Page 1

THE ISSUES OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA FOR THE

1939 NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR 1940

MONOGRAPHY AND CATALOGUE OF THE ISSUES OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA FOR THE NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR OF 1939 AND 1940

Eckart H. Dissen

Web Edition ©E=mc² PUBLISHERS, AMSTERDAM / HAARLEM 1998, 2012, 2013

1


2


THE ISSUES OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA FOR THE

1939 NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR 1940

MONOGRAPHY AND CATALOGUE OF THE ISSUES OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA FOR THE NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR OF 1939 AND 1940

Eckart H. Dissen

Web Edition ©E=mc² PUBLISHERS, AMSTERDAM / HAARLEM 1998, 2012, 2013 3


4


THE ISSUES OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA FOR THE

1939 NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR 1940 AT THE OCCASION OF THE PUBLICATION AS WEB EDITION

T

his book was published in 1998. Now it is 15 years later and time to publish it on the web too. When publishing the first edition –on paper- it was my intention to publish it also on A5 format and not as a relative costly book only. My search for a publisher was in vain though. And so I could not create a Czech translation too as I wished.

The content of this book I consider not as my property at all. It was a pleasure to make and the information in it, I obtained by research and cooperation with people either involved in the issues or witness of that time. Now it is 15 years later, and nearly all of these friends passed away. This book describes a very small part of the Czechoslovak History and I always had the feeling that this history should once go back to Czechoslovakia. It was not only a hidden history, it was actively oppressed and denied by the Communist regime, from 1948 to 1989 as it mirrored the efforts of the democratic movement of the Government-in-Exile. For this reason I got the book ready to be presented at the International Stamp Exhibition in Prague in 1998, for the Prague Post Museum. With this web-publication the book is now available to everybody interested in this history and these issues. The first print of this book was worldwide distributed to a small group of specialists, experts and libraries, such as the Royal Dutch Library in The Hague. Together with the publication I requested to the readers to send additional information and that resulted in very valuable comments from a very few persons. So in the second print I could make some improvements that are also in this web-edition- though the original information seemed most accurate. In the past 15 years I kept myself posted, and followed closely if new information would appear. That is not the case, and I propose to call the book ‘The Hand Book’. Now it appears on the Web it can be read by far more people and I once again invite all readers to send additional information, comments and questions to me, see the email address below. These reactions will be published later on the web too. Though the book is now on the Web, there are still a few books on paper available. These bound volumes do all contain one original sheet of 1939, as printed on page 99. If interested please let me know. This Web publication appears also in Dutch and German language, respectively: “De uitgiften van Tsjechoslowakije voor de Wereldtentoonstelling in New York in 1939 en 1940”. “Die Ausgaben der Tschechoslowakei für die Weltausstellung in New York in 1939 and 1940”. Concerning the described materials. These can be found on the market, Ebay, and with one specialised auction: http://www.czechstamp.com/, the auction house of mr. Jiři Majer in Prague. The so called normal issues are not that expensive, but to create a collection of all 15 issues might take years and would require patience and quite some funds too. But, I would encourage anyone to explore this former hidden history and find some fun in revealing it. Valuable Links The Queens Museum of Art, located at the very site of the New York World’s Fair, has a permanent exhibit and nice stire on teh Fair of 1939 and 1940: www.queensmuseum.org Prof. Alan Anderson created a site, with links to other sites as well, on the Fair of 1939 and 1940: http://websyte.com/alan/nywf.htm. And a nice site with very rare pictures of the building inside, e.g. the stained glass windows, and interesting information at: www.collectorscircle.com/bohemian/1939/pavilion.html Sites on Czechoslovak Philately: www.knihtisk.org and www.cpslib.org provide valuable information on all Czechoslovak Stamps and Societies of collectors and specialists from all over the World. Eckart Dissen, Haarlem, December 2012 / January 2013. E: eckart.dissen@gmail.com

5


COLOFON The Issues of Czechoslovakia for the New York World’s Fair of 1939 and 1940. Original title: De uitgiften van Tsjechoslowakije voor de Wereldtentoonstelling te New York in 1939 en 1940. Written and Translated by Eckart Dissen. Revised by Mirko L. Vondra. Corrections by Dan Foster. IT Master: Ed Bouman. ©Copyright 1998 / 2012 / 2013 E=mc² Publishers, Amsterdam, Haarlem E-mail:

eckart.dissen@gmail.com

ISBN

90 - 72845 - 02 - 1

Theme:

History of Czechoslovakia The New York World’s Fair of 1939 and 1940 Philately & Research / Catalogue

Two bound volumes of this publication were separately produced for the Praga 1998 International Stamp Exhibition, Prague, Czech Republic, and received a silverbronze award.

One bound volume was personally presented to the offices of President Vlaclav Havel at the Presidential Palace in Prague. ©All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means -graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, taping or information storage and retrieval systems- without written permission of the publisher. Printed and bound in The Netherlands.

6


CONTENTS

Page

At the occasion of the Publication as Web Edition Colofon

5 6

PART I MONOGRAPHY

9

Foreword, by Mirko L. Vondra The Issues of Czechoslovakia for the New York World’s Fair - a Brief History of the Period The New York World’s Fair of 1939 and 1940 The Czechoslovak Pavilion The 1939 New York World’s Fair overprints The Issues for the Canadian National Exhibition The 1940 New York World’s Fair overprints The cancellations Printing Proofs and Errors and Varieties Quantity Status Some other Relevant Philatelic Activities in Wartime USA Acknowledgements Resources On The Catalogue

15 17 21 23 27 29 31 33 35 39 41 43 47 51 54

PART II CATALOGUE / KATALOGUS / KATALOG

55

1939

ISSUES FOR THE NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR

1939

PREPARED CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION ISSUES

I II III IV V

VI VII VIII IX 1939

X

1940

XI XII XIII XIV XV

Bratislava Exhibition sheet of 1937 (M1) Bratislava Exhibition Newspaper sheet of 1937 (M2) Praga International Exhibition sheet of 1938 (M4) Masaryk Birthday sheet of 1938 (M3) Free Republic sheet of 1938 (M5)

11

sheet numbers 1 - 24 25 - 48 49 - 72 73 - 96 97 - 120

57 59 61 63 65

Bratislava Exhibition sheet of 1937 (M1), italic overprint Bratislava Exhibition sheet of 1937 (M1), gothic overprint Masaryk Birthday sheet of 1938 (M3) Free Republic sheet of 1938 (M5)

121 - 144 145 - 168 169 - 192 193 - 216

67 69 71 73

Praga International Exhibition sheet of 1938 (M4)

217 - 222

75

Bratislava Exhibition sheet of 1937 (M1) Bratislava Exhibition Newspaper sheet of 1937 (M2) Praga International Exhibition sheet of 1938 (M4) Masaryk Birthday sheet of 1938 (M3) Free Republic sheet of 1938 (M5)

223 - 246 247 - 270 271 - 294 295 - 318 319 - 342

77 79 81 83 85

RE-OVERPRINTED CANADIAN ISSUE FOR NEW YORK ISSUES FOR THE NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR

PART III APPENDIX

87

PART IV ADDITION

95

The London Czechoslovak Red Cross Charity Issue of 1943 The Brussels Commemoration of Lidice Issue of 1945 Addresses of the International Czechoslovak Philatelic Societies In the second print of this first edition are two original sheets of the Czechoslovak Issues for the New York World’s Fair enclosed: I 1939, 4 and I 1939, 4E * This publication

89 91 93

99 101

7


Overview of a part of the Fair grounds, with the Russian Pavilion center left, and the Czechoslovak Pavilion right.

Interior picture of the Czechoslovak Pavilion, with the famous stained glass from the Dubsky Glass factory in Czechoslovakia.

8


PART I MONOGRAPHY

9


Dr. Edvard BeneĹĄ, President of the democratic Czechoslovak Republic Between 1935-1938, and 1946-1948.

The Czechoslovak Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair.

