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Europe/Germany : Germany Inflation Covers

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pigdoc
13 Jan 2018
10:33:56am
Hi folks,

BigDaddy's earlier posting on this topic has really stimulated my interest. For your interest and comment, here is a cover I'm watching on eBay:
Image Not Found
First, it looks like there are 4 of the 20 billion mark stamps missing from the lower left side of the front of the cover. Accounting for the value of those 4 stamps, the total value of stamps used to mail this letter was 320 billion marks which is the proper rate for a 20-gram letter to a foreign destination between November 26 and November 30, 1923. (Frankreich is "French-Germany", correct? And, "NORD" on the backstamp indicates the region of France that contained Roubaix.)

According to the reference from the Germany Philatelic Society that I've been using:
http://www.germanyphilatelicsocietyusa.org/chapters/tc/rates/rates.pdf

...it appears that monetary reform kicked in on December 1, 1923, lowering the rate for this letter to 30 pfennigs on that date. As can easily be seen, this cover was cancelled on December 1, 1923. What gives? Was there overlap between the old and new rates?

I have no basis on whether or not to challenge the authenticity of this cover. Anyone else? Very curious as to others' opinions!

Thanks.


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dollhaus
13 Jan 2018
11:24:30am
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Just some thoughts:

Frankreich is the German word for France. Traces back to 'Kingdom of the Franks.'

I think Roubaix Nord on the backstamp just means North Post Office, Roubaix.

Why would the mailer use the inflation stamps if reform was coming? One guess - to get rid of old stamps that were going to be useless while he could. Put the old ones on the letter, drop in a mailbox Friday PM, 11/30. Mail picked up and postmarked next day.

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Stampme
13 Jan 2018
01:48:59pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Glad you noticed the missing stamps that must have fallen off, perhaps picked off.
Bruce

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pigdoc
13 Jan 2018
08:34:56pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Ya, you can even almost see the discolored paper from the missing stamps' adhesive!

If I google "Roubaix Wiki", I find it classified thus:
Country France
Region Hauts-de-France
Department Nord
Arrondissement Lille
Canton Roubaix-1 and 2
Intercommunality Métropole Européenne de Lille

So, I would presume that the "Nord" in the postmark refers to the "Department" classification.

I wonder if the citizenry was made aware that monetary reform to the extent that they could anticipate it more than a day or two in advance. If not, it's easy to imagine a scenario where a letter is deposited in a mailbox before the impending reform was announced.

Would there have been reason to postpone purchases until after reform, or would it have been better to move them up to get them done before reform kicked in?

And, was there a 'grace period' when both currencies (old and new) were accepted?

Anyway, I doubt there are many such usages (from the final period of the inflationary period) later than this one!

I have much to learn about German monetary policy during this period.


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pigdoc
13 Jan 2018
09:06:26pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Here's another cover that really grabs me for its historical interest:
Image Not Found

For printed matter (Drucksache) in the period 0ctober 10, 1923 through October 19, 1923, the rate for 25 grams was 1 million marks. Then, there was a 2.5 million mark surcharge for airmail. The bottom row of stamps adds up to 3.5 million marks, so that's right on. The inclusion of the set of airmail stamps (totaling 340 marks) is a neat perk, worth virtually nothing to the sender, but adds to the cover's interest.

I can't make out the postmark, but the bottom of it reads FLUGPLATZ (airfield). There are two backstamps on this cover, a red, rectangular "befördert" (forward) stamping, and a round Berlin Luftpost stamping, dated October 20, 1923, 6-7 N (Nacht?).

You have to wonder, what was the rush that its contents had to be sent by airmail from Berlin to Hamburg, a distance of less than 300 km by road? That is, until you realize that the Hamburg Uprising was unfolding, and reached its climax on October 23, 1923. Makes you wonder what this cover contained that was so urgent that it absolutely positively HAD to get there before the killing started!

I googled Fraulein Gesslein. Nothing.
Today, Woldsenweg is an urban residential area...

Seller has a BuyItNow of $175 on this item. Too rich for my budget, especially considering its tattered condition...

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Opa
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14 Jan 2018
01:24:29am
re: Germany Inflation Covers

If you look at the Machine cancel carefully on the first cover, the left round cancel reads "1.12.23.2-8N" the rest of them read "1.12.21. 4-5N".
The year 21 could also be from a false adjusted cancel. However at the bottom the left cancel reads (1 * af) the rest (* 1 b), the bottom letters, numerals and stars are critical in identifying the cancels; both listed as potentially false. Suspicious. Also it has a arrival cancel on the back these are normally only used by registered letters.
The second airmail cover I believe to be from München (Munich), potentially false. but with the patina it has it could very possibly be real. But not worth $175.

