg
https://www.mdr.de/zeitreise/stoebern/damals/artikel92060.html

Bezirk14 (Bautzen)
BEZIRK14 BAUTZEN.jpg
SBZ Mi174II

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

At the Berlin entry I forgot about this cover (was in my "Berlin" album).

Date: 10.07.48 Bezirk3 (Berlin 66)
BEZIRKSBERLIN66.jpg
SBZ Mi169I,171I,176I,182 BIZONE Mi38I + 1/10th value TRIZONE Mi919,937

Being the last full day of validity this is obviously a (one of many?) philatelic cover, especially as posted from and to West Berlin addresses. All the stamps were valid in West Berlin at that time.

It does actually add up to the correct amount for a Local Registered Letter (76Pf)!

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Bezirk14 (cont.)

Dresden
As we know Dresden was badly damaged during the war. Presumably by 1948 only partial restoration had taken place. Here are a couple of pictures of a concert held in 1948, presumably organised by the Soviets to "boost morale"!
DRESDEN1948 1.jpg
DRESDEN1948 2.jpg
https://kappsa.wordpress.com/photos/dresden-concert-in-1948/

See previous for covers.

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

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Bezirk14 (cont.)

Two towns that were little affected, in terms of physical damage, during WWII. Both have been heavily restored following German reunification.

Freiberg (Not to be confused with Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg)
Freiberg_in_Sachsen,_Obermarkt_-_geo.hlipp.de_-_9880.jpg
Freiberg_in_Sachsen,_Obermarkt_-_geo.hlipp.de_-_9880

See previous for cover.

Görlitz

A factory in 1948
Gorlitz 1948.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_18 ... eberei.jpg

Görlitz today
gorlitz.jpg
https://theculturetrip.com/europe/germany/articles/how-to-sp ... z-germany/

Bezirk14 (Görlitz)
BEZIRK14 GORLITZ.jpg
SBZ Mi174II

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

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Bezirk16

Eisenach
"The bombings during the war destroyed about 2,000 housing units and big parts of the car factories, as well as some historic buildings in the town centre, which were rebuilt soon after the war. The US Army arrived in Eisenach on 6 April 1945, but the Soviets took over control of the town on 1 July 1945, making it Communism's westernmost major town.
Eisenach remained an important industrial location. The BMW car factory was socialized and under the new name EMW produced the Wartburg, the so-called "Mercedes of the East"."

Early BMWs leaving factory
bmw eisenach 1948.jpg
Wartburg 311
Wartburg_311_(1963)_02.jpg
Eisenach scene
eisenach scene.jpg
Wikipedia

BEZIRK16 (Eisenach)
BEZIRK16 EISENACH.jpg
SBZ Mi174III

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

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Bezirk16 (cont.)

Erfurt
"Bombed as a target of the Oil Campaign of World War II, Erfurt suffered only limited damage and was captured on 12 April 1945, by the US 80th Infantry Division.On 3 July, American troops left the city, which then became part of the Soviet Zone of Occupation and eventually of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). In 1948, Erfurt became the capital of Thuringia, replacing Weimar.

Erfurt's old town is one of the best preserved medieval city centres in Germany. Tourist attractions include the Krämerbrücke (Merchants' bridge), the Old Synagogue, the ensemble of Erfurt Cathedral and Severikirche (St Severus's Church) and Petersberg Citadel, one of the largest and best preserved town fortresses in Europe."

DDR Street signs from Erfurt
ERFURT_Street_signs.jpg
Erfurt view
Domplatz_Erfurt_01.jpg
Wikipedia

See previous for cover.

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

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Bezirk16 (cont.)

Gera
" A month before the end of World War II, on 6 April 1945, U.S. bombing destroyed parts of the city and killed 514 residents. Some 300 buildings were hit, including the Osterstein castle and several historic buildings in city centre, many of which weren't rebuilt after the war. U.S. forces occupied Gera on 14 April 1945 but were replaced by the Soviets on 1 July 1945.

Gera became part of the GDR in 1949 and was a flash point in the Uprising of 1953 in East Germany as thousands of workers – among them many employees of the Soviet-established Wismut uranium mining entity in the nearby Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge) – demanded higher wages and free elections. The demonstrations were put down by Soviet military forces, including armored units."