10


FOREWORD

I

t was a strange combination. The New York World's Fair of 1939-1940 officially opened on April 30, 1939, just five months prior to the outbreak of World War II. Yet it turned out to be the most successful Fair in New York's history and certainly the most highly attended of any World Fairs during its one and a half years of existence. That, despite the fact that by the time the Fair closed its doors on October 27, 1940, the world was becoming embroiled in mankind's most destructive war. These two statistics clash on principle, but they are explainable. The Fair had been billed as "The World of Tomorrow". Many people who, up to the time of its opening, had visions of America's future grandeur, now had second thoughts whether the world would even survive the next decade. And so it was that on the day the Fair closed, more than half a milllion persons attended, many with the idea that they would get one last glimpse of what the world might turn out to be but for the war of extinction. Fortunately, that extinction did not occur, thanks to the might of American industry and military power. After Nazi Germany had occupied Czechoslovakia, New York's Mayor Fiorello La Guardia sponsored a committee to collect funds to finish and operate the Czechoslovak Pavilion. The Czech Ministry of Public Works in Prague, then under Nazi domination, ordered the process halted and the unfinished building sold. But Grover Whalen, whom La Guardia originally had appointed a City Administrator and who was later elected president of a non-profit corporation to organize the Fair, declined to recognize the Nazi Government and ordered construction to be completed. On opening day, the still unfinished Pavilion was thronged with visitors. Edvard Beneš, the country's President-in-Exile, was at the Pavilion and announced that "Czechoslovakia is still alive. It will continue to live. And this building is proof of that fact!" Present at this ceremony were Ambassador Vladimir Hurban, Consul Karel Hudec and other dignitaries. During this period, I was enrolled at Fordham University in the Bronx and had a student pass for the Fair. I used it frequently. The Fair was a most intriguing and informative place to tour. But when Beneš came to the City, he took a suite at the Hotel Pierre and I made it a point to visit him there where I had the privilege and benefit of a few moments of his undivided attention. It gave me the opportunity to secure from him a small green folder bearing the text "A Special Limited Issue autographed by Dr. Edvard Beneš, New York 1939." Inside the folder was a 50h postage stamp from 1937 showing Beneš with this text above it: "Free Czechoslovakia in Free Europe". He affixed his signature across the stamp, handed it to me and wished me luck in school. The Czechoslovak Pavilion never officially opened. As an empty shell, it was dedicated to the cause of the Western Allies in their struggle against the Axis Powers that had made Fascism and Naziism a trademark of life for millions of enslaved Europeans. Display merchandise shipped to the Fair from Czechoslovakia before the Nazi occupation, was sent to the Czechoslovak Bazaar in Manhattan where it was sold and auctioned off with various Bazaar labels. Proceeds of the sale supported the exiled Government in London. The only service performed at the Pavilion itself was the sale of the souvenir sheets and sheetlets issued in Prague during 1937 and 1938 and overprinted for the New York World's Fair. Like the display merchandise, these sheets also helped support the exiled Government in London. It is these sheets and sheetlets that are the subject of this Monography and Catalogue.

11


Dr. Edvard Beneš, Autographs a sheet at the Czechoslovak Pavilion.

III 1939, 76 Very rare Masaryk sheet, nr. 76, autographed by dr. Edvard Beneš.

12


By now, it is common knowledge that these overprinted sheets were never postally valid and therefore do not qualify as true philatelic matter. They were sold to support and espouse a national cause. They are of historical value as stamps that were converted to propaganda labels to serve an emergency need. Because of their limited purpose, there are no known forgeries. Counterfeits do exist in some of the original sheets, especially the Newspaper sheets, but not the overprints. This contrasts dramatically with stamps that were purportedly valid for postal use but were never officially released by postal authorities in Prague. Among them are such rarities as the 10k "Pošta 1919" overprint on granite paper, the Scout stamps, the Siberian issues, the Srobar overprints, covers "arranged" by various dealers and even some currently sought-after forgeries like the 200h, 500h and 1000h Hradčany imperforate miniature sheets. With recent exposure of some of these deliberate infringements on the purity of Czechoslovak philately, including some of the more recent postal stationery, I believe that discriminating collectors will be more at ease when they realize that the materials described in this Catalogue and Monography are of genuine origin. They have only been altered by political events and then only with the sanction of an Allied government. In the pages that follow is the most comprehensive listing of materials overprinted for the New York World's Fair of 1939 and 1940 compiled to date. I find it especially commendable that the information was researched and published by a Dutchman from the Netherlands who is my philatelic friend. Mirko L. Vondra

Mirko L. Vondra is a former President of the Society for Czechoslovak Philately Inc. and a former Editor of its official publication, “The Czechoslovak Specialist.”

13


The price Czechoslovakia had to pay for the Munich Agreement.

To Germany: 28.309 km², with 3.652.000 inhabitants. To Hungary: 12.009 km², with 1.041.500 inhabitants. To Poland: 971 km², with 235.400 inhabitants.

Dr. Edvard Beneš and Mrs. Hana Benešova on their arrival in Great Britain, October 1938.

14


THE ISSUES OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA FOR THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR IN 1939 AND 1940 A Brief History of the Period

I

n October 1938, Nazi Germany occupied the western parts of Czechoslovakia. Before the occupation took place, an international crisis was precipitated over whether German speaking people living within the borders of Czechoslovakia should become part of the German Reich. German nationalistic propaganda demanded integration of the so-called Sudetenland with Germany. When Hitler threatened war, Great Britain headed by Neville Chamberlain, France headed by Edward Daladier and, of course, Italy with Mussolini at its helm, gave in to Hitler in the vain hope of preventing the worst. Only the Soviet Union declared a willingness to support Czechoslovakia, but only if France intervened first and only if the Czechs would ask for Soviet assistance. On September 29, 1938, the Munich Agreement was reached. A treaty completely dictated by Hitler called upon the Czechoslovak forces to withdraw from the border areas. It was a most humiliating defeat made entirely without any consultations with the Government in Prague. For this reason the Munich treaty has become known as the Munich treason. The actual occupation of the Sudetenland began on October 6, 1938 and was completed on October 10. Hitler's threat of a heavy bombardment of Prague led to the signing of an unconditional surrender by the then Czechoslovak President Hácha in Munich, on March 14, 1939. This was immediately followed by the German occupation of the rest of the Czech lands. Thus, Nazi Germany had torn up the Munich Agreement in less than six months. When the Germans marched into Prague the following day, Czechoslovakia ceased to exist as a free Republic and Slovakia got a puppet Government led by Germany. Meanwhile border regions in the North were temporarely occupied by Poland, a move that it soon would regret. Hungary temporarely occupied border regions in the South and East, including the CarpathoUkraine, that had itself declared independent- just for one day, thus becoming the Nation that existest the shortest life span ever. The Munich Agreement and the subsequent occupation of Czechoslovakia can be considered as the beginning of World War II, unfolding years of conflict, violence and untold hardships and suffering in which nearly the whole world would become involved. Dr. Edvard Beneš, Czechoslovakia’s second President, resigned on October 5, 1938, after the Munich Agreement was enforced. He had been the right hand of Thomas Garrigue Masaryk, the nation's founder and first President. He had not only helped Masaryk design the structure of the first Czechoslovak State, but as foreign minister, had negotiated various defense treaties with Allied countries - all of which came to naught after the Munich betrayal. After the end of the reign of T. G. Masaryk in 1936, Beneš was voted in as Czechoslovakia’s second President by free elections. On October 23, 1938, only 18 days after his resignation, he along with his wife departed for London to organize and lead the Czechoslovak resistence movement against Germany's forced occupation of the Sudetenland as well as the remainder of the country. Their exile lasted six years. In Great Britain, dr. Beneš formed a provisional Government of which dr. Jan Masaryk, son of the late first President and now Ambassador to London, became Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Czechoslovak Government-in-Exile led by dr. Beneš, was first recognized by Great Britain in 1940. In June 1942, it was recognized by all of the Allied Nations, including the United States of America.

15


GROUND PLAN OF THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR

:tvfap of the New York World's Fair. The Czechoslovak Pavilion is in the upper right comer, near the Flushing Gate entrance.

16


THE NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR OF 1939 AND 1940

T

he concept of the New York World's Fair in 1939 was to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the inauguration of George Washington as first President of the United States of America. That concept was promoted by Grover Whelan who, as director of the Fair, did one of the most amazing public relations jobs of his day in convincing the giants of Industry and Finance to throw their resources behind this vast enterprise. The Fair took three years to construct on 1,200 acres of dumping ground and wasteland, not far from La Guardia Airport, on what is now known as Flushing Meadows Park near the northern shore of eastern Long Island. It cost $155 million to build as compared to the $33 million that it had cost to erect Chicago's 1934 "Century of Progress" Fair. Billed as "The World of Tomorrow", it was visited by almost 25 million people in 1939 and about 17 million in 1940. It was the first World's Fair in New York since 1853 and was followed by the less successful New York World's Fair of 1964. The theme of the 1939/40 Fair was exemplified by the Trylon and Perisphere. Designed by Wallace Harrison and AndrĂŠ Foulihoux, it became the first internationally recognizable trademark of a World's Fair since the Eiffel Tower that made the Paris Fair of 1889 so famous. Together this "ball and pin", as they were called, became "an icon of the future." Constructed of 2,000 cubic yards of concrete and reinforced steel and 3,000 tons of structural steel resting on more than 1,000 pilings of Douglas fir, the Perisphere was freestanding and was connected to the Trylon by only one walkway known as the Helicline, which arched into the sphere and provided a superb view of the Fair. The interior of the Perisphere contained a replica of a city forming a part of "The World of Tomorrow" that was so spectacular, it was referred to as a secular utopia. This vision in the sky was called "Democracity" and was probably the most advanced aspect of man's imagination to be found represented at the Fair.

17


Folder 11,7 x 16,5 cm. Folder in which the sheets M1 and 4 were sold, wrapped in cellophane. For sheet M2 a bigger size was used (16,5 x 17,8cm.), only made in 1939. Grey cardboard, text in red, illustration in blue. Also versions exist with blue text and red illustration or in a blue print only. Cancellation in black of the Day of Czechoslovakia, 6 . VII . 1939.