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pigdoc
14 Jan 2018
10:56:42am
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Good catch on the unmatching cancellations on the first cover. And, the arrival cancel on the back is pretty crudely done. Same seller has 7 covers currently listed on eBay, from a variety of senders and all to the same recipient. If you search "Roubaix 1923" in Stamps, you'll get the complete collection, and nothing else. It's a tough call, but I find it difficult to declare that all 7 covers are faked. For what it's worth, all 7 of those covers have the identical backstamp, just with different dates.

Is there a reference for "listed as potentially false"? I'd love to be able to do some thorough research on inflation covers.

If the second cover (Munich to Hamburg) is real, it has high historical interest, given that it is dated at a time when polarization between the political right and left was reaching its climax in both cities (leading to violent confrontations in both). If the recipient, or the (anonymous) sender had some political prominence, that would increase the cover's value in my mind...

Thanks for looking these over, Opa!


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Opa
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14 Jan 2018
12:44:36pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Quote:

"Is there a reference for "listed as potentially false"? I'd love to be able to do some thorough research on inflation covers.
"



Yes there is, there is a book from Infla Berlin listing all the False and potentially false cancelations between 1919-1923. It is sold for €14.
The book is called "Falsch stempel der Inflation 1919-1923" Band 13

Have a look Here,
https://www.infla-berlin.de/11_Buecher/Buecher.php



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pigdoc
15 Jan 2018
02:31:07pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

I find the events in Germany in 1923 quite fascinating. It was a time of enormous turmoil, and political jostling between Communist (left) and the Social Democrats (right).
Here is another German inflation cover I have my eye on:
Image Not Found
First, looking at the postage, 4000 marks was correct for a Registered 20 gram letter to a foreign destination.

The postmark, August 4, 1923 was right around the time the Commmunists were organizing workers to strike which culminated in the "Cuno strikes" which involved Hamburg and resulted in the resignation of Chancellor Wilhelm Cuno's government, on August 12. Some 3.5 million workers participated in the strikes.

I could not find anything on Elemer Bolgar, but it seems that this person was a Hungarian Jew (maybe a banker?). The sender's address, Rosenstrasse 7 is right around the corner from the addressee of my November 10, 1923 cover from Munich to Hamburg - it's the same office building.

The Corn Exchange National Bank building still stands in Philadelphia. I tried to see if there was any connection between the Corn Exchange Bank and the German Communists or Social Democrats, and found nothing. Interestingly, the institution printed $15.5 million worth of National currency from 1864 through 1928. The Corn Exchange bank is perhaps most famous for being the target of an attempted robbery in February, 1933 by Willie Sutton, known as "Slick Willie".

Given that hyperinflation was reaching its stride when this cover was cancelled, I must wonder if its contents was about that concern. (Evaluations fell to about 25% on August 1, and then again to about 5% on August 24. So, something costing 10 marks on July 31 would have cost about 800 marks a month later.

Comments invited!

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roy
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BuckaCover.com - 10,200 new covers added February 21
15 Jan 2018
03:43:16pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

I don't think there is anything false about the cancel in the first cover.

The right hand cancels are not "21". It just looks that way because the "3" falls on perforations. If you look at the time stamp of the cancels, the right ones are 4-5 (i.e. 4-5 am), while the left one is at a slightly different angle (look at the bars) and has a time stamp of 7-8 (7-8am). It is also clear that the left two stamps were not hit by the initial cancel. thus it is my opinion that a postal clerk rectified the situation by cancelling the two left stamps a couple of hours later.

Still not a cover I would add to my collection, given the missing stamps.

Roy

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"BuckaCover.com - 10,200 new covers added February 21"

www.Buckacover.com
pigdoc
15 Jan 2018
03:55:39pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

I tend to agree, roy, but I'm a little shy about the veracity of the cancellations anyway, based on Opa's comments. On the other hand, the seller has about 70 covers up on eBay right now, all addressed to the same Roubaix firm and all with the same backstamp (just with different dates). That makes me thing that, even if it wasn't proper, the clerk(s) at that PO seemed to have a standard practice of backstamping all letters, whether it was required or not. If the seller is dealing forged material, the group is a prodigious amount of work when taken together (especially the research that would have been required)!

