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Introduction To Collecting Poland

Collecting Poland offers opportunities in a wide range of specialty areas, in addition to a general area of stamps. As a result of unique geographic location and turbulent history, including two world wars and other regional conflicts, Poland’s boundaries had been frequently redrawn. These historical and geographic changes provide the basis for a multitude of diverse collecting interests and specializations, making “Collecting Poland” a most enjoyable philatelic adventure.

Poland in the 16th century Poland today
Click on an image for a larger view.

As an “Introduction to Collecting Poland” this article will provide the following:

In order to get an overall impression of the variety of collecting interests available refer to the outlines in Table 1 - Historical Impact on Collecting Poland and in Table 2 - Other Collecting Interests. Note, the collecting interests in red refer to the “General Areas” of stamp collecting for which country catalogues and albums are available to assist collectors in identifying and maintaining their stamps in a chronological manner. All other collecting interests found in Tables 1 & 2 are considered “Specialty Areas”.

Table 1 - Historical Impact on Collecting Poland

Historical State / Status
Collecting Interest
Kingdom of Poland 14th c. - 18th c. (1) Stampless Mail
Partition of Poland 1772, 1773 & 1795 - 1918   (2) Free City of Kraków 1815 - 1846

(3) Postmarks of the Congress Kingdom

(4) Poland #1 1860 - 1865

World War I Occupation 1915 - 1918   (5) Austrian Occupation

(6) German Occupation

(7) Kingdom of Poland Essays

(8) Local Postal Services

2nd Republic of Poland 1918 - 1939   (9) 2nd Republic of Poland - General

     (a) Provisional Issues

Polish-Soviet War 1919 - 1921   (10) Central Lithuania 1920 - 1922

(11) Free City of Gdańsk (Danzig)

(12) Port Gdańsk

(13) Plebiscites

     (a) Upper Silesia

     (b) Marienwerder (Kwidzyn)

     (c) Allenstein (Olsztyn)

     (d) Eastern Silesia

World War II Occupation 1939 - 1945   (14) World War II Era

     (a) Government in Exile

     (b) Scout Mail (Warsaw Uprising)

     (c) General Gouvernement

     (d) Soviet Occupation 1939 - 1941

     (e) Polish lands annexed to Germany

     (f) Ghetto Post

     (g) German Occupation of Ostland

People‚Äôs Republic of Poland 1945 - 1989   (15) People’s Republic of Poland - General

(16) Groszy Overprints & Covers 1950 - 1952

3rd Republic of Poland 1989 - Present   (17) 3rd Republic of Poland - General

Table 2 - Other Collecting Interests

(1) Air Mail (Aerophilately)
     (a) General Stamps
     (b) First Flight Covers
     (c) Balloon / Zeppelin First Flight Labels & Covers
     (d) Glider / Rocket / Helicopter / Pigeon Labels & Covers
(2) Cancellations / Postmarks
(3) Errors
(4) Fantasy Issues / Cinderellas / Labels
(5) First Day Covers
(6) Forgeries
(7) Military
     (a) Poles in Napoleon’s “Grande Armée” - Italy
     (b) Piłsudski’s Polish Legions 1914 - 1926
     (c) Polish 1st Corps in Russia 1918
     (d) Military Mail & Censorship in the 3-Week War - Sep 1939
     (e) Polish Forces in France
     (f) POW Camps: Woldenberg, Murnau, Gross Born and Neubrandenburg
     (g) Concentration Camp Mail
     (h) Internment Camps - Lithuania, Hungary and Romania
     (i) Ander’s Army - 2nd Corps in Russia, Middle East and Italy
     (j) Refugee Camp Mail
     (k) Displaced Persons Mail in Germany 1945 - 1948
(8) Officials
(9) Polonica
(10) Postage Dues
(11) Postal History
(12) Postal Stationery
(13) Revenues
(14) Semi-Postals
(15) Słania Engraved Stamps, Portraits and Art
(16) Topicals / Thematics

Proceed to Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI