"Wir sind frei!" Overprints
"Wir sind frei!" and Swastika Overprints
Rumburk, formerly the Sudetenland town of Rumburg (in German), is situated on the northern edge of
Bohemia adjacent to the town of Seifhennersdorf in the German state of Saxony.
Founded sometime during the late 13th Century, Rumberg is famous for its beautiful historical
inner city with many historical sites, such as a monastery dating from the 18th Century and the
market square with its townhouses dating from the Baroque Era through the 19th century. In the
middle of the square is a Marian Column from 1681 commemorating lives lost during
an epidemic and sculptures created in the mid-1700's.
After the conclusion of the Munich Conference the German annexation of Rumburg had occurred very quickly and
the post office did not yet have any supplies of Third Reich postage stamps. As an emergency measure,
the postmaster authorized the overprinting of the current inventory of Czechoslovakian stamps with the "Wir sind frei!" (We are free!") overprints. It is speculated that the overprints were prepared in advance in anticipation of the occupation.
The overprinted Czechoslovakian stamps went on sale on September 24, 1938. There were four different
settings of the overprint, and Michel lists 52 different Czechoslovakian issues that were overprinted,
which include definitive, commemorative, postage due, and newspaper stamps.
The sale of the overprinted Czechoslovakian stamps ended on October 19, 1938, and they were replaced
by regular German postage stamps.
Near the end of World War II, Rumburg was "liberated" by the Soviet army and the German-speaking
population was forcibly expelled. Czech settlers changed the name of the town to Rumburk.
"German Occupation Sudetenland - Rumburg." Stamp-Collecting-World. David H. Aeschliman. nd.
Web. 25 Jul. 2020. https://www.stamp-collecting-world.com/sudetenland_rumburg.html.
"Sudetenland." Wikipeida: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.
10 Feb. 2018. Web. 25 Jul. 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudetenland.
"1938 Wir sind frei OVERPRINTS OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA."Stamp Articles. Sandafayre.
29 May 2015. Web. 25 Jul. 2020.
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