I don't mind it at all when items in my collection show some battle damage!

Thanks for your comment!

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roy
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BuckaCover.com - 10,200 new covers added February 21
15 Jan 2018
04:00:55pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

I have not been able to find any concrete information on the period of acceptance of the inflation era stamps after the currency reform, but they were certainly accepted for a period of time after the December 1 reform.

Here is a cover dated December 5, 1923 from my "sold database" that uses both post- and pre-reform stamps:

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Looking up the correct rate for this one is tricky, because I believe that there was a reduced rate treaty with Czechoslovakia, so it may not look right if one is looking at just the standard international rate tables.

Roy

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"BuckaCover.com - 10,200 new covers added February 21"

www.Buckacover.com
Linus
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15 Jan 2018
09:01:34pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

I have these two Germany covers from 1923 in my postal history collection. Despite the inflation going on, people were still mailing letters from Germany in 1923. They do not seem to be rare, I bought these in general foreign cover lots at the Quad City Stamp-Out Cancer auction years ago.

Linus

Image Not Found

Image Not Found

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pigdoc
16 Jan 2018
08:35:13am
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Hey, I grew up about 20 miles south of Dubuque!
Know the area well...
Did you ever try to google up the senders/addressees?
My collectometer swings to the right when I get a 'hit' on google!

-Paul

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pigdoc
16 Jan 2018
08:44:09am
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Oh, I meant to say also that I spent some time yesterday googling "Comptoir Lainier" from the cover at the top of this thread. It appears that this firm was a wool brokerage (lainier is "wool" and comptoir is "counter" in French). The seller of that cover again, has 100+ covers currently offered to that same addressee, and the senders include spinners, firms specializing in wool yarn, and the like. I got a nice street view of the address, and there do not seem to be any remnants of the business façade from the 1920s...Not surprising, I guess. But it does appear that the location was too cramped for any kind of significant manufacturing enterprise, so probably just a broker's office. Roubaix's population is approaching 100,000 these days (Wiki)...

I'm always looking for a neat historical connection with the covers I collect. This one is a 3 on a scale of 10 for me, mainly because it appears to be a rather mundane industrial theme, with no obvious political overtones. Still, it was an international firm, with lots of foreign customers, apparently.

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Opa
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16 Jan 2018
01:34:31pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Quote:

"I have not been able to find any concrete information on the period of acceptance of the inflation era stamps after the currency reform, but they were certainly accepted for a period of time after the December 1 reform."



On the 31st of December Inflation stamps were no longer valid. There are some covers that got by on later dates, these are very rare. The value of 1 Trillion Reichsmark = 1 Rentenmark on mixed covers.


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sheepshanks
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16 Jan 2018
03:06:48pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

The only cover I have from this period is dated 30/9/1923. Here are front and back views.
Think I posted it before, a year or so ago.
Image Not Found
Image Not Found

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sheepshanks
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16 Jan 2018
03:18:15pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Not sure if this relates to the recipient or not.
https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=67447

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pigdoc
16 Jan 2018
04:41:16pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Ya, not much info there on the interval of time which includes the posting date of the cover. But, if he was born in 1910, he would, of course, been going on 13 then. The sender's hand is a bit shaky, so I would presume he was elderly - maybe a grandfather? It wouldn't be too much a stretch to suggest that Grandpa was somewhat well-to-do if he could drop 2 million marks on the lad, just for postage... And, considering that every stamp on the cover is different, it's also not too much a stretch to presume that young Karl was a stamp collector, and therefore a somewhat worldly Panzer-Grenadier in later life!

By the way, 2 million marks doesn't fit nicely into any of the rates for the period of September 20 through September 30. The rate for a non-local letter of 500 grams was only 450,000 marks.

Also, look how carefully the stamps are spaced around the cover. And, furthermore, they're ordered by value counterclockwise from the upper right. Clearly a display.

It's Fun to make up stories about covers...

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Linus
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16 Jan 2018
04:48:57pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

High five Pigdoc! Another Iowa kid. I grew up in Marshalltown, but my parents were from Springville and Anamosa, which is Grant Wood country. I used to go back to Jones County to visit relatives. On my Dubuque, Iowa cover above, I think it was meant for Johann Michael Reu, a Professor of Theology at the Wartburg Theological Seminary. Check out the link below. The Seminary is still going strong today, and they have the Reu Library there named after him.

