World Stamps

By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Poland 1946 Majdanek Prison Camp semipostal in demand

February 22, 2016 10:15 AM

  • The Polish 3-zloty+5z Death Spreading Poison Gas over Majdanek Prison Camp semipostal stamp (Scott B45) is in demand and selling for more than the 2016 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values in mint never-hinged condition and unused hinged condition.

By Henry Gitner and Rick Miller

Between 1941 and 1944, 6 million European Jews were systematically murdered by the Nazis and their henchmen.

Many of the Nazi death camps where the Holocaust was carried out were in occupied Poland. There were 3.3 million Jews living in Poland in 1939. More than 3 million of them died in the Holocaust.

On April 29, 1946, Poland issued a 3-zloty+5z Death Spreading Poison Gas over Majdanek Prison Camp semipostal stamp (Scott B45). This stamp remembers the more than 350,000 Jews who were exterminated at this camp during the Holocaust. The macabre and striking design features an allegory of death as a skeleton dressed in a Nazi SS uniform.

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The 2016 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue values the stamp at $4 in mint never-hinged condition, at $1.50 in unused hinged condition, and at $18 in used condition (with the value in italics, meaning a stamp that is difficult to value because of sparse market data). The stamp is undervalued in mint never-hinged condition and unused hinged condition and is overvalued in used condition.

It is currently selling in the $15-to-$25 price range in mint never-hinged condition, for $5 to $8 in unused hinged condition, and for about $10 in used condition.

If you find this stamp in mint never-hinged condition or unused hinged condition at the low end of these price ranges, it is an excellent buy.

Most of the interest is from topical collectors, and most of the demand is for stamps in mint never-hinged condition. Mint blocks of four and larger multiples are also in demand.