University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
chgs@umn.edu
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CHGS

Philatelic and Numismatic Items

Nazi Philatelic Items - Set 1

Theresienstadt Ghetto sheets

ghetto souvenier sheets

Reprints of Theresienstadt Ghetto souvenir sheets. The originals were prepared on order of the nazis to be distributed to the red cross officials inspecting the ghetto. It was done to convince the inspectors that life in the ghetto was not too bad.

cover mail

A cover sent by a Jewish family to their relative in NY, air mail via Lisbon, had to identify their Jewishness by adding Sara as their middle name, censored and resealed by Nazi authorities

postcard

A post card sent by Konrad Kociewski, prisoner #15078, block 7, in Hamburg-Neuengamme concentration camp to his mother in W. Prussia, censored by camp police, also stamped by special cancel, stating that the only permitted language is German, 11/28/1943.

Litzmannstadt Ghetto stamps

Icons link to full sheets of 20.

10 mark stamp
5 mark stamp
20 mark stamp

10 marks, 5 marks and 20 marks, "Judenpost" ("Jewish postage") and the image of Mordechai Chaim  Rumkowski,"Alteste der Juden, Elder of the Jews in the Ghetto.

litz certificate

In Sept. 1939 the Germans occupied Poland. Lodz, the second largest city in Poland, with a Jewish population of approximately 250,000 was called "Litzmannstadt" under German rule. On May 3rd, 1940, the Ghetto, located in the northern and poorest part of city was closed. All personal interaction with the outside world was forbidden and punishable by death! The Germans chose as Elder of the Jews, or head of the Jewish Council, the famous and controversial Chaim Mordechai Rumkowski, who ruled with the illusion of autonomy. Rumkowski established post offices and ran a contest for stamps to be used for interior correspondence.

The first Ghetto stamps were ready on March 9, 1944. Soon after the stamps were printed the Germans decided these stamps wouldn't be permitted, and only a small amount were sold. Only a small amount were sold by the Ghetto post office. It is unclear to this day what happened to these stamps, most likely they were destroyed. Almost all the mail was also destroyed.  The inhabitants of the Lodz Ghetto were murdered. When Lodz was finally liberated on January 19, 1945 only 877 Jews were still alive.

Of the entire population of the ghetto, more than 200,000 Jews, probably about 800 remain, some of them still wearing the Star of David on their chests. Their pale, emanciated faces are very conspicuous."

from Jakub Poznanski, "Lodz Ghetto Diary" in Alan Adelson and Robert Lapidus, LODZ GHETTO. New York. Penguin. 1989.

A letter from an internee in Mauritius Detention camp

letter from mauritius cover
letter from mauritius cover
letter from mauritius content

Several hundred central European Jews were sent by the British to Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. The community survived there until the end of World War II and beyond. Most detainees went to Palestine or the United States. A Jewish cemetary exists on Mauritius.

A letter from an internee in Mauritius Detention camp, the British imprisoned Jewish refugees from Europe who tried to immigrate to Palestine, the letter is from a detainee to his children in Palestine, 2 pages in German, page 2 is heavily censored (parts are cut out) censor cancel on front of cover, 5/20/1942.