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GERMANY Overview

Deutschland - Allemagne

Return To Catalogue - 1870-1874 issues - 1875-1899 issues - 1900-1920 'Germania' - 1900-1920 other issues - 1921-1923 inflation period, part 1 - 1921-1923 inflation period, part 2 - Airmail - Official stamps - German States - German colonies - Miscellaneous

Currency: 30 Groschen = 1 Taler (northern part of Germany) 60 Kreuzer = 1 Gulden (southern part of Germany)
1875: 100 Pfennig = 1 Mark

Note: on my website many of the pictures can not be seen! They are of course present in the cd's;
contact me if you want to purchase them:

Before 1870 Germany consisted of several states. They issued their own stamps. In 1870 Germany was united and only Bavaria and Wurttemberg continued issuing their own stamps. The currency in the northern part and the southern part was different, therefore we can find stamps of the first issue in 'Kreuzer' or in 'Groschen'. In 1875 the 'Mark' was introduced (1 Mark = 100 Pfennig). Stamps of Germany have as inscription 'Deutsche Reichs-Post', 'Reichspost', 'Deutsches Reich'. After the second world war the stamps of Western Germany have the inscription 'Deutsche Bundespost' and the stamps of the German Democratic Rebublic 'Deutsche Demokratische Republik'. After the re-unification of both Germanies, the inscription is 'Deutschland'.

First issues

1870-1874 issues, inscription 'Deutsche Reichs Post', example:

The value of these stamps was in 'Groschen' (northern part of Germany) or 'Kreuzer' (southern part of Germany).

1875-1900 issues

Inscription 'Deutsche Reichs Post' or 'Reichspost', examples:

25 p orange

1901-1920 issues


"Germania" issue
(So-called Germania issue)

Many values were issued in this 'Germania' type, click here for more information.

1 M red "With flags on building" 10 p red
(Other issues from 1900 to 1920)

Click here to see the other issues of Germany from 1900 to 1920.

Inflation period

An interesting period in the German philately is the inflation period of 1921-1923. Click here: Germany 1921-1923 inflation period, part 1 or here: Germany 1921-1923 inflation period, part 2 for more information.

200 M red
(Some examples of the inflation period)

German stamps used abroad

Issues for Turkey, Morocco and China:

Stamp of Germany overprinted in Turkey
(Example of a German stamp, overprinted '5 Piaster 5' to be used in Turkey)

Stamps of Bavaria overprinted

1920 Stamps of Bavaria overprinted 'Deutsches Reich'

75 p red 2 1/2 M brown and black 3 M blue

  5 p green
  10 p orange
  15 p red
  20 p violet
  30 p blue
  40 p brown
  50 p red
  60 p green
  75 p lilac
  80 p blue
  1 M red and grey
  1 1/4 M blue and olive
  1 1/2 M green and olive
  2 M violet and olive
  2 1/2 M black and brown (overprint red)
  3 M blue
  4 M red
  5 M orange
  10 M green
  20 M black

These stamps were printed after the incorporation of Bavaria in the German Empire. They were valid in whole Germany, but were almost only used in Bavaria itself.

Later issues

Just some examples:

(1930 issue)

1928 issue 25 c blue (1931) so-called 'Bauten' serie
(1928 issue, 1931 issue and Western Germany stamps)

(Am Post Deutschland, issued in occupied Western Germany after 1945)


In 1945 stamps were issued in the French occupation zone of Germany, special stamps with inscription 'BADEN', 'WURTTEMBERG' and 'RHEINLAND PFALZ' were issued, examples:

(Stamps issued in Baden, Wurttemberg and Rheinland-Pfalz in 1945)

Besides these issues, general issues for the occupied french territories were also issued, they have the inscription 'ZONE FRANCAISE BRIEFPOST', examples:

Other interesting items

1 p orange, "Number with bear"
(Berlin, 19th century local issue and West-Saxony 1945 issue)

In Germany, during the 19th century many local issues were issue, click here for an overview. After world war II many local stamps were issued again, see: Germany 1945 local issues, part 1 or Germany 1945 local issues, part 2 for more information. I've tried to list most of the 19th century locals and many of the 1945 locals.

German Dictionnary

Abart = variety
Abbildung = illustration
abgenutzt = worn (for plates)
Abklatsch = parts of stamp image visible on the backside
ablösen = soak off
abnützung = wear
Absender = sender
Abstand = distance
Abstimmung = plebiscite
Abweichung = variety
ähnlich = similar
Albumblatt = album page
allseitig = on all sides
amtlich = official
Ankunft = arrival
Antwort = reply
Attest = certificate
Aufdruck = overprint
Auflage = number of stamp issued
ausland = foreign
Ausschnitt = cut square
Bahnpost = railway postage
Balkenstempel = bar cancel
Bayern = Bavaria
beschädigt = damaged
beschnitten = cut into design
bezahlt = paid
Bild = image
blass = pale
Bogen = sheet
breit, breitrandig = wide (margin of stamp)
Brief = letter
Briefkarte = postcard
Briefmarke = stamp
Briefumschlag = envelope
Brustschild = name of first stamps of German Empire)
Bundespost = federal German post
Deutschland = Germany
Dienst = official
Dienstmarke = official stamp
Doppeldruck = doubly printed
Druck = print
Druckfehler = misprint
dünn = thin
Entwertung = cancel
falsch = forged
Fälschung = forgery
Fälschung zum Schaden der Post = postal forgery
Falz = hinge
Farbe = colour
Fehldruck = error
Ganzsache = postal stationery
gebracht = used
gebühr bezahlt = postage paid
gefälligkeitsstempel = cancelled to order
gefälscht = forged
geprüft = expertized
gerissen = torn
Germania = name of stamps issued from 1900 onwards with image of a woman
geschnitten = imperforate
gestempelt = obliterated, cancelled
gezähnt = perforated
Groschen = currency unit
Gummierung, Gummi = gum
halbiert = bisected
infla = stamps from the inflation period
kopfstehend = inverted
Kreuzer = currency unit
Lückenfüller = spacefiller
Machwerk or Mache = bogus stamp
Makalatur = made only for philatelists
Mängel = damage
Nachdruck = reprint
Neudruck = reprint
ohne Obligo = sold as is
postfrisch = unused
Postkarte = post card
Privatmache = bogus issue
Probedruck, Probe = proof
Reich = empire
repariert = repaired
Sammler = collector
Sammlung = collection
Schwindelmarke = bogus stamp
Stempel = postmark (or fiscal stamp)
tatsächlich gelaufen = postally used (not for philatelic purposes)
Trennung = separation
ungebraucht = unused
ungezähnt = imperforated
unverausgabt = non issued
Vorläufer = colonial cancellation on ordinary German stamp
Wasserzeichen = watermark
Zahl = figure of value
Zähnung = perforation

Copyright by Evert Klaseboer

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