Delightful Deutsche Post Christmas stamp

Delightful Deutsche Post Christmas stamp

The 2020 Deutsche Post Christmas stamp is now available!  This release includes single self-adhesives, booklets, souvenir sheets, and greeting cards.

Markenset “Frohes Fest” / “Happy Feast” – festive decorations

Das festliche Dekorieren des Hauses oder der Wohnung in den Farben Grün, Rot und Weiß, Silber und Gold ist Teil des weihnachtlichen Brauchtums. Beliebter Weihnachtsschmuck sind der Adventskranz und der Adventskalender sowie die ursprünglich aus dem Erzgebirge stammenden Schwibbögen und die Weihnachtspyramiden, die mit ihrem Licht für Behaglichkeit sorgen. Den Mittelpunkt der Weihnachtsstimmung bilden die mit bunten Glaskugeln, Kerzen oder elektrischen Lichterketten, aus Holz oder Metall gefertigten Formen und Figuren, Strohsternen und Lametta geschmückten Tannenbäume und die kunstvoll gestalteten Weihnachtskrippen.
Deutsche Post 

Deutsche Post Christmas Stamp - decorations including a prancing deer

Stamp designed by Thomas Steinacker

The stamp highlights popular Christmas decorations like bulbs, Advent calendars, fir branches, and stars. Designer Thomas Steinacker also created the Jan 2020 stamp issued to commemorate Beethoven’s 250th birthday.

Deutsche Post Christmas stamp – booklets & s/s

Deutsche Post Christmas Stamp - decorations full booklet

Christmas decorations available in 10 stamp booklet

Souvenir sheet of German Christmas stamps

Souvenir sheets

The Christmas motif self-adhesive is also available in booklets of 10 stamps and a souvenir sheet.

Grußkarten-Set “Weihnachten 2020” / Christmas stamps Greeting Card Set

Photo of a Christmas set of greeting cards

5 different greeting cards and 10 stamps

If you enjoy sending traditional Christmas cards, the Germany Post Office sells a set of 10 greeting cards, with 5 unique designs, plus envelopes and 10 self-adhesive stamps. The German post office does Christmas up with panache.

Don’t forget to follow Bitter Grounds via any of the links just below this article.

Amazing German FDC – Tag der Briefmarke 2020

Amazing German FDC – Tag der Briefmarke 2020

I acquired an impressive German FDC recently, courtesy of a fellow collector in Germany. He posted a message on a stamp collecting forum about a special Deutsche Post commemorative cancel honouring the Canadian army. He kindly sent 3 covers/postcards that had the cancel. What I didn’t expect was the FDC displayed below. It has 3 elements that make it one of the more attractive FDCs I’ve seen in years.

German FDC honouring the Canadian Army – Deutsche Post

Photo of a German FDC showing 2 Canadian soldiers in front of the Leer, Rathaus in 1945

2 Canadian soldiers in front of the Rathaus (townhall) in Leer, Germany

Deutsche post issued the First Day Cover (FDC) with a special cancel commemorating both the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and Canada’s role in liberating Leer, Germany. The cancel displays both the Leer Rathaus and the Canadian army badge. It’s a touching design.

Canadian army badge showing crossed swords and three maple leafs

Emblem of the Canadian army

It took some detective work to find details about both the cancel and the photo used on the FDC. I started with a (very) rough translation from the German FDC.

Original German:
Tag der Briefmarke  202075 Jahre Ende des 2 Weltkriegs1945 befreien kanadische Truppen die
Stadt und den Landkreis Leer
Verein der Briefmarkenfreunde
Leer E.V.
Rough translation:
Stamp Day 202075 years end of World War II

In 1945, Canadian troops liberated the
City and the district of Leer
Association of Stamp Friends
Leer E.V.

Leer is in the Northwest of Germany, across the river from Groningen province, Netherlands. When Canadian troops swept across the northern parts of Europe, they crossed the bridge from Groningen to Leer and liberated the city.

The cancel was created for the annual German-Dutch exchange day. Apologies for the following bad translation from the original German.

The traditional German-Dutch Exchange Day 2020 will take place on 26 September in Hesel.

The hall, which philatelists know from the Northwest German Collectors Exchange, held in 2019, is large enough, with an area of around 600 square metres, to allow all visitors to maintain the necessary safety distance.

Exchange and day of the stamp.
The village community house in Jemgum, (Germany) on the other hand, measures only 300 square meters. Therefore, the event had to move from Jemgum to Hesel. On September 26, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Leer stamp society will not only be inviting you to the Big Exchange Day, but also to the release of a cover, which this year is dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the city by Canadian troops.