18


The 300 buildings comprising the exhibit area included 24 pavilions of various nations and about 40 exhibits by such big corporate names as Ford, Chrysler, General Motors, Goodrich, Firestone, General Electric, U.S. Steel, Du Pont, Heinz, R.C.A. and Kodak, to name a few. The New York World's Fair was open during two summer seasons, twelve months in total. Though it attracted some 42 million visitors, it suffered a loss of $19 million, becoming one of the most costly world's fairs ever. In 1940, as a result of the World War, the pavilions of Poland and Russia were unable to open. Belgium, the Netherlands and France closed one by one as a result of Germany's occupation of most of Europe. The pavilion of Czechoslovakia was never open as a true exhibit center, but only as a shell to remind the public of what happened to a small thriving democracy that was allowed to be devoured by one demented man's obsession to rule the world.

19


The Czechoslovak Pavilion, newspaper photograph of 1939 (BY COURTESY OF J. J. JANEÄŒKA)

Interior design of the Pavilion, by prof. Ladislav Sutnar.

20


THE CZECHOSLOVAK PAVILION

C

zechoslovakia registered for the New York World's Fair and planned its own Pavilion in which it would exhibit quality showpieces related to agriculture, industry, education and the arts. Tourism was also to be featured. The Pavilion was the design of the famous Czech architect, Professor Ladislav Sutnar, director of the State School of Arts in Prague. Its interior was arranged in such a way that would lead visitors in a natural flow from one exhibit directly into the next. When Germany invaded Czechoslovakia, the Pavilion was still under construction, but finances for completing the building were cut off. Most of its exhibit items could not be shipped from Europe and it appeared the Pavilion might be forced to close. But then a meeting between Mayor La Guardia of New York, the World's Fair President, Grover Whalen, and members of the Czechoslovak community led by Consul Karel Hudec and of the Czechoslovak Government-in-Exile at London, resulted in a decision to keep the Czechoslovak Pavilion open to the public even though it was unfinished and empty. This decision had the blessing of President Roosevelt in Washington. As a bare shell, it was intended to demonstrate the deprivation of the country's wealth of natural resources and industrial strength by the invading Nazi Army. In that way it became a symbol of Czechoslovakia's will and determination to rid itself of tyranny and restore its status as a free democracy. Nazi Germany protested the continued existence of the Pavilion, but the United States refused to recognize the Nazis' forced occupation of the Czech lands. To get the Pavilion opened and maintained, new sponsors and resources were needed. For this purpose, the Organizing Committee developed the idea of selling a select group of souvenir stamp sheets of Czechoslovakia to the public. This plan was then sanctioned by the Czechoslovak Government-in-Exile, London. The sheets had been originally issued by the Ministry of Posts for the Bratislava Stamp Exhibition of 1937 and the Prague Interna-tional Stamp Exhibition of 1938. The actual overprinting and sale of the sheets became an assignment of the Consulate, with permission of the Government-in-Exile led by President Edvard Beneš. The sheets for the first World’s Fair issues were donated by Alfons Stach and Alois Brunner, two stamp dealers in New York, both immigrants from Czechoslovakia. Assistance also came from Arthur Kessler (Montreal) and Mr. Voticky of the United Stamp Company (New York). Financial support also came from other sources. Before the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, exhibit items which had arrived in New York, and were intended for exhibition in the Czechoslovak Pavilion were now, instead, sold at an auction. Private citizens and institutions donated generously. In 1939 and 1940, contributions came from the Czechoslovak Bazaar as well. The continuing existence of the open Pavilion drew enormous public attention and sympathy and the sale of the sheets was a great success. Media coverage was high. Newspapers wrote about this unique precedent in international expositions and filmmakers recorded it for movie theater newsreels.

The overprinting and sale of these sheets has both historical and political significance in depicting Czechoslovakia’s plight resulting from its occupation and the resolve of its people both at home and abroad to regain full freedom. Despite comments in German stamp magazines warning of so-called forgeries allegedly perpetrated by former Czechoslovak emigrants, the Pavilion remained a symbol of hope for its people and an expression of support for, and cooperation with its Government-in-Exile. These efforts ultimately bore fruit, in 1945 Czechoslovakia was liberated, making these overprinted sheets stark witnesses to a dark chapter in the small nation's turbulent history.

21


The Czechoslovak stamp sheets used for overprint for the New York World’s Fair, according to the catalogue Michel, nos. 1-5, of 1937 and 1938.

Michel 1 (M1 -150 x 110 mm): Bratislava Exhibition 1937, with autograph of the designer, prof. Karl Seizinger.

Michel 2 (M2 -150 x 165 mm): Bratislava Newspaper sheet, with autoposta cancel of 1937 in orange.

22


THE 1939 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR OVERPRINTS

T

he first sheets to be overprinted were the Bratislava Stamp Exhibition sheet of 1937 and the Bratislava Newspaper Stamp Sheet of the same year. The third sheet to be overprinted for the first time was the sheet for the Prague International Stamp Exhibition of 1938. There were several reasons for the choice of these sheets. Sufficient quantities were available in the USA due to the fact that they had been issued in large volume during those years and that many of them had been exported. And, the sheets had beautiful graphic design and plenty of blank border for additional printing. The first issue of these overprints was divided into two parts: the top part consisted of an overprint of the Republic's Coat-of-Arms; the bottom part contained two lines of text reading: "Czecho-Slovak Participation New York World's Fair 1939 / Czecho-Slovak Pavilion." Both the Coat-of-Arms and the text were printed in black. For the Coat-of-Arms, the Great Seal of the Czechoslovak Embassy was steel engraved. The text was bookprinted. The quantity of the first issue was estimated at 5,000+ copies each. lt drew great public interest and sold fast, initially at $ 0.75 each (this equals appr. $ 5 of today). Therefore additional issues were made in smaller quantities with the Coat-of-Arms appearing in either blue, green, red, gold or silver dyes. Thus the first issues appeared in six color variations. The quantity of the sheets overprinted with the Coat-of-Arms in color, especially in silver, was however much lower than the issue in black. Due to public demand and a limited supply, the colored versions were offered at higher prices, starting with $1.50 and up to $10 for the silver. The initial quantity of overprinted sheets was soon sold out, and succeeding sheets for overprinting were bought by the Czechoslovak Consulate on the stamp market, which led to higher production costs. In the course of the six months that the New York World's Fair was open in 1939, it became increasingly difficult to obtain a sufficient quantity of sheets to be sold at the Pavilion. On subsequently overprinted sheets the text was now printed in color. In place of the original black version, either blue, green and red versions were now made. As the sheets were available to the public, though to higher prices, the question of whether they were regular issues or proofs is unimportant. So far, the issues with the text in four colors and the Coat-of-Arms in six colors resulted in 24 issued combinations of each sheet. But in that year, 1939, there were also three other sheets issued. One of these was a re-overprinted sheet of prepared issues for the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, which exists only with black text, but with the Coat-of-Arms in six colors.

23


Michel 4 (M4 - 149 x 105 mm): Prague International Stamp Exhibition sheet of 1938, autograph by Seizinger and J. Vondrouš, engraver.

Michel 3 (M3 - 71 x 91 mm): Masaryk commemorative sheet of 1937 with Prague cancellation of 7.III.1938, the Presidents Birthday.

Michel 5 (M5 - 71 x 90 mm): Free Republic sheet of 1938, with Zavlekov cancellation of 25.X.1939, forbidden since the March 1939 occupation of Czechoslovakia.

24


The two others consist of an overprint of the socalled Masaryk Stamp sheetlet of 1938, issued to commemorate his life and death, and an overprint of the Free Republic sheetlet of 1938 to commemorate twenty years of existence of the Free Republic of Czechoslovakia. These two sheetlets were issued in a very limited quantity and were generally not available to the public. Generous donations to the Pavilion (usually $100 or more) were rewarded by distribution of one of these sheetlets to the contributor. These two sheetlets were overprinted in the same 24 color variations as the first three issues.

Altogether in 1939, six issues of overprinted sheets appeared and all of them were sold out by the closing day of the Fair. For the sale in the pavilion were the sheets carefully wrapped in cellophane and mounted inside folders in such a manner as to remain in mint condition. The face of the folders bore an allegory of the Free Republic, comprising a female figure draped in the Country’s flag, and holding an olive branch and a dove, symbolizing peace. This is the same figure that had been illustrated on the last stamp issued by Czechoslovakia as an autonomous nation. With this issue, Czechoslovakia actually commemorated twenty years of its independence despite the loss of the Sudetenland to Germany. All folders issued in 1939 were of light grey cardboard. The illustration was in red, the text on the face and on inside in blue. On some, the color was reversed: the illustration appeared in blue, the text in red. Some were completely blue. Some were without inside text. The inside text explained the reason for the issuance of the sheets - and at the same time appealed for support for Czechoslovakia's struggle for an autonomous and free nation. The only differences between these folders and the ones issued in 1940 was the use of pink cardboard plus the bottom line on the face which read: "New York World's Fair 1940". The Czechoslovak Government-in-Exile participated strongly in its intiative to maintain the open status of the Pavilion. President Beneť presided over the opening ceremonies, and in the course of the Fair, he visited the Pavilion on several occasions, sometimes in the company of his foreign minister, Jan Masaryk. Both of them signed the overprinted sheets when requested to do so. Their autographs may also be found on some of the printed folders in which these sheets were sold. Several signed sheets of the first issue with folders were personally given to Mayor La Guardia, President Roosevelt, and to other dignitaries.

