Monday, March 27, 2017

WW2 - Commercial Use of Luxemburg Franking in the Lorraine

Deutschoth [today: Audun-le-Tiche]

The Hindenburg 'Luxemburg' overprints were valid for use in the Alsace and the Lorraine from 1 Apr 1941 to 31 Dec 1941.  Likewise, the Hindenburg 'Elsaß' and 'Lothringen' overprints were valid for use in Luxemburg during this period.  As of 1 Jan 1942, use of Reich stamps was required.

While philatelic uses abound, commercial uses of the 'Luxemburg' Hindenburg overprints in the Alsace or Lorraine during this 275-day period are scarce.  Unlike collectors, commercial entities presumably had and used only the stamps overprinted for their region, but here is a contrary example!

12-Rpf. 'Luxemburg' Hindenburg Overprint

Deutschoth (Westmark) a
10 Nov 1941
in the Lorraine 

Corner card:
Joh. Bapt. Bouche & Sohn

From the map at the top, you will see that Deutsch-oth [today: Audun-le-Tiche] is on the French side of the border, just a few kilometers from Esch-sur-Alzette.  Thus, it would not be surprising that this furniture dealer (Möbeltischlerei) had and used a 12-Rpf. 'Luxemburg' Hindenburg overprint, as shown here, on a letter to the craft guild (Handwerkakammer) in Metz.  Yes, I believe this cover is commercial.  Many others in my collection aren't.

Now here is another example that probably isn't philatelic, although I can't be sure:

40-Rpf. 'Luxemburg' Hindenburg Overprint

Metz o
28 Sep 1941
Field Post
Special Delivery
Klotzsche [by Dresden]

Field Post, of course, was free from letter postage.  Thus, the soldier-sender from the 8th Battalion only had to pay the 40-Rpf. special delivery fee.

As the surnames of the sender and recipient are the same, this well may have been a soldier's letter to his wife or mother.  Why a 40-Rpf. 'Luxemburg' overprint was used instead of a 40-Rpf. 'Lothringen' overprint or Reich franking is unknown.  In any event, a sole use of the 40-Rpf. Hindenburg makes this cover attractive!

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