Conquer & Divide

The partition of Germany in the aftermath of World War II was fostered by divisive currency reforms and stamp issues. It is all reflected in some fascinating postal history

 


Philatelic but correctly paid express registered cover of December 9, 1945, using an array of Allied Military
Post stamps from the American printing, posted from Nuremberg to Weissenbrunn in the American Zone

 

At the end of World War II, defeated Germany was divided into four zones of occupation by the victorious allied powers.

The British zone was in the north, the French zone in the south-west, and the American zone in the south. The Soviet sector was in the east, with the British and American Zones (also known as the Bizone) shared a border with it.

The capital, Berlin, was considered a special case. Although it was geographically within the Soviet sector, it was made an enclave with areas administered by each of the four powers.

 


Stamps of the Allied Military Post were brought into use in areas of Germany occupied by
British and American forces even before the end of World War II in 1945. This is the 40pf mauve

 

The expectation was that this whole arrangement would be temporary, pending a peace treaty to sort out the future of Germany. In reality, relations between the western powers and the Soviet Union soured amid conflicting ideologies and mutual suspicion, and no treaty was ever signed.

This made for some interesting and complex postal history in the 1945-48 period, as the occupation authorities increasingly went their own way without reference to each other, so the enduring division of Germany became a fait accompli.

Read the full article in Stamp Magazine June 2017

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