25


Folder of the issues prepared for the Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, 1939

X 1939, 221 P5 The prepared overprint for the Canadian National Exhibition, on Michel no. 4, without re-overprint for the New York World’s Fair.

26


THE ISSUES FOR THE CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION

B

ecause of the great success of the issues used for the New York World's Fair in 1939, similar issues were prepared for the Canadian National Exhibition to be held in Toronto in 1939. The Czechoslovak Government-in-Exile wanted to make an 'acte de prĂŠsence' that would serve the purpose of gaining support for Czechoslovakia's cause of regaining its independence. Due to the outbreak of World War II, the Canadian National Exhibition was cancelled and the prepared Canadian Exhibition sheets were re-overprinted for sale at the Czechoslovak Pavilion in New York. For the Canadian National Exhibition, proofs were made for the Bratislava Exhibition sheet with text either in italic script or in gothic print. The proofs for the Masaryk and Free Republic sheetlets appeared in gothic print only. The proofs appeared in all of the 24 color variations. The prepared regular issue for Canada consisted of overprinting the Praga 1938 sheet in black text only and the Coat-of-Arms in the same six colors as the overprints of the New York World's Fair sheets. The text, printed in antique-style print, reads: "Czecho-Slovak Participation Canadian National /Exhibition, Toronto 1939". When this issue was re-overprinted for the New York World's Fair, the text was obliterated by two horizontal bars and a new text replaced it in the same antique-style print:"CzechoSlovak Participation" followed on the gutter between the two stamps by "New York World's Fair" and below that the year “1939". What makes this sheet remarkable is the fact that it was originally overprinted with a major spelling mistake. The name of "Czecho-Slovakia" was erroneously spelled "Czcho-Slovakia." This necessitated a third overprint of all the sheets, since this mistake had to be obliterated as well. For the Canadian National Exhibition a similar folder was printed as for the New York World's Fair, but with no text inside. For the sale of re-overprinted sheets at the New York Fair, the folders were also corrected with obliteration of the old text on the face and the printing of new text as follows: "New York World's Fair"(in caps) directly beneath it. These corrections were made in red/orange color and an inside text was added in the same color. From the original stock of the regular Praga 1938 sheets, three sets were not re-overprinted for the New York Fair. These sets were given to Mr. Stach and Mr. Brunner for their volunteer efforts. Possibly a few more of such sets have been preserved, so it is conceivable that as many as ten sets exist of these archived proofs.

27


XI 1940, 226  & XIII 1940, 275  Both sheets of 1940 autographed by dr. Edvard Beneš.

28


THE 1940 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR OVERPRINTS

O

riginally it had been proposed that the New York World's Fair have a permanent status with most of its buildings remaining intact. But even though the 1939 Fair was an enormous social, cultural and political success, it suffered heavy financial losses. And in 1940, its flamboyant director, Grover Whalen was forced to resign. Thereafter it was decided to close the Fair after 1940 and dismantle it. The same three sheets that had been overprinted for the 1939 World’s Fair (the Bratislava Stamp Exhibition, the Bratislava Newspaper stamp sheet, and the Prague International Stamp Exhibition) along with the same two sheetlets (Masaryk and Free Republic) were again overprinted for the 1940 Fair. There were two major differences. Wherever the original overprints showed the year "1939", they now showed "1940". In addition, the Praga Exhibition sheet inserted the printing of a pale green vignette illustrating the Czechoslovak Pavilion on the gutter between the two stamps. Whether by intent or by error, this vignette may also be found on some copies of the Bratislava Exhibition sheet. By the same token, a few of the Praga sheets had the vignette missing. Of course the vignette did not appear on the Bratislava Newspaper Stamp sheet nor on the sheetlets of Masaryk and the Free Republic, those three sheets being issued in very limited quantities. For the sale of the sheets a similar folder as of 1939 was printed on pink cardboard, now with the year 1940. As indicated before, the sale of these three overprinted sheets and the two overprinted sheetlets served a noble purpose: to keep the Pavilion open to the public and to make them aware that Czechoslovakia was one of the Allied nations participating in a worldwide struggle to bring about the downfall of tyranny and dictatorship. The net result of these sales came to $26,000 - a small amount when compared to what New York had invested in the Fair, but nevertheless a significant amount for its day.

Design in negative and positive of the green vignette for the 1940 issue XIII.

The engraving of the Pavilion on issue XIII.

29


1939 - Ø 45 mm General Pavilion cancellation in blue, red, purple or black.

1939 - Ø 40 mm Day of Czechoslovakia cancellation, in blue, red, purple or black.

1939 - Ø 38 mm Golden Gate cancellation, in black only. This is the only postal valid cancellation used.

1940 - Ø 40 mm Opening of the Pavilion cancellation, in black, red or purple.

1940 - Ø 37 mm Private cancellation of the Bazaar for the Czechoslovak Forces in the United States, in black or red.

1942 - Ø 38 mm Private cancellation of the Bazaar for the Czechoslovak Forces in the United States, in black or red.

30


THE CANCELLATIONS

T

he sheets overprinted for the New York World's Fair had no postal validity anywhere. The same sheets not overprinted had validity only in their country of origin. The sheets were issued by the Postal Ministry in Czechoslovakia and could only be postally cancelled and used in that country. Nevertheless, many of the sheets appear on registered covers mailed from the Czechoslovak Pavilion at the Fair. However, all such covers have correct franking of United States of America stamps, and the sheets are there merely for propaganda or philatelic purposes. Such covers were used chiefly within the USA, though some have been sent to Canada, Mexico and a few South American countries. There are no known covers with European destinations, probably because of the World War. Three different cancellations were prepared for the Fair. Three additional cancellations also exist. 1. The first cancellation used in 1939, was the Czechoslovak Pavilion cancel. It bore no date. In place of a date a text read: "Truth Prevails". The cancellation had two concentric circles, the inner one being twice as thick as the outer one. Between the circles a bi-lingual text read: "Czecho-Slovak Pavilion / New York World's Fair" and "Česko-Slovenský Pavilion". Separating the English and Czech texts were two small Czechoslovak flags. This cancellation was used on the sheets and on the folders in which the sheets were sold. It was generally used in conjunction with a dignitary's visit to the Pavilion, and the cancellation was affixed on request in one of several available colors. The name of Czechoslovakia was hyphenated, because in 1938, even before it was occupied, the country decided for political reasons, to acknowledge the semi-autonomy of Slovakia. This is evident on some of the last postal stamps to be issued by the First Republic. 2. The second cancellation appeared on July 6, 1939. All nations participating in the Fair were assigned a Day for National Celebration, Czechoslovak Day being July 6. The cancellation read: *Czechoslovak Day * Československý Den and, in smaller caps: "Czecho-Slovak Pavilion / New York World’s Fair" with the date in the center: 6 . VII . 1939. Like the first one, the second cancellation was also available in several colors. 3. The third cancellation appeared on the opening day of the Fair in 1940, which was also the opening day of the Czechoslovak Pavilion for that year. It was of similar layout as the 1939 Czechoslovak Day cancel, but it now read: *Opening Day* Of the Czecho-Slovak Pavilion, and, in smaller caps: "Czecho-Slovak Pavilion / New York World's Fair" with the date: 11 . V . 1940. Again, several colors of ink were available. Other cancellations found on sheets are: 4. The official postal cancellation, in black only, of San Francisco, on the occasion of the Golden Gate Exhibition, was placed on sheets and on covers with extra USA franking. This is the only postally-valid cancellation known to exist on these sheets. 5. A unique cancellation in Czech text appeared only in 1940. It read: *Českosl. Odboj v Americe * Oslavy 28. Října and 28 . X . 1940". This cancellation was prepared for the Czechoslovak Bazaar that was held at the Pavilion and in other parts of New York on that day, commemorating the founding of the Czechoslovak State. The cancellation had only political significance and appeared in black or red. Translated, the text means "Czechoslovakia’s Resistance Movement in America / Celebration 28. October”. 6. A similar cancellation, in black or red, was introduced in 1942 when the Czechoslovak community in New York organized a Bazaar for supporting the Resistance Movement. It also contained only a Czech text which read: *Českosl. Odboj v Americe* New York, with the date “26 - 29 XI 1942" and the single word "Bazár" beneath the date. A limited number of the New York World’s Fair sheets were donated for sale at this Bazaar.

31


Bratislava 1937, Ø 38 mm Exhibition cancellation, in black.



Praag / Prague / Prag 1938, Ø 40 mm Examples of the Exhibition cancellations in blue.

 I 1939, 4 P1 Proofs with text diagonal.



32


Totally different were the original Czechoslovak cancellations that had appeared on sheets during 1937 and 1938. Those cancellations publicized stamp exhibitions that were held in the Czechoslovak cities of Bratislava and Prague respectively. Next to these the organge autoposta cancellation of 1937 or 1938 may be found on some of the overprinted sheets. An example of this cancel is illustrated on page 22. When it became increasingly difficult to find sufficient quantities of sheets for the World's Fair overprinting, sheets that had already been cancelled specially in Czechoslovakia were now used for purposes of the Fair. These cancellations can be found on the first and third issues of 1939 (I and III) as well as the issues eleven and thirteen of 1940 (XI and XIII).