Gera 1945
GERA 1945.jpg
Gera view
GERA VIEW.jpg
Wikipedia

Bezirk16 (Gera 1)
BEZIRK16 GERA.jpg
SBZ Mi174III

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

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Bezirk16 (cont.)

Gotha
"Allied air raids in 1944/5 damaged some buildings in the city, in particular the state theatre (demolished by East German authorities in 1958) and the main station (which remains only "half-a-building" until today) and the main church (rebuilt after the war). Nevertheless, some 95% of the city's buildings survived the war unscathed. Jewish slave laborers working in quarries at Gotha were all murdered by their Nazi overseers on 4 April 1945, just before the city was captured by American forces.

The American Army reached the city in April 1945 but was replaced by the Soviets in July 1945 and in 1949 Gotha became part of the GDR. During this period, some historic inner-city quarters were replaced by Plattenbau buildings, especially west of the Hauptmarkt and at Gartenstraße north of the city centre. Many other buildings fell derelict during the later GDR period and the city's time of shrinking in the 1990s, whereas others were refurbished after German reunification in 1990."
Wikipedia

American soldiers in Gotha
GOTHA 1945.jpg
https://www.facebook.com/pg/Gotha-im-April-1945-1732257100320897/about/

Gotha views
gotha views.jpg
Wikipedia

Bezirk16 (Gotha 2)
BEZIRK16 GOTHA.jpg
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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

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Bezirk16 (cont.)

Jena
"In 1945, towards the end of World War II, Jena was heavily bombed by the American and British Allies. 709 people were killed, 2,000 injured and most of the medieval town centre was destroyed, but in parts restored after the end of the war. No other Thuringian city suffered worse damage, except Nordhausen, whose destruction was utter. Jena was occupied by American troops on 13 April 1945 and was left to the Red Army on 1 July 1945.

Jena fell within the Soviet zone of occupation in post-World War II Germany. In 1949, it became part of the new German Democratic Republic (GDR). The Soviets dismantled great parts of the Zeiss and Schott factories and took them to the Soviet Union. On the other hand, the GDR government founded a new pharmaceutical factory in 1950, Jenapharm, which is part of Bayer today. In 1953, Jena was a centre of the East German Uprising against GDR policy. The protests with 30,000 participants drew fire from Soviet tanks."
Wikipedia

Jena 1945- Zeiss Works
Zeiss Jena 1945.jpg
https://www.zeiss.com/corporate/int/newsroom/press-photos/historical-photos.html

Jena View
Jena view.JPG
Wikipedia

Bezirk16 (Jena 1)
BEZIRK16 JENA COVER.jpg
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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

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Bezirk16 (cont.)

Meiningen
"A heavy air raid on Meiningen on 23 February 1945, by the USAAF caused 208 deaths, destroyed 251 houses and two bridges in total, and damaged 440 buildings. Meiningen was occupied by American armed forces on 5 April 1945.

In July 1945, the town was included in the Soviet occupation zone along with the rest of Thuringia, and thus later became part of the German Democratic Republic (DDR). To accommodate workers for a microelectronics plant, the Robotron Meiningen, the new district of Jerusalem (Meiningen) was created from 1967 to 1983 in the north between Helba and Welkershausen, eventually housing around 6,000 inhabitants. Meiningen was an important center of Die Wende in southern Thuringia in 1989. Among the many events were a total of 25 demonstrations with 1,000-25,000 participants."
Wikipedia

Meiningen 1945
meiningen 1945.jpg
https://www.insuedthueringen.de/region/meiningen/meiningen/E ... 42,3954417

View of Meiningen
view of meiningen.jpg
Wikipedia

Bezirk16 (Meiningen)
BEZIRK16 MEININGEN.jpg
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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

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Bezirk16 (cont.)

Nordhausen
"The Mittelbau-Dora Nazi concentration camp, established in 1943 after the destruction of Peenemünde, was located on the outskirts of Nordhausen during World War II to provide labor for the Mittelwerk V-2 rocket factory in the Kohnstein. Over its period of operation, around 60,000 inmates passed through Dora and its system of subcamps, of whom around 20,000 died from bad working conditions, starvation, and diseases, or were murdered. Around 10,000 forced labourers were deployed in several factories within the city; up to 6,000 of them were interned at Boelcke Kaserne, working for a Junkers factory.

