Why are Germany – Saarland joint stamps from the 1957-1959 period not reported in the catalogue while Germany (Berlin) – Germany (West) are ? This is a question reported by Jaap Sarelse (The Netherlands) who noticed, while scrolling through the Vol 2 and Vol 3 Parts of the catalogue, that these issues were listed in the 1996 Catalogue edition, but are missing in the 2022 one. Indeed this is a good question which needs explanations and corrections.
Just after WWII, the Saar region, under French military occupation and administration, spent the following 12 years as a French protectorate. Under this status, which is close to Independence, the Saar was using French Francs and was allowed to issue its own stamps. A plebiscite held on October 23, 1955, to establish an independent Saarland under an agreement signed in October 1954 by both France and Germany, led to the rejection of the proposal by 67.7% of the population. As a consequence, Saarland was allowed to join the Federal Republic of Germany as a new “Land” by January 1, 1957, with a transition period completed on July 7, 1959. At this date, the Deutsche Mark became the official new currency. During this transition period, Saarland continued to issue its own stamps. Those were produced in Berlin, on the basis of other existing German stamps, but still labelled in French Francs.
On this basis, some stamps issued during this period by the almost independent Saarland deserve to appear in the catalogue. The commemorative stamps which have the same design and the same date of issue are indeed Territorial Dependency issues [TD] from main class Territorial stamp issues [D] which will now be reported in the catalogue. These include the following:
- 1957 (January 2): Integration of Saarland to Germany
- 1958 (January 9): 50th anniversary of the death of Wilhelm Busch
- 1958 (March 18): 100th birthday of Rudolf Diesel
- 1958 (July 21): 150th anniversary of the German gymnastics’ associations
- 1958 (August 29): 150th birthday of Hermann Schulze Delitzsch
- 1958 (October 1): Rural economy – Charity stamps – Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen
- 1959 (March 6): 500th anniversary of the birth of Jakob Fugger
- 1959 (May 6): 100th anniversary of the death of Alexander von Humboldt
The Europa stamps from 1957 and 1958 including Saarland are already reported in the catalogue.
All the above stamps are now reported in the catalogue. The other definitive stamps cannot be considered as joint stamp issues, while the following non-commemorative stamps with the same design have been listed in the catalogue as non-accepted joint stamp issues [N] without full description:
- 1957 (October 1): Social service – Mining workers
- 1957 (October 5): International week of letter writing
- 1958 (March 5): Fight against forest fires
- 1958 (April 1): Charity stamp for children: Folk songs
As a consequence, this major change in the catalogue, led for the first time to the creation of a new version of Vol 2 which became V3.02 and substitute to V3.01. The former version V3.01 remains available in the Catalogue archives section for comparison purpose. The shift of pages in Vol 2 led also to a shift of pages in Vol 3 which had also to be replaced by V3.02. Of course, all these new information is reported in the different tables of content (country, topics) from Vol 1, which became also V3.02. These changes are reported here as it is the first time this occurs, and to better explain how the update works, but, of course, we will not bother you with such modifications in the future. You just must be sure that the Catalogues accessible on the Catalogue pages contain always the most updated information. In case of doubt, you can always check in the Archive section.