PRINTING

T

he overprinting of the sheets was done in bookprint, the letters being set and then again reset for subsequent issues. Consequently, small variations in the letters and setting may be found. The Coat-of-Arms was steel engraved and based on the seal of the Czechoslovak Embassy. The printing process and the use of special dyes resulted in the raised relief print having a glossy effect both for the overprint text and for the Coat-of-Arms. The result is comparable with that of today’s so-called paramount printing. Word has that these special dyes have intentionally been destroyed when the original overprinting was finished. The overprinted text of most of the regularly issued sheets was then later simultaniously printed with a different ink, which gives a flat appearance similar to offset printing.

Folder prepared for the Canadian National Exhibition, in which the sheets were packed for sale in the Czechoslovak Pavilion in New York. Overprinted for theNew York World’s Fair of 1939, and cancelled with the general Pavilion cancel in red.

33


I 1939, XI 1940 & XIII 1940, E6 Broken W in World’s.

Print with normal W in World’s.

III 1939, E7 Print with b in -Sbovak.

Print with normal l in -Slovak.

I & III 1939 First printing, thick dye, long N in New York.

Later print, thin dye, long N in New York.

I & II & III 1939 Variety with short N in New York.

34


PROOFS, ERRORS AND VARIETIES

B

efore the sheets could be overprinted in 1939 and 1940, proofs had to be made. These proofs were also sold at the Czechoslovak Pavilion, since the purpose of production was to use all available sheets to help generate finances for the Pavilion and the liberation of Czechoslovakia. Some proofs can be found of the first issue 1939 I, nos. 1 to 6, where initially the text of the overprint went through the Castle of the Bratislava sheet. This was then corrected by lowering the text so that it appeared horizontally and beneath the Castle, and could be read more distinctly. This proof is listed in the catalog as a variety (V1). Where the text was printed diagonally through the perforated stamps of the sheet, upwards or downwards, the proof is a genuine one, but had been unissued in 1939 because of the flawed result. Besides varieties, errors can be found on most of the issued sheets. The most frequent errors are found on sheets which have no text (in the catalogue listed as E1, = error 1). Sheets having the text missing are generally regarded as incomplete varieties rather than as true errors. Only very seldom is the Coat-of-Arms missing inasmuch as this was the first thing to be printed. Sheets with missing text or missing Coat-of-Arms can also result from blind printing, whereby the sheet was actually printed but the ink was missing in the machine. This error can be recognised by the raised blind relief on the paper. An example of this error is in the catalogue listed as: VII 1939, 163 to 168 E11 (see p.68/69). Inverted prints (sheets upside down in a printing machine) constitute a major error. Where the text is inverted, the sheets are identified as E3; where the Coat-of-Arms is inverted, they are identified as E4. If both text and Coat-of-Arms are inverted, they are listed as E5, indicating the whole sheet ran twice through the machine, inverted both times. Such errors are found mainly when issues were printed in relatively large quantities in which the misfed sheets were discovered only after the printing was completed. A different situation prevails on sheets where the Coat-of-Arms and the text have been switched, with the Coat-of-Arms appearing on the top and the text on the bottom (see issue XII 1940), their respective positions being switched. (P2). Such an error can be considered as a proof because technically it cannot be the result of an error in the printing process. In addition to the above mentioned errors, some of the overprints designed for one particular sheet were also overprinted on one of the other sheets. This happened with the 1940 issue of the Prague sheet, issue XIII, where the overprint also appears on the Bratislava sheet, issue XI. Between the two stamps, the gutter with the text "Bratislava 1937" is overprinted with the green vignette of the Pavilion (XI 1940, 223 to 228 V3). A major error, and a rare one, appeared in the 1940 issue of the Prague sheet, when the green vignette was printed inverted (E9). Apart from this rare error, the vignette is otherwise often shifted in the print, the result of sheet misalignment during printing. Whether incomplete or as proofs, some of these sheets also exist without the green vignette (E10). Finally, some obvious errors can be found as a result of typesetting or printing. A major error was discovered in one of the issues where the letters were set to spell the name as "CzechoSbovak" instead of "Czecho-Slovak". The italicized letters "l" and "b" look very similar, accounting for the oversight. This error appears on issue III 1939, 49 to 54 E7. Another error was discovered when either a broken letter was used in the typesetting or it broke off during the printing process, as in issue I 1939, 1 to 6 E6 and in issue XI 1940, 223-228 E6, and in issue XIII 1940, 271-276 E6.

35


I 1939, 1 E5 Coat-of-Arms and text inverted

I 1939, 4 E3 Text inverted. E3 could only appear after interference in the printing process of the sheet.

36


Of lesser significance is the difference in the letters used for the "N" in "New York". In the second printing, using thin and flat ink, an "N" was used with a shorter second leg than in the first printing. Contrary to the issuance policy of most postmasters, all sheets containing errors and varieties in the World's Fair overprints were sold "as is". Alphons Stach, the key person in the production of these sheets, declared that all errors and variaties were the result of mistakes in printing and therefore were accidental, not deliberate. When visitors to the Czechoslovak Pavilion, particularly philatelists, showed keen interest in the errors and varieties found on these sheets, they were sold at even higher prices than those having no mistakes on them. As mentioned earlier, both the 1939 and the 1940 sheets were overprinted with texts in different colors. Black, which was the most common issue, was usually printed in large quantities. Quantities less than in black were printed with texts in blue or green or red. These issues were somewhat scarce and were sold in the Pavilion at much higher prices, sometimes for as much as $ 25 per piece. Because the number of these varieties is relatively small, these issues have been considered to be proofs. Since they were all available for purchase in the Pavilion, they occur in this Catalogue after each list of regular issues with texts in black. The overprints on the Masaryk and the Free Republic sheetlets (issues IV and V, VIII and IX, XIV and XV) are also proofs. Alphons Stach referred to them as such, and therefore they are so listed in this Catalogue. The prepared issue for the 1939 Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto is also deemed to be a proof. The issues VI, VII, VIII and IX, all with 24 color varieties, exist in a few complete sets only. The sheets became obsolete when, due to the outbreak of World War II, the Exhibition was cancelled and the sheets sold instead in the Czechoslovak Pavilion at the World’s Fair. Other proofs were made in the Canadian issues when the text of issue VI and VII of the 1937 Bratislava sheet was applied to the 1938 Prague sheet. The Masaryk and the Free Republic sheetlets of these Canadian issues are as scarce as those of the New York World's Fair issues of 1939 and 1940. Only one prepared issue for Canada, the overprint of the 1938 Prague sheet, was re-overprinted for the New York World's Fair (issue IX 1939, 217 to 222) as a large enough quantity existed to warrant its re-overprinting. A unique feature of this issue is the major error noted in the first re-overprint. The name Czecho-Slovak" in the upper left corner was misspelled to read "CzchoSlovak" and required a third printing with the erroneous name obliterated and replaced with the correct spelling. In this same issue there are also two types of numerals used in the year "1939", one being 1 millimeter smaller than the other. Very few of this specific prepared issue exist as not reoverprinted; and word has it that these were donated to the Archives of the Pavilion Committee, though this has not been confirmed. (Issue X 1939, 217 to 222, P5).

37


XIII 1940, 271 CzC With orange ‘autoposta’ (mobile post office) cancellation of 27.VI.38-12. .

XIII 1940, 271 E9, CzC Vignette inverted and shifted, with Prague International Stamp Exhibition cancellation of 1938 in blue.

38


QUANTITY

A

lthough in some publications the volume of printing is estimated at 5000 of each of the first three issues, there is actually only one record of the quantity of Czechoslovak issues printed for the New York World's Fair. This record was made by J. W. Lowey * of New York in 1945. It was published in the same year in Prague by Frank NovotnĂ˝ in a Czech translation. Recorded are only the regular issues, all appearing with the text in black. COAT-OF-ARMS IN COLORS 1939

ALL TEXTS IN BLACK

BLACK

BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER

TOTALS

I II III X

BRATISLAVA EXHIBITION BRATISLAVA NEW SPAPER PRAGA EXHIBITION CANADA RE-OVERPRINT TOTAL VOLUME

8200 5750 2800 2700

525 375 350 400

525 375 350 400

525 375 350 400

525 375 350 400

200 200 200 200

10.500 7.450 4.400 4.500 26.850

BRATISLAVA EXHIBITION PRAGA EXHIBITION TOTAL VOLUME

1500 7800

100 300

100 300

100 100 300 300

100 100

2.000 9.100 11.100

1940 XI XIII

TOTALS OF 1939 AND 1940

37.950

Remarkable of the Lowey record was his total omission of both the 1939 and 1940 issues with the Coat-of-Arms in red, and the 1940 issue on the Prague Exhibition sheet, with the Coat-of-Arms in silver. In the above schedule this is corrected by the author. This being the only published record, no exact figures are known about all of the other issues. Best is to regard these other issues as being proofs and trials, although these also have been made in complete variety sets. The amount of these proofs may range from between 5 and 25 complete sets, which would result already in large numbers, as each set consists of 24 varieties. Then 10 sets of each proof adds up to 240 sheets, every time. Another category to consider are the issues of the Masaryk and the Free Republic sheetlets of 1939 and 1940. As mentioned earlier, these were printed for special occasions, visits by dignitaries and as tokens of appreciation for large donations to the Czechoslovak Pavilion. Each issue consists of 24 color varieties for both the Masaryk and the Free Republic sheetlets. These sheetlets were not available in large quantities and, judging by their relatively higher prices, the assumption exists that only a few complete sets were made, possibly not more than five. Comparing them with regular postage stamps, it could be said that the Czechoslovak overprints in black on the Bratislava Exhibition and Newspaper sheets of 1937 and on the Prague Exhibition sheet of 1938 might be considered as the equivalent of regular issues, with varying amounts of color in the Coat-of-Arms. All other overprints might then be deemed as either proofs or varieties, with their degree of scarcity from slightly scarce to very rare. This approach is according to the 1941 Specialized Catalogue of Czecho-Slovakia made by Alfons Stach in New York, in which only the issues recorded by Lowey are listed. Concerning the registered covers with the Czechoslovak issues, sent from the Fair, it is likely that not more than 300 covers have been sent in 1939, on the Day of Czechoslovakia and another 300 in 1940, on the Opening Day of the Czechoslovak Pavilion. The amount of registered covers can easily be defined by the numbers of registration in the registration cancellation (cachet). These amounts do make the registered covers indeed very scarce.