Linus

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Michael_Reu

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pigdoc
16 Jan 2018
05:28:30pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Yes Linus, I think you have the Rev. Reu pegged! Very interesting!

My dad grew up in Collins, down the diagonal from Marshalltown. You know "Milo Park" on the west end of town (under the watertower)? Milo was my uncle. All the streets are named after my cousins. Uncle Milo had a dairy and delivered milk in Marshalltown in the 1930s.

:-)
Paul

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Opa
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17 Jan 2018
12:10:38pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

I have this Printed mater in town cover, it is from The Pewter Masters Guild. Cancelled Nürnberg 24.6.23.


Image Not Found

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jmh67
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17 Jan 2018
01:28:27pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Regarding the cover shown by sheepshanks, this Karl Borchers was already married in 1923. The address says "nebst Gemahlin" which means roughly "and his wife". Hence he cannot have been the officer mentioned in the weblink. But both the given name and the family name are rather common.

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sheepshanks
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17 Jan 2018
01:38:27pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Thanks Martin, not knowing any German I wondered what that meant.
On that note what does the word after his name translate as (? esquire) or perhaps (junior).
Did think it was a long shot with the web page.

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jmh67
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17 Jan 2018
02:34:04pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

The letters after the name are "ju" or "jn", possibly the former judging from the bow on top, an abbreviation for "junior" as you already guessed.

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sheepshanks
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17 Jan 2018
02:45:22pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Thanks Martin.
From the Familysearch website I found an immigration in 1927 for Karl and Naemi (Neomi)Borchers giving their births 1903 and 1902 in Moordeich and Estorp(f), both close to Hannover and about 250k from Berlin.
The 1940 census shows them in San Francisco where he is a baker with his own business, this is the occupation he gave when immigrating. They were also in the same area in 1930 and had his brother Charles living with them.
Probably never know if this is the same family unless someone puts up a family tree that links them in.
Could not find a marriage record for Karl and Naomi but doubtless many records were destroyed over time.

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pigdoc
17 Jan 2018
02:52:31pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Say Martin,
I've been trying to figure out what the title is on this inflation cover.
I'm quite sure the addressee is Waldemar H, Hamburg i, Mönckeberg str. 3.

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If it was Waldemar Hoven, this cover would be the proverbial home run, but the script just doesn't look like that. (Hoven was one of 7 Nazi doctors hanged for war crimes.) For one thing, Hoven testified at Nuremberg that he went to the United States in 1921 and stayed for 3 years. Somewhat interestingly, I get a hit on the All New York Passenger Lists for one "Waldemar Hoven", born 1903 arriving in 1925. He testified that he was back in Germany that year, working for his father. He would have had reason to obscure an early relationship with the Nazis, and an association with Boepple, in my opinion. A connection between Ernst Boepple and Waldemar Hoven is quite plausible.

I just thought that the title might shed some light on what Waldemar H was. Apparently not a "Herrn"...

Can you shed some light?
Thanks!

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jmh67
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18 Jan 2018
01:45:18am
re: Germany Inflation Covers

I read the address as "Buchhdlg / Waldemar Heert / ...", i.e. Buchhandlung = bookshop. Makes sense considering the sender was a publishing house (according to Wikipedia an antisemitic one). Mönckebergstraße 3 is right next to Hamburg's main railway station, nowadays the plot is occupied by a department store.

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pigdoc
18 Jan 2018
09:22:09am
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Thanks Martin!

I think I agree with your conclusions.
In the title, I can definitely see the "B", and the "hdlg" at the end. In fact, if you look at the last character of "Hamburg", it's perfectly identical to the last character of the title. Strange though, that it looks like there's an umlaut after the "B". Today, at least, that umlaut is not a conventional usage for that word. And, I'm not sure I see a double "h" in the middle. But, I'm nitpicking...

I found out that, in the 1920s, Mönckebergstraße 3 was part of an office building, built in 1914. Today, it is a shopping mall, having been repurposed in the late 1960s.

And ya, Boepple was a prolific anti-Semitic publisher during the rise of the Nazis. So "buchhandlung" makes perfect sense. According to wiki, he "was deeply implicated in the Final Solution..." I can find no reference describing Boepple's involvement in the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, but the postmark is the day after it was suppressed, a Saturday. However, the primary instrument of the Nazis via Hitler during this period was NOT Boepple's Deutscher Volks Verlag, it was the Völkischer Beobachter.