On August 24, 1944, 11 B-17 Flying Fortresses of Mission 568 bombed the airfield at Nordhausen as a target of opportunity. From January 1945, sick and dying prisoners were interned at Boelcke Kaserne. On April 3 and 4, 1945 three-quarters of Nordhausen was destroyed by bombing raids of the Royal Air Force, resulting in the deaths of around 8,800 people, including 1,300-1,500 sick prisoners at the Boelcke Kaserne barracks within Nordhausen.

On 11 April 1945, United States troops occupied the town, and on 2 July the Red Army of the Soviet Union took over. A Special Mission V-2: US operation was undertaken by Maj. William Bromley, intended to recover V-2 rocket parts and equipment. Maj. James P. Hamill co-ordinated the rail transport of said equipment with the 144th Motor Vehicle Assembly Company, from Nordhausen to Erfurt (Operation Paperclip).

On 18 July the Soviet administration created the Institute Rabe to develop Soviet rocket technology on the basis of the substantially more sophisticated V-2 rockets. In May 1946 the Institute was subsumed into the new Institute Nordhausen, under an expanded programme of research across the Soviet occupation zone, including a new Institute Berlin. On 22 October 1946, under Operation Osoaviakhim, 10–15,000 German scientists, engineers and their families were deported to the Soviet Union, including around 300 from Nordhausen. Transplanted along with their equipment, many of the scientists and their families lived there until the early 1950s."

V2 Factory 1945
v2 factory.jpg
Nordhausen view
Nordhausen view.jpg
Wikipedia


Bezirk16 (Nordhausen)
BEZIRK16 NORDHAUSEN.jpg
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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

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Bezirk16 (cont.)

Saalfeld
"As a railway junction and garrison town of the Wehrmacht armed forces from 1936, it was strongly affected by strategic bombing during World War II.

Upon the post-war division of Germany, Saalfeld was an Inner-German border station on the Saal Railway—one of two routes that could be taken by trains between Leipzig/Halle and Nuremberg. As a border station its steam locomotive shed assumed extra importance as Saalfeld essentially became the southern terminus of DDR train services. Due to the continued use of steam locomotives in East Germany after the end of steam working in West Germany, the area became a mecca for railway enthusiasts for some years. However, despite being very close to the Inner German border to the south, it was only accessible by a very roundabout route."

Saalfeld Steam Train 1977
SAALFELD TRAIN 1977.jpg
View of Saalfeld
view of saalfeld.jpg
Wikipedia

Bezirk16 (Saalfeld)
BEZIRK16 SAALFELD.jpg
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I have just realised that in my previous entries I neglected to give the Postal District names or OPDs (Oberpostdirektionen) for the Bezirks.

Bezirk14: OPD Dresden
Bezirk16: OPD Erfurt


Now we have Bezirk20: OPD Halle

Burg
Burg bei Magdeburg is a town of about 23,900 inhabitants on the Elbe–Havel Canal in northeastern Germany, 25 km (16 mi) northeast of Magdeburg. It is the capital of the Jerichower Land district in the state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Burg formerly had the largest shoe manufacturing factory in Europe and was the first to produce manufactured crispbread in Germany, beginning production in 1931.
Near Burg there is a large transmission site for long- and mediumwave, which was among other things used for the transmissions of Radio Wolga.

Radio Volga (Russian: Радио Волга) was a radio station for the Soviet armed forces stationed in the former East Germany and Czechoslovakia, broadcasting mainly in Russian.
Wikipedia

Once you have arrived here, a tour of the old town in the "City of Towers" with a visit to the historical tannery and its interesting exhibition on 110 years of shoe production in Burg, a tour of the accessible city towers and a detour to the Carl von Clausewitz memorial are highly recommended.
https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=de&u=https:/ ... ch&pto=aue

View of Burg
VIEW OF BURG.jpg
Wikipedia

Bezirk20 (Burg)
BEZIRK20 BURG.jpg
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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

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Bezirk20 (cont.)

Dessau
"The town was almost completely destroyed by Allied air raids in World War II on 7 March 1945, six weeks before American troops occupied the town. Afterwards it was rebuilt with typical GDR concrete slab architecture (Plattenbau) and became a major industrial centre of East Germany. Since German reunification in 1990 many historic buildings have been restored."
Wikipedia

Dessau 1945
DESSAU 1945.jpg
https://ziller-thomas.de/zerstoerung/

Dessau 1945- "Guilty" (Cartier Bresson)
+ Cartier Bresson, Dessau, Germany, Gestapo informer (1945).jpg
https://www.artsy.net/artwork/henri-cartier-bresson-gestapo- ... au-germany


View of Dessau
DESSAU VIEW.jpg
Wikipedia

Bezirk20 (Dessau 1)
BEZIRK20 DESSAU.jpg
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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Note that Dessau also appeared in Bezirk29 (See later for example cover).

