Fascinating and Affordable Specialty
Great subitle here.
By John Apfelbaum
One of the most interesting philatelic areas is Danzig, now called Gedansk. Danzig is a city, or rather City State, on the shores of the Baltic Sea between Germany and Poland (which was long ruled by Russia), and part of its philatelic charm is in the many issues that were created as political control bounced back between various outside nations.
For most of the early stamp period, Danzig was part of Germany and used German postage stamps—first the stamps of Prussia, of which it was a part, and then after 1871 and German unification, using the stamps of Germany. After 1920 and the Treaty of Versailles, Danzig was stripped from Germany and became a free city and as such issued its own postage stamps.
It is during this period that most collectors know Danzig as the country created several hundred stamp issues. The stamps are for the most part easily obtained in mint condition, but the challenge is finding many of the issues in legitimately used condition and in finding the hundreds of varieties that Scott and Michel list for these stamps.
Most of the varieties are modest in price compared with their rarity, though they are not easy (but not impossible) to find. After 1939 and the German invasion of Poland, Danzig became part of Nazi Germany, and Danzig stamps became moot.
Germany maintained control until the end of WWII when Danzig was stripped from Germany and became a city of Poland. It is one of the cities that was most supportive of the Polish Solidarity movement over twenty years ago, and it is ironic that the territory that the Soviet Union had insisted be stripped from Germany so as to weaken it in the post war period would then prove to be one of the factors in the demise of the Soviet Union itself. For a few hundred dollars you can buy all but a few of the Scott listed stamps of Danzig, and specialty items can keep you busy forever.
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