Anyway, the sender is somewhat notable, historically, so it satisfies my evaluation as collectible! I bought the item primarily for the historically significant postmark date, anything more is gravy.

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Jansimon
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18 Jan 2018
10:37:43am

Approvals
re: Germany Inflation Covers

It is Waldemar Heldt, who ran a well known publishing company in Hamburg. Still in business right after the war, so I doubt that he was "deeply implicated" in any nazi stuff.

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www.pagowirense.nl/stamps/
jmh67
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18 Jan 2018
10:49:52am
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Yes, on second glance "Heldt" fits better. The writing is a curious mix of Latin and German cursive. The two "h"s next to each other are each in a different style. As for the bow above the "u", many people put it there to distinguish it from an "n".

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pigdoc
18 Jan 2018
06:25:08pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Thanks jansimon!

It is a bonus to me to have you weigh in on this one!

Interesting that Heldt is a publisher, and not simply a book seller. Publisher to publisher communication would seem to be a notch above a more mundane communication to a seller.

I love to make up stories about covers (human-beings are meaning-making machines!), and so I must conclude that, if Boepple was making some kind of appeal for collaboration, he was rebuffed, based on your assessment of Heldt's (apparent lack of) Nazi affiliation by the end of the war. I speculate from a perspective that the Nazis were, generally, looking to expand the movement in the mid-1920s, politically, a very competitive era in Germany. In the aftermath of the setback that was the Munich Beer Hall Putsch, Boepple, in his despair, may have been reaching out to the publishing community with letters such as this one.

I will be researching Heldt's body of work as a publisher. After all, in the Nazi movement, there was immense power invested in not only the spoken, but the printed word...

By the way, Martin, to your comment about the pedigree of the script, Boepple was an assumed name. Lembert was the character's original surname, according to wiki. Doesn't particularly evoke any Roman heritage...Of course, that's presuming the script is actually Boepple's hand...


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pigdoc
20 Apr 2018
01:10:05pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Bumping this topic.

I *did* finally score that Corn Exchange Bank cover just last week that I posted above on January 15. Didn't want it to get away from me. And, I chose to pick up another from the same seller, just to spread out the shipping costs. Here it is:

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The two make a nice pair - both special delivery (surface), both to Philadelphia, both 14 days transit time. Together, they illustrate the massive inflation rate. 4000RM on August 4, 1923 was the rate for a 20g Registered foreign letter. 1.5 million RM on September 27 was the rate for a 60g foreign letter, and maybe another 750,000 RM (triple the Registration fee of 250,000 RM) for the courier service (Durch Eilboten.)?

It was known that, during the period of hyperinflation in Germany and also Europe at large, that citizens were attempting to convert RM to other currencies. Makes me wonder if both these envelopes were used to send cash to the US, although a big box would have been more useful than a small envelope for that purpose at that time...

-Paul

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pigdoc
10 Jun 2018
03:15:35pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Gotta bump this topic with news that I just scored some nice German inflation covers, covering a wide range of 1923.

In 1923 Germany, there were 15 postal rate increases, FIVE in November alone, before currency was revalued effective December 1. These rate changes were a cumulative 16 BILLION-fold increase through that period. That's what is known as hyperinflation!

Here is a cover I got today from the next-to-last rate period before currency revaluation:Image Not Found

I got it for the block. Interesting that the hand appears to be of an octagenarian. There are 60 billion Reichsmarks on this cover. I'm not sure what that paid for, but a 200 gram foreign letter would have been 64 billion - 16 billion for each 50 grams. Perhaps this cover represents an underpayment of postage. Whoever cancelled the stamps applied twice as many cancellations as necessary....inexperience?

Many more to share!
-Paul



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jmh67
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11 Jun 2018
02:55:40am
re: Germany Inflation Covers

If any, there are too few postmarks on the letter ;-) Back in the day, the postal employees were supposed to cancel each stamp individually to prevent reuse. Some people cut and pasted uncancelled parts of postage stamps in order to cheat. Difficult to do with a socked-on-the-nose stamp. Large stamps such as the Mark values of the pre-war series were supposed to be cancelled twice for the same reason. With advancing inflation this might not have been such an important problem any more, but rules are rules, and old habits die hard.

-jmh

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Opa
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11 Jun 2018
12:47:21pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

A very nice cover. The stamp with the upper salvage ( Type B) is costly on cover. Great find. Thumbs Up



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pigdoc
11 Jun 2018
02:52:40pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Thank you, Opa.