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

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Bezirk20 (cont.)

Halle
"Halle (Saale)... is the largest city of the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, the fifth most populous city in the area of former East Germany after (East) Berlin, Leipzig, Dresden and Chemnitz, as well as the 31st largest city of Germany, and with around 239,000 inhabitants, it is slightly more populous than the state capital of Magdeburg.

Near the end of World War II, there were two bombing raids carried out against the town: the first on 31 March 1945, the second a few days later. The first attack took place between the railway station and the city's centre, and the second bombing was in the southern district. It killed over 1,000 inhabitants and destroyed 3,600 buildings. Among them, the Market Church, St. George Church, the Old Town Hall, the municipal theatre, historic buildings on Bruederstrasse and on Grosse Steinstrasse, and the city cemetery.

On 17 April 1945, American soldiers occupied Halle, and the Red Tower was set on fire by artillery and destroyed. The Market Church and the Church of St. George received more hits. However, the city was spared further damage because an aerial bombardment was canceled, after former naval officer Felix von Luckner negotiated the city's surrender to the American army. In July, the Americans withdrew and the city was occupied by the Red Army."
Wikipedia

Halle 1945
Halle 1945.jpg
https://www.mz-web.de/halle-saale/bilder/bilder-vom-kriegsende-1945-in-halle-36487314

View of Halle
View of Halle.jpg
Wikipedia


Bezirk20 (Halle 2)
BEZIRK20 HALLE.jpg
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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

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Bezirk20 (cont.)

Merseburg
"Merseburg is a town in the south of the German state of Saxony-Anhalt on the river Saale, approx. 14 km south of Halle (Saale) and 30 km west of Leipzig.

Merseburg was badly damaged in World War II. In 23 air raids 6,200 dwellings were completely or partly destroyed. The historic town centre was almost completely destroyed."
Wikipedia

Merseburg 1945
MERSEBERG 1945.jpg
http://www.trolley-mission.de/de/luftaufnahmen/merseburg

Merseburg in 1960s
MERSEBERG 1960s.jpg
https://oldthing.ch/AK-Ansichtskarte-Merseburg-Saale-Bahnhof-Kat-Merseburg-0028672629

View of Merseburg today
merseburger_schlossweihnacht.jpg
Wikipedia

Bezirk20 (Merseburg)
BEZIRK20 MERSEBURG.jpg
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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

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Bezirk20 (cont.)

Stendal
"Hansestadt Stendal is a town in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It is the capital of the Stendal District and the unofficial capital of the Altmark region.

Stendal was the site of a Luftwaffe airfield in World War II, which had been the site of the first German Fallschirmjäger training school from 1936; the famous boxer Max Schmeling was trained as a paratrooper here in 1940/41. The town suffered from strategic bombing. In April 1945, the aerodrome served as starting place of the Sonderkommando Elbe unit, only a few days before the local authorities surrendered to the US Army. On May 4, the commander of the Wehrmacht 12th Army, General Maximilian von Edelsheim signed the capitulation document at the Stendal town hall.

From 1949 until German reunification in 1990, the town belonged to East Germany, part of Bezirk Magdeburg from 1952. Until 1994, the Stendal barracks served as home base for a riflemen division of the Soviet 2nd Guards Tank Army."
Wikipedia

Stendal 1945
stendal 1945.jpg
https://st.museum-digital.de/index.php?t=objekt&oges=2806

Stendal view
stendal view.jpg
Wikipedia

Bezirk20 (Stendal)
BEZIRK20 STENDAL.jpg
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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

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Bezirk20 (cont.)

Wernigerode
"Wernigerode is a town in the district of Harz, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. Until 2007, it was the capital of the district of Wernigerode. Its population was 35,041 in 2012.

Wernigerode is located southwest of Halberstadt, and is picturesquely situated on the Holtemme river, on the north slopes of the Harz Mountains. Wernigerode is located on the German Timber-Frame Road.

After World War II, Wernigerode was included in the new state Saxony-Anhalt within the Soviet occupation zone (relaunched in October 1949 as the German Democratic Republic/East Germany). During the Communist years, the town was very close to the inner German border."