* Mr. Lowey was secretary of the Czecho-Slovak Philatelic Society of North America and compiled the 1941 edition of the Specialized Catalogue of Czecho-Slovakia for Alfons Stach, New York.

39


. . . . . . .The fair mirrored the country. If the citizens weren't brave enough to stage a Freedom Pavilion, Grover Whalen wasn't either. But the fair did speak in its fashion of the tragedy in Europe. After the murder of Czechoslovakia ( . . . ) Mayor La Guardia sponsored a committee to collect funds to finish and operate the pavilion. The Ministry of Public Works in Nazi-ruled Prague ordered the process halted and the unfinished building sold, but Whalen (following the State Department's lead) declined to recognize the Nazi government, and construction went ahead. The building "symbolizes the spirit of freedom," according to an official fair publication, and "reminds the visitor of what freedom means." On opening day the still-unfinished pavilion was thronged. (The Nazi press made the best of the situation by pointing to the incomplete building as evidence of democracy's intrinsic incompetence.) Edvard Beneš, the dead country's last president, came to the pavilion to announce that "Czechoslovakia is still alive. It will continue to live. And here is the evidence of that fact." The fair was America on display fretfulness, heartfelt sympathies and all. . . . . . From: 1939 The Lost World of the Fair

by David Gelernter (Avon Books, -History, New York, 1995, p. 293

The signatures of dr. Edvard Beneš and dr. Jan Masaryk, as these appear on the issues of Czechoslovakia in 1939 and 1940.


STATUS

A

s far as the status of these overprinted sheets is concerned, there can be no doubt that they are all of genuine origin, being overprinted on regularly issued stamp sheets of the then sovereign State of Czechoslovakia. The idea of opening up the Czechoslovak Pavilion at the New York World's Fair was agreed upon by the governments of the USA and the Czechoslovak Government-in-Exile, London, despite official German protest inasmuch as Germany had then already occupied Czechoslovakia. Actually, it was the first Nazi occupation by force of another free European nation. Thus the mere existence of the Czechoslovak Pavilion not only demonstrated a determination that Czechoslovakia be liberated, but it heralded a rallying call to all other free countries to join in a struggle to halt totalitarian expansion throughout the world.

The Czechoslovak issues comprising overprinting of its own valid Exhibition sheets with New York World's Fair overprints served a dual purpose. They had a serious political impact and helped to finance the Pavilion while at the same time calling attention to the plight of the suppressed people of Europe. Hence it can be strongly argued that these issues are of postal origin and were deliberately converted to a political and nationalistic purpose. More than that, it can be stated that, much to the chagrin of the then Nazi regime, these issues are more legal than the postage stamps that the German Reich issued for its so-called Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia. When World War II ended in 1945, the Czechoslovak Government-in-Exile was welcomed back to Prague, and President Beneš was again elected democratically to serve his country as he had done before the German occupation. Then, in 1948, the Government was ousted by a Communist putsch, and for the next 40 years, it was denied its de facto status as part of the Western Allied Forces during and after World War II. Since the collapse of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia in 1989, history needs to be reconsidered anew. Now that the democratic status of Czechoslovakia has been recognized and restored, it is time to give these Czechoslovak issues for the New York World's Fair their rightful place in history and to value their impact on its course. They tell an important story and speak of the power and creativity of an Idea which kept the light of freedom burning during those dark days of World War II, when totalitarianism seemed on the verge of taking full control over everyone's mind and body.

41


Small numbered folder, text on front, inside (p3)stamp and autographed by dr. Edvard Beneš.

Before his departure for Europe, Dr. Edvard Beneš, former president of Czechoslovakia, autographed 1,000 of the Czechoslovak 50 h. stamps bearing his portrait. These stamps are attached to a folder bearing an identification. This is: "A SPECIAL LIMITED ISSUE / AUTOGRAPHED BY DR. EDVARD BENEŠ / NEW YORK - 1939." On the inside above the stamp in large blockletters stands: "FREE CZECHOSLOVAKIA IN FREE EUROPE". Each folder is numbered from 1-1,000. Nr. 1. will be offered to President Roosevelt, after the whole issue has been sold. The stamps were smuggled out of Czechoslovakia and brought to this country after being secretly preserved by local Czechoslovak postmasters in defiance of a Nazi order to immediately destroy the remaining stocks of this issue. The order was one of the first orders given out after the March 15 occupation of Czechoslovakia. The stamps are being sold in the Czechoslovak Pavilion at the New York World's Fair together with other souvenir sheets of Czechoslovak stamps which are becoming, now, one of the rarest with the collector. The price at the present time, of the autographed issue is $ 10.00. Although on sale only a few days, a number have already been sold. The proceeds of the sale of those stamps are to be used for the benefit of the movement to restore the Czechoslovak Republic as a free and independent country. George J. Janeček.

42


SOME OTHER RELEVANT PHILATELIC ACTIVITIES IN WARTIME USA

S

oon after President Edvard Beneš arrived in the USA, a small folder was issued, in which the last issued postage stamp of the former Czechoslovakia was mounted. It is a 50h stamp, featuring the portrait of Beneš. The folder was issued in a limited, numbered amount of 1000 examples, each personally autographed by Beneš. Each was sold at $ 10, with the proceeds destined for the Czechoslovak liberation funds. After selling the entire issue, folder nr. 1 was personally given to President Roosevelt.

The Czechoslovak community in New York issued two private labels for the Czechoslovak Relief fund, at a selling price of $ 1 and $ 2 each. The labels were used on postal covers, also on some covers with Czechoslovak issues for the New York World's Fair.

36 x 24 mm The labels sold for the Czechoslovak Refugees and Relief Fund, appear also on some covers from the Czechoslovak Pavilion.

In 1943 the United States issued a series of stamps of the occupied countries, including Czechoslovakia. A commemorative numbered document was issued in which a set of these stamps were cancelled on the first day of issue. Finally, it must be mentioned that the Czechoslovak Forces-in-Exile had their own postal service in operation throughout 1940 to 1945, first in France, near Cap d'Agde, and subsequently in Great Britain, at the base camp in Cholmondley and later, with the Forces moving to many other places. This postal service is splendidly documented in the Monographs on this subject, issued by the Czechoslovak Philatelic Society of Great Britain, and also in the early Czechoslovak catalogue of Novotný in 1949.

43


Publication of: The Sun, New York, June 1939.

44


The USA issue of 12-VII-1943 The first USA stamps issued showing the Czechoslovak flag are contained in a series of stamps known as the ‘occupied countries issue’, here presented to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (l), by the Czechoslovak Ambassador Vladimir Hurban (r), and the U.S. Postmaster General, Frank C. Walker.

45


III 1939, 53 In 1943 autographed sheet, by dr. Jan Masaryk, minister of Foreign Affairs: “with heartfelt greetings and thanks - yours Jan Masaryk, Christmas ‘43".