For me, the most pressing thing to understand is what the 60 billion RM paid for? Again, this cover does not seem to fit into the conventional rate schedules, which I present here:

Foreign Rates: 12-25 November 1923
Printed Matter to 50g: 16 billion
each additional 50g: 16 billion
Postcard: 48 billion
Letter to 20g: 80 billion
each additional 20g: 40 billion
Registration Fee: 20 billion

Again, about the only thing I can come up with is that the sender underpaid 4 billion for an envelope of Printed Matter weighing 200g...a wad of cash perhaps?

-Paul

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Opa
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11 Jun 2018
04:34:50pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

There is another rate (I don´t know the term for this in English), Border mail? I´m sure this does not apply to this cover. I´ll see if I can find some more information.
The rates for foreign letters:
11/5/23 4 Billion, additional 20gr 2 bill., Border rate 1 bill.
11/12/23 40.........................20.................. 10
11/20/23 80.........................40...................20

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Opa
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13 Jun 2018
01:52:48pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

What I found out so far is that for Czechoslovakia and Hungry the postage was reduced to 60 billion RM. Have not found out about the Netherlands, sill searching.

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pigdoc
13 Jun 2018
02:28:45pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Yes, THANKS, Opa!

I did run across the concept of 1920s Germany border mail in my research, and actually checked to see how close Lippspringe was to the border with Holland. 200 or 300 km, if I remember...

But, that it was sent under a border mail rate seems the most likely explanation for the postage it carries!

-Paul

PS, the hyperinflation in Germany is legendary, but I think what gets slightly lost is that many other European countries were having similar inflationary difficulty. Near the end of that period in Germany, it's not hard to imagine many just throwing up their hands in despair. It must have been chaos.

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pigdoc
28 Aug 2018
11:42:48am
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Since my last posting on this thread, my Germany Inflation collection has expanded considerably. My goal is to collect covers showing various rates in each rate period of 1923. There were 17 different rate periods in 1923, ranging in length from 5-1/2 months (Jan 15-June 30) to 4 days (Nov 1-4). Here is a link to my reference document:

http://www.gps.nu/rates/rates.pdf

Along the way, I've made some observations:

- Errors in postage are frequent, and add a dimension of interest to this collecting realm.
- As may be expected, the scarcity of material is directly related to the length of the rate period. November 1-4 is particularly elusive. I've encountered only a few items in several months of looking. It must be realized that November 1-4 was a Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Here is the one cover I have scored from that period:

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Doesn't look like much. But then, if you look at the rate for printed matter to a Foreign destination for that period, it's 40 million Marks, not 6 million.

Here's another I just scored, from the previous rate period, which ended on October 31, 1923:
Image Not Found

I collected this cover, because it had the same postage on it to the same foreign destination as the later cover. The correct Foreign rate for Printed Matter for this period was 6 million Marks.

Now, neither cover is marked "Drucksache" (for printed matter), but I'm taking the conservative approach to this postage anomaly. The question is, how did it arise? Mistake by the clerk? A failure of awareness of the rate change? Did it have something to do with how the letter was posted? A (VERY) late cancellation?

This is an excellent area for someone interested in collecting postage rates!

-Paul


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Opa
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28 Aug 2018
03:26:28pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

It is possible that in the first cover that the stamp cancel was not properly adjusted.
These are uncommon but can be found. Below is an example of a Machine roll cancel falsely adjusted, one has the year 21 the other 22. The left would be the proper one for the postage. 2 very nice covers you obtained.

Image Not Found

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BenFranklin1902
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Tom in Exton, PA
28 Aug 2018
07:12:15pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

On that one cover Herr Petry ran a Hair Supply House... I wonder how many million marks a comb cost then?

Paul as you said, I cannot imagine living there then. I would've thrown my hands up in despair!

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pigdoc
29 Aug 2018
08:57:16am
re: Germany Inflation Covers

A comb didn't cost any more than a postage stamp, then, as now.Laughing

-Paul

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pigdoc
29 Aug 2018
09:16:14am
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Here's another cover, which I let go, because I thought the opening bid was too high at £35:Image Not Found

This cover carries postage totaling 98 billion Marks. It was posted on December 3, 1923. On December 1, the cost of a 20-100g Local letter dropped from 48 billion Marks to 10 pfennigs.

