Here’s another interesting piece I’ve lately added to my collections… After the 2nd world war, Europe and especially Germany had millions of displaced persons that were left adrift. As an establishment to bring order into chaos and help people in return to their homes, the governments (and allied forces) started to gather these persons into camps by nationality. Many of these camps provided local postal services. And this is were my item of the day, Camp Post Hanau stamp, comes along. Hanau was an Estonian-Latvian DP camp about 25 km east of Frankfurt am Main.
As these fall completely outside the scope of most stamp catalogs (even Michel’s excellent Deutchland Spezial catalog doesn’t state anything of these), I had to rely on Internet for details. Fortunately I came across with an superb website http://www.lagerpost.info (in German only, but Google Translate makes it very readable in any language). There I found that this (and the accompanying blue stamp with design of Estonian crest) were not postage stamps, but charity labels sold at local stamp exhibition to collect money for Estonian-Latvian Red Cross and YMCA.
However, that’s not the end of story yet. The original labels were printed in very small numbers, but there’s a large number of forgeries (or reprints) around. However, unlike the originals, the forgeries are imperforate. So case closed – I have one of the fakes. And what a nice addition it makes to my slowly growing collection of worldwide forgeries
You might also be interested of related posts about Cinderellas (seals / vignettes / labels etc), Forgeries, Stamps and postal history of Germany and German states.