46


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I

n 1962 a Czechoslovak friend sent to me, in exchange for some magazines of the West, several postage sheets of the International Stamp Exhibition of Prague. The outstanding graphic design and attractive appearance invited me to start a collection of the stamp sheets of Czechoslovakia. Then in the mid-sixties I discovered a mysterious stamp sheet. This was the 1937 Bratislava Stamp Exhibition sheet, with an overprint for the Czechoslovak Participation at the New York World's Fair of 1939. This intrigued me. How could it have been possible for Czechoslovakia to issue a stamp sheet in the United States of America during the Nazi-German occupation of Czechoslovakia? Who had been responsible, and what was the purpose and nature of the issue? At the same time, I had a feeling of excitement of discovering some sort of treasure, in which no other people I knew, even were interested in. In the following years I occasionally found a few of these sheets, at stamp markets, fairs, and more often on international auctions. In the early 1970's, I visited Prague several times, and even found a few sheets at the stamp fair near Wenceslas Place. In those days a sheet sold for Kčs 300,-., quite expensive there, considering an average Czech income of Kčs 2000,-. to 3000,- per month. My initial fascination for the issue caught me, and I decided to find out as much as possible. First I found an article in the Czechoslovak Specialist magazine. Then I wrote to Alfons Stach with a lot of specific questions on the issue. He wrote back to me in short, but very accurate letters. In addition to his letters, he also sent me some newspaper articles of 1939, the SUN publication of those days, and his own catalogue of 1941, listing the regular issues. Of course he sold me some of the sheets too, but not to many. Several years later a Dutch auction house began offering lots of 40 sheets in albums. After acquiring these, including more and more duplicate sheets, I discussed with the auctioneer whether I could select and buy from their unsold stock, and for higher prices. The company agreed to this, and I began selecting sheets interesting to me. When I reached 150 examples, I gave up, and asked if the company would consider to sell the whole stock. After witnessing some ‘theatrical’ phone calls by them with a non-existent owner of the sheets, they told me that they were willing to accept an offer for the box with 500+ sheets. We reached a reasonable agreement, and I got the box. At home, I found the box to contain original correspondence of Alfons Stach with the Commissioner General of the Czechoslovak Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. Not only that, but I found the box to contain not the said 500+ sheets, but 1000+ sheets. Now research was becoming really serious. Only recently, two extensive collections, out of circulation for many years, were offered to me. With these materials I could finally complete my research that bridged more then 25 years and I could finish the writing and compiling of this Monography and Catalogue. And, I got a lot of support from new friends, especially from the USA, interested in the issue, and in its rehabilitation in a postal and historical context. Now we know that this issue mirrors a hidden history. A history of the early days of the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany, and the response to this by the Czechoslovak Government-in-Exile, the Czechoslovak community in the United States, and the Government of the USA and the City of New York. The response was to keep open the Czechoslovak Pavilion at the New York World's Fair of 1939 and 1940 - meanwhile, finding a most creative way to finance this effort!

47


.

President Beneš regularly visited the Czechoslovak Army-in-Exile. These examples illustrated here, with 1940 Czechoslovak Postal Service at Camp d’Agde cancella-tions and autographed by Beneš, predate the French Vichy Government of Pétain (signed June 22, 1940). By late June the Czechoslovak Army became based in Cholmondly, Great Britain.

See for excellent documentation: “The Czechoslovak Army in France”, Roy E. Reader, Monography 5, 1987 & “The Czechoslovak Army and Airforce in Exile, 1939 - 1945", W. A. Page, Monography 1, 1981: The Czechoslovak Philatelic Society of Great Britain.

48


Maybe this initiative even contributed seriously to the US Government decision to denounce the German occupation of Czechoslovakia. Certainly it expressed the will to regain freedom for Czechoslovakia in a free Europe. So this issue served in a splendid way its purpose, exactly as it was described in the German press of the day: to propagate for- and to finance the Czechoslovak illegal Government. Six years later, History would judge this statement, redefining illegal as to be the only legal. This Monography and Catalogue is not complete. It is a beginning and a reconstruction of a littleknown but very fascinating history. The reader is kindly invited to write to the author with additional information, personal experiences, questions and visions. These reactions will be published in due time, and sent without costs to all respondents. The address is: E=mc² Publishers E-mail: eckart.dissen@gmail.com All illustrations of the Czechoslovak Issues for the New York World’s Fair are from the research collection of the author, and are brought into logical order. Many thanks for their support, help and enthousiasm in this endeavour should go to: Mirko L. Vondra, prof. Alan Anderson, Charley Chesloe, Dan Foster, Henry Hahn, Jane Sterba, Johan Klein, Linda Dubsky, Howard Schloss, Jan Verleg and of course to the late, great Alfons Stach. Eckart Dissen, Summer / Autumn 1998 / Revised December 2012 / January 2013

49


Official publication of the Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Washington, 1943

The book of David Gelernter, 1995, is one of the first and only that reports extensively on the Czechoslovak Participation at the New York World’s Fair.

50


RESOURCES History President Masaryk mr. J.H. van Peursen, Den Haag, 1935.1938: Ondergang van Praag S. Fowler - Wright, NV Arbeiderspers Amsterdam, 1936. September 1938 Johan Winkler, NV Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam, 1938. Keesings Historisch Archief, 1937 - 1940 Amsterdam, 1940 Czechoslovakia Fights Back Czechoslovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Washington, 1943. Czechs were too Tough for Nazis to Crush Ralph Harwood, Warweek, Sunday, May 20, 1945. Dr. Beneš Compton Mackenzie, Harrap & Co, London 1946.Tsjechoslowakije, Het hart van Europa W. Valk, Jac. van Campen, Amsterdam, 1947. The Second World War -vol. l: The Gathering Storm Winston S. Churchill, The Riverside Press, Cambridge, MA, 1948. Dr. Eduard Beneš W. Valk, Jac van Campen, Amsterdam, 1948. Herinneringen (Memories) Edvard Beneš, NV De Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam, 1950. Die Tschechoslowakei; Abriss Ihrer Geschichte Frantisek Kavka, Orbis, Prag, 1960. The Shaping of the Czechoslovak State D. Perman, E. J. Brill, Leiden, 1962. Tsjechoslowakije, 1938, 1948, 1968 F. Dekker, Keesing, Amsterdam,1968. The Masaryk Case Claire Sterling, Nonpareil, Boston, 1982. Questions on German History, 1800-present, Reichstag Exhibition Berlin, Germany, Bundestag Press, Bonn, 1984. The Genesis of Czechoslovakia Josef Kalvoda, Columbia University Press, New York, 1986. Vojenské Déjiny Ceskoslovenska, III Díl Od roku 1918 do roku 1939, Naše Vojsko, Praha, 1988. Vojenské Déjiny Ceskoslovenska, IV Díl Od roku 1939 do roku 1945, Naše Vojsko, Praha, 1988. Prague / Prag / Praha Jan Kaplan and Krystyna Nosarewska, Könemann, 1997.

Over de wereldtentoonstelling / On the NYWF / Über die Weltausstellung

This Fabulous Century, Vol. IV, 1930-1940 Time-Life, New York, 1974. De wereldtentoonstelling, (The World's Fair) E. L. Doctorov L J. Veen, Amsterdam 1977. The New York World’s Fair 1939/1940 in 155 photographs by R. Wurts and others Dover Publications, Inc. New York, 1977. L. Zim / M. Lerner / H. Rolfes, Harper & Row, New York, 1988.

51


Letter of the Commissioner General to Alfons Stach about the sale of the sheets after the closure of the Fair, for $ 0.75, for the black issues, and $ 1.25 the issues with the Coat-of-Arms in color. Thus this concerns the regular issues only.

52


On the NYWF -continued Remembering the Future The New York World's Fair from 1939 to 1964 The Queens Museum / Rizzoli, 1989. De wereldtentoonstelling, (The World's Fair) Trylon and Perisphere; The 1939 New York World’s Fair B. Cohen / S. Heller / S. Chwast, Harry Abrams, New York, 1989. Wereldtentoonstelling (The World's Fairs of) 1851-1992 Kerstnummer Grafisch Nederland 1991. 1939: The Lost World of the Fair David Gelernter, Avon, New York, 1995. Film / Video: The World of Tomorrow Tom Johnson and Lance Bird, 1984. Postgeschiedenis / Postal History / Postgeschichte The Stamp Album John Edelberg, New York Post, Saturday, July 1, 1939. Constitution and World's Fair Issues The Sun, New York, 1939. The Czechoslovak Specialist (Official Monthly Journal of the Society for Czechoslovak Philately, Inc.): Vol. 1, nr. 5 (1939); Vol. 6, nr. 4 (1944); Vol. 22, nr. 5, p.116/119 (1960); Vol. 35, nr. 10 (dec. 1973); Vol. 48, nr. 7, 8, 9 & 10 (1986); & Vol. 49, nr. 1 & 2 (1987). Donaupost, Pressburg, 1940: nr. 4, p.61, Ein Posthumer Tschechenblock! nr. 5, p.33, Ergänzung zu den Vorgängen im CS-Pavillion bei der Weltausstellung in New York. nr. 7/8, p. 111, Nochmals Überdruckblock von New York und Warnung. nr. 12, p. 173, Weiterer Pseudo-Block anlässlich der Chicagoer Ausstellung. Linn's Stamp News, 12 May 1975, Monday: Sid Pietzsch, Retaliatory Czech Souvenir Sheet not so well known. Mono III Monografie Ceskoslovenských Známek, 3. Díl J. Karasek, F. Zampach, Praha 1979. Mono IV Monografie Ceskoslovenských Známek, 4. Díl V. A. K., J. Karasek, ed., Praha 1986. The Czechoslovak Army and Airforce in Exile, 1939 - 1945,

W. A. Page, Czechoslovak Philatelic Society of Great Britain, Monography 1, 1981

The Czechoslovak Army in France, R. E. Reader, Czechoslovak Philatelic Society of Great Britain, Monography 5, 1987. Catalogi - Catalogues - Kataloge cat 1 Stach's Specialized Catalogue of the Stamps of Czechoslovakia. New York, 1941. cat 2 Speciálný Katalog 1949. Lad. Novotnýho, Praha, 1949. cat 3 Speciální Príručka. L. Novotny, Praha, 1971. cat 4 Specializovaný katalog. Z. K. A, Praha, 1978. cat 5 Specializovaná Príručka, Z. K. A, Praha, 1988 cat 6 Michel Europa Katalog. 1997/98 Ost, Schwanenberger Verlag, München, 1998. cat 7 Trojan: Československo, CR., SR. Praha, 1996. cat 8 Pofis, Československo, Prague, 1998.