My presumption is that after currency reform, a 2-billion Mark stamp was used as a 0.2-pfennig stamp, and this cover underpaid the 10-pfennig rate by 0.2 pfennig (it was one stamp short). I can't see anywhere on the cover where a stamp may have fallen off. Or, maybe it was 98 pfennigs. Or, maybe the sender or clerk just slapped a bunch of stamps on there, in the confusion of it all...

In essence, the Government simply lopped ELEVEN zeros off the prices of everything, so a billion Marks became a hundredth of a Mark (one pfennig). Incredible. And, the citizens think it dastardly that the Venezuelan government lopped just five zeros off the prices of everything:

"Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on July 25 announced the removal of five zeroes from the country's currency -- two more than originally planned -- amid hyperinflation the IMF said could reach one million percent this year."

In 1923, inflation in Germany reached 200 BILLION percent!

Anyway, I thought the cover was a little tatty for the price. It, however, sold. I didn't expect it to get a bid, and was hoping to be able to make a counteroffer. Maybe next time...

But, here is an example of an item being part of my 'virtual' collection. I often capture images of interesting items for later study, feeling that I don't have to OWN them to enjoy and learn from them!

Finally, it looks as if a marking in the upper left of the obverse was erased. I was a little suspicious of this. Any opinions? Is this an envelope recycled by the sender? Or, is it an erasure to obscure the sender's identity?
-Paul

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pigdoc
02 Sep 2018
10:49:21am
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Recently, someone (Bob?) mentioned "turned" covers as a response to paper shortages. Here's one:
Image Not Found

The paper is very thin, like a coarse onion skin. On the reverse you can see remnants of the original glue that was separated to turn the cover for reuse. And, the adhesive on the envelope's original flap does not appear to have been licked to seal the envelope. So, I'm presuming it was simply folded in by the original user. You can see the shadow of the address on the inside, which is (typewritten):

Nr. I H L 2004. 23


An den Ausserordentlichen Gesandten und Bevollmächtigt
ten Minister Badens zum Reichsrat
Herrn. Dr. Nieser, Exzellenz

Berlin
=============

...which translates to:

To the Extraordinary Envoy and Plenipotentiary
Minister of Baden to the Imperial Council

The etiquette is "Badische legation in Berlin"

There is no evidence that the original posting of this envelope was franked, nor is there any return address. So, I presume it was hand-delivered, anonymously, to the entity that reused the envelope.

I detect a note of cynicism in the appellation. I could not google up Dr. Nieser, but "Hans Neisser was a distinguished Jewish economist who had predicted Hitler's militaristic actions in Europe...and, as a precaution, emigrated to the US in 1933." (Wikipedia). Dr. Neisser was married in 1923.

What's intriguing to me is that an official government entity (as evidenced by the official stamps) was hard-pressed to the extent that they were forced to turn covers for reuse.

Comments?
-Paul




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pigdoc
25 Sep 2018
08:37:36pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

As my German Inflation mail cover collection nears completion (66 covers and cards, so far), the revelation is that covers from one rate period are exceedingly difficult to find. That is the November 1 to November 4, 1923 rate period, as I was beginning to appreciate in an earlier posting. After diligent searching over the past few months, I've finally acquired a 'domestic' cover from this era. Here it is:

Image Not Found

To Vienna, Austria, this is a Non-Local Domestic usage, not a Foreign usage. 100 million Marks was the correct rate for a 20 gram letter. Nice clear cancellation on several multiples (strips of 3). These are seldom seen, this being the first domestic cover from this rate period that I've seen since I started looking, months ago.

1923 Germany makes an extremely interesting and rewarding era in which to develop a 'Rates Collection'. There were no less than 16 different postal rate periods in 1923, ranging in length from 3 months to a scant 4 days. The November 1-4 rate period was Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. No wonder it's hard to find covers from that period!

As I continue to fill in the few remaining spaces, the period that commands my interest is that from December 1, 1923, when currency was reformed, and authorities lopped ELEVEN zeros off valuations. Such economic turmoil! How INTERESTING! What an environment for a politician to 'make hay' in!

