Check your postal cards and postcards. Do they support my belief that the 5-centime concession postal card rate to Belgium was not honored during the World War One occupation? Was the concession rate reinstated after the war ended?
Pictured above is the Graf Zeppelin being moored at Hanworth Air Park outside London upon arriving from Friedrichshafen at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 2, 1932. You can watch British Pathé’s film clip of the mooring here:
The inimitable Maury Swartz, then living in Kayl, prepared colorful postal stationery cards that were carried on the flight. Here are two from my collection (judging by the registry numbers, there must be others):
75c/90c Second Écusson
40c Charlotte Side Profile
Luxembourg-Ville, 29 June 1932,
UPU postal card = 1.00 F
Cachet seen on the back of each card.
1 June 1932
2 June 1932
Sometimes a card or cover refuses to give up its postal history secrets. That seems to be the case here!
The postal card rate to Belgium was 40 centimes, beginning December 1, 1929, and continuing until February 1, 1935. And this Echternach view card—posted on June 1, 1932—pays the
40-centime rate. The card was not tax-marked as insufficiently paid, but two Belgian 10-centime postage due stamps were applied upon its arrival on June 2, 1932 in Lichtervelde, a small town in the Belgian province of West Flanders. Why? Pourquoi? Warum?
Was the addressee a collector who liked to add postage due stamps to his incoming mail? Well, there certainly is no suggestion in the message that the card is a philatelic creation of the Flemish recipient “M. Demunster, fabricant.” It just seems to be typical commercial correspondence.
Similarly, the amount of postage due charged (20 centimes) does not suggest confusion by the Lichtervelde postal clerk with any particular rate then in effect. Nor was any special service provided that would justify a 20-centime fee.
Can you solve this mystery? I’d welcome your thoughts!