Wernigerode Castle
WernigerodeCastleWinter.jpg
Wikipedia

"As a result of the land reform, the entire property of the Prince of Stolberg-Wernigerode in the Soviet occupation zone, including the castle, is expropriated without compensation and converted into "public property"".
Dr. by Gynz-Rekowski "Wernigerode Chronik" - p.113
http://www.wernigerode-in-jahreszahlen.de/jahr-1945/artikel-584.html#prettyPhoto

Views of Wernigerode
Wernigerode.jpg
Wernigerode Town Hall.JPG
Wikipedia

For cover see previous. ("Tolerated" cover)

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

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Bezirk27: OPD Leipzig

Chemnitz
"Chemnitz, from 1953 to 1990: Karl-Marx-Stadt, is the third largest city in the German federal state of Saxony after Leipzig and Dresden. It is the 28th largest city of Germany as well as the fourth largest city in the area of former East Germany after (East) Berlin, Leipzig and Dresden.

Allied bombing destroyed 41 per cent of the built-up area of Chemnitz during the Second World War. Chemnitz contained factories that produced military hardware and a Flossenbürg forced labor subcamp (500 female inmates) for Astra-Werke AG.The oil refinery was a target for bombers during the Oil Campaign of World War II, and Operation Thunderclap attacks included the following raids:

14/15 February 1945: The first major raid on Chemnitz used 717 RAF bombers, but due to cloud cover most bombs fell over open countryside.
2/3–5 March: USAAF bombers attacked the marshalling yards.
5 March: 760 RAF bombers attacked.

The headquarters of the auto manufacturer Auto Union were also based in Chemnitz since 1932 and its buildings were also badly damaged. At the end of the war, the company's executives fled and relocated the company in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, where it evolved into Audi, now a brand within the Volkswagen group.

The World War II bombings left most of the city in ruins and post-war, the East German reconstruction included large low rise (and later high-rise Plattenbau) housing. Some tourist sites were reconstructed during the East German era and after German reunification. The city was occupied by Soviet troops on 8 May 1945."
Wikipedia

Chemnitz1945
CHEMNITZ 1945.jpg
https://de.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Datei:Freiwilliger_Arbeitsei ... z_1945.jpg

Karl Marx Statue (Still present)
Karl_Marx_memorial.jpg
Wikipedia

Chemnitz view
Chemnitz view.jpg
Wikipedia

Bezirk27 (Chemnitz 1)
BEZIRK27 CHEMNITZ.jpg
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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Note that Chemnitz also appeared in Bezirk41 (see later).

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Re: My “Bezirkshandstempel” (District Hand Stamped) cover collection.

Post by OldDuffer1 »

Bezirk27 (cont.)

Leipzig
"Leipzig is the most populous city in the German state of Saxony. With a population of 600,000 inhabitants as of 2019 (1.1 million residents in the larger urban zone), it is Germany's eighth most populous city as well as the second most populous city in the area of former East Germany after (East) Berlin. Together with Halle (Saale), the largest city of the neighbouring state of Saxony-Anhalt, the city forms the polycentric conurbation of Leipzig-Halle.

Until late 1943, there was little threat of aerial bombings to the city. However, on the morning of 4 December 1943, the British Royal Air Force dropped over 1,000 tons of explosives, resulting in the death of nearly 1,000 civilians. This bombing was the largest up to that time. Due to the close proximity of many of the buildings hit, a firestorm occurred. This prompted firefighters to rush to the city; however, they were unable to control the fires. Unlike the neighbouring city of Dresden, this was a largely conventional bombing with high explosives rather than incendiaries. The resultant pattern of loss was a patchwork, rather than wholesale loss of its centre, but was nevertheless extensive.

The Allied ground advance into Germany reached Leipzig in late April 1945. The U.S. 2nd Infantry Division and U.S. 69th Infantry Division fought their way into the city on 18 April and completed its capture after fierce urban action, in which fighting was often house-to-house and block-to-block, on 19 April 1945.

The United States turned the city over to the Red Army as it pulled back from the line of contact with Soviet forces in July 1945 to the designated occupation zone boundaries. Leipzig became one of the major cities of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany)."

Leipzig after bombing
Leipzig 1945.jpg
View of Leipzig
View of Leipzig.jpg
Wikipedia


For cover see previous.

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