-Paul

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phos45
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https://machinstudygroup.blogspot.ca/
25 Sep 2018
11:28:26pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

interesting discussion ... fake cancels are known. BPP authenticates ...

here is link to ebay.de...

https://www.ebay.de/sch/i.html?_odkw=1923&_osacat=7826&_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l1313&_nkw=1923+COVERS&_sacat=7826

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https://strathdee1.blogspot.ca
pigdoc
19 Feb 2019
10:01:01am
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Here's a late acquisition:

Image Not Found

It's an international cover, mailed on the first day of remonetization, when TEN zeros were lopped off current prices. Of course, this happened so suddenly that there were no more pfennig-denominated stamps around, so they used inflation stamps. I believe 1 billion marks of face value became equivalent to 1 pfennig on December 1, 1923. Someone will correct me. I can't fit the franking on this cover into a neat category in the rate tables, so it may be mis-franked, also.

Covers like these are not very common in the marketplace. This one was near the top of the list of "Germany Inflation cover 1923" when I sorted it highest price first. But, I found a willing seller...

-Paul

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roy
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BuckaCover.com - 10,200 new covers added February 21
20 Feb 2019
08:12:30am
re: Germany Inflation Covers

This actually pays the proper international rate for a 20 gram letter for the period Nov 20 to 25. 80 Milliarden Marks (80,000,000,000 Marks). The rate jumped by 4 times on November 26 to 320,000,000,000 and was rounded down on Dec 1 to 300,000,000,000 Marks, or 30 pfg (0.30 Renten Marks).

Looks like both the sender and the postal clerks had other things on their minds than collecting postage due in those last days of the inflation.

Quote:

"... when TEN zeros were lopped off current prices... I believe 1 billion marks of face value became equivalent to 1 pfennig on December 1, 1923. Someone will correct me."



It was actually 12 zeros. You have to be careful when talking internationally about "billions". In America, a Billion = 1,000,000,000 but in Germany and the rest of Europe, that's a Milliard (9 zeros). A German Billion has 12 zeros (would be a Trillion in USA - the unit that the national debt is measured in). That's what the remonetization was 1,000,000,000,000 (a Billion /US Trillion) Marks became 1 RM (Renten Mark)

For a basic introduction to the field, see my Stamporama article: German inflation 1923 - Stamps and Postal History

picdog: most of these comments are for others not familiar with the field. I know you know most of this.

Roy

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pigdoc
20 Feb 2019
06:10:23pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Very interesting, Roy!

I didn't know there were differences in the valuation of the word "billion".

That might explain why the English persist in saying "One thousand million" instead of "billion". I always thought that to be a strange literary convention, but it makes sense in the context of your posting!

Thanks!
-Paul

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
20 Feb 2019
07:21:50pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

thanks for that explanation, Roy, it IS helpful

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"Save the USPS, buy stamps; save the hobby, use commemoratives"

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sheepshanks
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20 Feb 2019
07:50:12pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

As an Engishman I have always used billion. Have noticed Canadians do not like using the word thousand, preferring to say X hundred but then they also pronounce butter with two D's and seem to have a problem with the word twenty (twenny).

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eugen01
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09 Mar 2019
06:22:29am

Auctions - Approvals
re: Germany Inflation Covers

Image Not FoundHi All, I have a question. How do you price an Inflation cover? Michel has 7 euro. this that for 1 stamp or all. This cover has 25 stamps on it The right amount for that date. The single stamp value is $2.75 in Scott. FrankImage Not Found

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Opa
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10 Mar 2019
04:22:13am
re: Germany Inflation Covers

The Michel prices the covers as follows. Price of highest valued stamp on cover plus the value of each additional stamp in used. The Berlin inflation Guild also prices blocks of four as higher. Assuming that the 3000 Mark stamp is of the cheapest color variety it would be valued at 4x catalogue value.
The Michel cover values are only for normal everyday covers. Airmail, registered, et.al. are much more expensive.



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Bujutsu
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10 Mar 2019
01:13:45pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

As an Engishman I have always used billion. Have noticed Canadians do not like using the word thousand, preferring to say X hundred but then they also pronounce butter with two D's and seem to have a problem with the word twenty (twenny).


We do??

I have always used one thousand and pronounce 'butter' with the two "T"s. All the people I know do as well?? Always pronounce 20 as 'twenty' not 'twenny' and people I know do too.

Chimo

Bujutsu

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Bujutsu
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10 Mar 2019
01:25:55pm
re: Germany Inflation Covers

This has been a very interesting thread and I have gleaned a lot of information from it. To be honest, I do not possess a lot of inflationary covers and think I only have a few.

A lot of my collection is being packed and condensed into boxes etc., because we will be moving soon, just into town.

Always enjoy coming in here

Chimo

Bujutsu

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