An “Experience Stamps” team will be there with the new “75 years of AM Post” stamp as well. The association will have available the cover containing both an historic photo and the AM stamp.

Contact: Oswald Janssen, Am Helling 11, 26802 Moormerland, Tel. 04954 / 6346, Oswald.Janssen (at), www:

Closeup of the special cancel

Scan of the special Leer/Hesel stamp cancel honouring the liberation of Leer

Excellent cancel showing the badge of the Canadian army


AM – Allied Military stamp on the German FDC

There was a pleasant surprise on the FDC – the commemorative AM stamp. It has been released for the upcoming 75-year anniversary of the original AM (Allied Military) post war stamps. AM stamps were issued after the fall of the Nazis, under the US and Great Britain forces. These general issues were in use from Feb. 1946 to June of 1948.

Reproduction of Allied Military stamp issued in Germany 1946

Modern stamp showing Allied Military stamp issued in Germany 1946

The originals are an interesting grouping to collect. Aside from the basic set, avid collectors can hunt for varieties in colours, types of paper, cancels, perforations, and plate numbers. They are mostly inexpensive and easy to find.

The Allies had set up a temporary postal service in the occupied German Reich, which could also be used for civil mail from March 1945. The “AM-POST” stamps (“Allied Military”) were the first stamps of the Allies on German soil at that time. They initially came from the USA (MiNr.: 1-9), later they were printed in England (MiNr.: 10-15) and Germany (MiNr.: 16-35). – Duetsche Post website

The “75 years of AM-POST-Brands” stamp came out Sept. 3, 2020, just prior to the release on Sept. 26, 2020 of the German FDC with the Canadian soldiers’ photo.

Canadian soldiers stand in the Leer city harbour

Photo of 2 Canadian soldiers standing near riverside in Leer, Germany, with Rathaus in background

Two Canadian soldiers stand in the city’s harbour after the conquest. Images: Dieter Simon, The End of the War 1945 in Leer, Verlag Schuster 1995

It was difficult to find any reference to the photo used in this German FDC. I found only one in an online newspaper from Germany. Beyond this one link, I couldn’t find anything else. I searched Canadian archives too, but nothing popped up.

This is a good find for any Canadian militaria collector as well as stamp fans, both German and Canadian.

Psst – have a spare 8 grand for a slightly damaged postal cover?

Psst – have a spare 8 grand for a slightly damaged postal cover?

Here’s something you don’t see every day:

Photo of a badly burned salvaged cover from the Hindenburg Zeppelin disaster - cover courtesy Vance Auctions

A badly burned salvaged cover from the Hindenburg Zeppelin disaster

Have you figured out what it is? Here’s a hint: Think Zeppelin mail.  This chance to own a piece of history is coming up at the next Vance sale Aug 22, 2018. (Auction item 687)

C54, Tied on part of a charred cover from the 6 May, 1937 HINDENBURG ZEPPELIN DISASTER. Addr to C. Ford in San Francisco with centrally struck red Zeppelin flight cachet. Wrapped in the original cellophane by the Post Office and with P.O. Department Officially Sealed label on reverse. Has 1993 Germany Philatelic Society Certificate and 1993 Dr J. Simon Certificate. A VERY RARE EXAMPLE OF A HINDENBURG CRASH COVER FROM THE MOST FAMOUS AIR DISASTER IN HISTORY

The cover, from one of the most famous air disasters in history, was one of only 372 salvaged from the 17,000 letters the Hindenburg carried on it’s last flight. Out of those 372, 176 suffered no damaged because they were being held in protective pouches. The rest (this one included) were pieced together afterwards by diligent US postal officials, sealed and  sent on to their destination.  This one has an authentication certificate, which is mandatory given the high number of forgeries about.  It’s unusual to see one come for auction and it’ll be interesting to see what the final price is.

If you look closely, you can just make out an address and post mark. The original US post Officially Sealed stamp is in place along with the salvage wrapping. It originally carried the C54 Swastika, Sun, Globe and Eagle German airmail stamp – 100pf, like the one below, but I couldn’t spot it. I think it’ll take a careful examination to see the remnants.

Scan of 1934 German airmail stamp

Note: the number of covers that survived varies between 358 to 372.  Zeppelin authority Dieter Leder from the Zeppelin Study Group pegs the number at 372, which is the one I use in the article.

Hindenburg Crash Mail – 
Burned mail from Hindenburg crash to be auctioned (link no longer available. Looking for another one)
Zeppelin Post Journal is the one of the best magazines on the market for Zeppelin related information –