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Free City Of Danzig Classification?

 
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Valued Member

Australia
18 Posts
Posted 04/18/2021   11:05 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Toevah to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Hi. Are Danzig stamps classified as German or Polish? I've been reading the history of Danzig and it's not entirely clear. Stanley Gibbons has them in a book that includes East Germany and Poland, so that didn't help, especially since I don't have that catalogue and can't read the explanation.

I have some beautiful Danzig stamps, I technically collect Germany but am wondering if this is a wonderful excuse to branch out into Polish stamps as well...
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Valued Member
United States
71 Posts
Posted 04/18/2021   11:47 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add classic_paper to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Nothing especially confusing about it, if you're not American

Danzig is considered Germany for philatelic purposes. From 1815-1919, it was part of Prussia (very eastern Germany), and then as a result of the Treaty of Versailles became a free city (Frei Stadt) along the lines of a city-state, until WWII when it was annexed into the Third Reich. It doesn't "go Polish" until Poland takes it at the end of the war in 1945 and (re)names it Gdansk.

While until about 1800 the city was pretty evenly Polish/German, by 1919 it was over 95% German-speaking. Personally, I just don't see any logic behind using Danzig as a pretext to collecting Polish stamps. Doesn't mean you shouldn't, but Danzig isn't the reason.
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Edited by classic_paper - 04/18/2021 11:55 pm
Valued Member
Australia
18 Posts
Posted 04/19/2021   12:30 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Toevah to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Whilst it was ethnically majority German, Danzig was represented by Poland in overseas diplomacy, not Germany. Things like that gave me pause before saying definitively that it would be considered Germany. Stampworld.com lists it as Germany though, I note.
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Valued Member
Australia
18 Posts
Posted 04/19/2021   12:40 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Toevah to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
No, I do apologise, that was after the treaty of Versailles. It does seem the people of Danzig couldn't make up their minds though - the Germans thought it was part of Germany and the Poles thought it was part of Poland...
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Canada
799 Posts
Posted 04/19/2021   05:53 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Well, the people of Danzig were overwhelmingly ethnic Germans during the Free City period, the large majority considered themselves German, not Polish. A fascinating, troubled history for this city - certainly an interesting area to collect and most Danzig stamps are quite affordable too.
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United States
1565 Posts
Posted 04/19/2021   1:03 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
@Toevah: no need to apologize. There are reasons to place Danzig with Germany and with Poland. One reason for placing with Poland is that it would fit in with the Port Gdansk overprints on Polish stamps that were issued between the two world wars.

Poland is a primary collecting interest for me and German-speaking countries are a secondary interest. For now, I have filed my limited number of Danzig pages with the German & Austrian pages, but may change as I find time to better organize my Polish collections.
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United Kingdom
5523 Posts
Posted 04/19/2021   2:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add GeoffHa to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
It really does depend upon your collecting focus. I have no interest in German stamps. However, I have Saar and other occupation issues as part of my French collection.
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United States
1107 Posts
Posted 04/19/2021   9:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add erilaz to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
My Michel catalogs for German stamps and postal stationery both include the Free City of Danzig, and so does my Minkus album for German stamps. I've been fascinated by Danzig ever since I was a kid, but I've never seen it as a reason to get into Polish stamps.

If I'm buying Polish stamps and postal stationery, it's almost certainly for my Esperanto topical collection.
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France
1643 Posts
Posted 04/19/2021   11:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add vayolene to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Here is a postal stationery card from Port Gdansk (Polish Office in Danzig)
1938,Michel # P4
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Edited by vayolene - 04/19/2021 11:55 pm
Pillar Of The Community
United States
1565 Posts
Posted 04/20/2021   10:25 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Climber Steve to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Vayolene: thanks for sharing the Gdansk postal card. It's probably listed in the Fischer catalogs for Poland, which I have, but I had not seen it before. It does remind me that the last set of Polish stamps for Gdansk/Danzig were not overprints, but an actual set with Gdansk printed on them.
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Valued Member
Australia
18 Posts
Posted 04/20/2021   4:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Toevah to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the interesting discussion, everyone!
Just goes to show that the true value of stamps is in their history, not their monetary value, if they have any. Might see if I can get any Gdansk stamps, and put them alongside the Danzig ones with an explanation. My nephews will find it interesting one day when they're older.
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Posted 04/20/2021   5:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Might see if I can get any Gdansk stamps,


Some GDANSK stamps and Tabs.
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France
1643 Posts
Posted 04/20/2021   6:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add vayolene to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hello Rod.
Here is Michel Block 99 (Pomerania Ferry,1986)

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Valued Member
Australia
18 Posts
Posted 04/20/2021   8:04 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Toevah to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks @rod222. A very kind man in my more local stamp group has some Gdansk stamps he is giving to me so I can make the little history lesson for my nephews.
It's a good use of stamps - I might do something similar with other stamps as well.
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Australia
31917 Posts
Posted 04/20/2021   8:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Vayolene, another mystery, solved, Thanks
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