53


ON THE CATALOGUE

T

he comprehensive catalogue on the following pages lists all of the Czechoslovak issues made for the New York World's Fair in 1939 and 1940, as well as all of the prepared issues for the Canadian National Exhibition of 1939, and those which were re-overprinted for the New York World's Fair and sold in the Czechoslovak Pavilion.

All issues are sequentially numbered, from 1-342, covering all of the now known issues, and all possible color combinations in which these issues have been printed and sold. The fifteen issues made for the New York World's Fair are designated by a roman number per issued sheet, starting with number I, for the first issue, the Bratislava Stamp Exhibition of 1937 and ending with number XV, the issue of the Free Republic sheetlet in 1940. These numbers express more or less the chronology of the issues and/or sale in the Czechoslovak Pavilion. At the bottom of relevant pages, the errors, the proofs and the versions are listed and separately defined, e.g. by E1 to E11, or P1 to P5, etc. Examples of covers, proofs and errors are illustrated on the facing pages of the catalogue. In a few cases, arbitrary decisions have been made as to whether the issue has been designated with a roman number, or is defined as proof (P) or version (V). Throughout the catalogue, four separate columns have been made, with a point system for each sheet, which expresses the comparative scarcity due to the printed amounts and availability. Thus, this catalogue is not a price list as such. Some abbreviations and signs: NYWF E CND P p V FC CzC R M LP ** ✉ -.  

New York World's Fair Error Canada Proof points Version Fair Cancellation or US cancellation, 1939-1942 Czechoslovak Cancellation, 1937-1938 Registered (cover) Michel catalogue (e.g. number of sheet) Lovers Price Mint (& unused) Cover Unconfirmed (not known) See Above Below

54


PART II

CATALOGUE

55


I 1939, 1, V1, CzC Variety with text through castle

I 1939, 1 R-cover in New York, with cancellation: Czechoslovak Day / 6. VII. 1939 -in red.

56


I 1939 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR Nr

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

SHEET M1

TEXT COLOR

COAT-OF-ARMS COLOR

**

FC

CzC

BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN RED RED RED RED RED RED

BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER

25 75 75 75 75 250 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400

40 100 100 100 100 300 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450

40 100 100 100 100 300 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450

✉ 100 250 250 250 250 500 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700

VARIETY V1: TEXT THROUGH CASTLE : +250 ERRORS: E1: E2: E3: E4: E5: E6:

NRS. 1-6: TEXT MISSING: + 350 COAT-OF-ARMS MISSING: + 500 TEXT INVERTED: + 500 COAT-OF-ARMS INVERTED: + 500 COAT-OF-ARMS AND TEXT INVERTED: + 750 BROKENS: + 150

PROOF TEXT DIAGONAL: + 1000 ( SEE PAGE: 32) SHEET WITH AITOGRAPH E. BENES / J. MASARYK: LP

57


II 1939, 25, E3 Text inverted

II 1939, 25 R-cover to Atlantic City with cancellation: ‘Czechoslovak Day’, 6. VII. 1939 -in blue.

58


II 1939 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR Nr

25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48

ERRORS:

TEXT COLOR

BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN RED RED RED RED RED RED

SHEET M2

COAT-OF-ARMS COLOR

**

FC

CzC

BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER

40 100 100 100 100 250 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400

75 150 150 150 150 300 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

✉ 150 250 250 250 250 500 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700

E1: NRS. 25-30: TEXT MISSING: + 350 E2: COAT-OF-ARMS MISSING: + 500 E3: TEXT INVERTED: + 500P E4: COAT-OF-ARMS INVERTED: + 500 E5: COAT-OF-ARMS AND TEXT INVERTED: + 750 E11: TEXT OR COAT-OF-ARMS IN BLINDPRINT: + 500

PROOF P2: TEXT AND COAT-OF-ARMS SWITCHED: + 750 SHEET WITH AUTOGRAPH: E. BENEŠ / J. MASARYK: LP

59


III 1939, E1 Text missing, Coat-of-Arms shifted.

III 1939, 51 R-cover to Ecuador, black cancellation ‘Opening Day of the Czecho-Slovak Pavilion’, 11. V. 1940.

60


III 1939 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR Nr

49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72

TEXT COLOR BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN RED RED RED RED RED RED

COAT-OF-ARMS COLOR BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER

Sheet M4 ** 60 125 125 125 125 350 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400

FC 75 150 150 150 150 400 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450

CzC 75 150 150 150 150 400 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450

✉ 150 250 250 250 250 500 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700

ERRORS : E1: NRS. 49-54 TEXT MISSING: + 350 E2: COAT-OF-ARMS MISSINGHLT: + 500 E3: TEXT INVERTED: + 500 E4: COAT-OF-ARMS INVERTED: +500 E5: COAT-OF-ARMS AND TEXT INVERTED : + 750 E6: BROKEN IN WORLD'S: + 150 E7: NRS. 49-54: CZECHO-SBOVAK INSTEAD OF CZECHO-SLOVAK: + 500 E11: TEXT OR COAT-OF-ARMS IN BLINDPRINT : + 500 SHEET WITH AUTOGRAPH: E. BENEŠ / J. MASARYK: LP

61


IV 1939, 76 With autograph of dr. Edvard Beneš.

IV 1939, 89

IV 1939, E1 Text missing.

IV 1939, E1, E4 Text missing, Coat-of-Arms inverted.

62


IV 1939 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR Nr

73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96

TEXT COLOR BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN RED RED RED RED RED RED

COAT-OF-ARMS COLOR BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER

Sheet M3 **

FC CzC

500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500

600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600

-.-,.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

✉ 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000

ERRORS: E1: NRS. 73-78: TEXT MISSING: + 350 E4: COAT-OF-ARMS INVERTED: + 1000 SHEET WITH AUTOGRAPH E. BENEŠ / J. MASARYK: LP

63


Text inside the folder in which the sheets were sold.

V 1939, 106

V 1939, 116

64


V 1939 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR Nr

97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120

SHEET M5

TEXT COLOR

COAT-OF-ARMS COLOR

**

FC

CzC

BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN RED RED RED RED RED RED

BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER

600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600

700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

✉ -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

ERRORS: -.SHEET WITH AUTOGRAPH E. BENEŠ / J. MASARYK: LP

65


Folder prepared for the issue of the Canadian National Exhibition, without overprint for the New York World’s Fair.

VI 1939, 124 P3 Proof with the italic print as on the Bratislava sheet (M1) on the Praga sheet (M4).

66


VI 1939 CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION TEXT ITALIC COLOR

SHEET M1

COAT-OF-ARMS

**

FC

CzC

400 400 500 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400

500 500 -.500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500

-.-.750 -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

Nr 121 122

BLACK BLACK BLACK

124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144

BLACK BLACK BLACK BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN RED RED RED RED RED RED

BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER

400

750 750123 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750

ERRORS: E2: COAT-OF-ARMS MISSING: + 500 E11: TEXT OR COAT-OF-ARMS IN BLINDPRINT: + 500 PROOF: P3: 121-144: OVERPRINT 0N M4, PRAGA '38: + 500 SHEET WITH AUTOGRAPH E. BENEŠ / J. MASARYK: LP

67


VII 1939, E11 Coat-of-Arms in blindprint

VI 1939, 151 Proof with the gothic print of the Bratislava sheet (M1) on the Praga sheet (M4).

68


VIl 1939 CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION

SHEET M1

TEXT GOTHIC COLOR

COAT-OF-ARMS

**

FC

CzC

BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN RED RED RED RED RED RED

BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER

400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400

500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

Nr 145 146 147 148 149 150 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168

750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750 750

ERRORS: E2: COAT-OF-ARMS MISSING: + 500 E11: TEXT OR COAT-OF-ARMS IN BLINDPRINT: + 500 PROEF / PROOF / PROBE: P3: 121-144: OVERPRINT 0N M4, PRAGA '38: + 500 SHEET WITH AUTOGRAPH E. BENEŠ / J. MASARYK: LP

69


VII 1939, 164 R- Cover, cancellation in blue: ‘Opening Day of the Czecho-Slovak Pavilion / 11. V. 1940".

IV, VIII 1939 or XIV 1940 E1 R- Cover, cancellation in blue: ‘Opening Day of the Czecho-Slovak Pavilion / 11. V. 1940".

70


VIII 1939 CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION

SHEET M3

TEXT GOTHIC COLOR

COAT-OF-ARMS COLOR

**

BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN RED RED RED RED RED RED

BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER

500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500

FC CzC

Nr 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192

600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

ERRORS: E1: TEXT MISSING: + 350 E4: COAT-OF-ARMS INVERTED: + 750 ( IV) SHEET ON COVER: + 500 SHEET WITH AUTOGRAPH E. BENEŠ / J. MASARYK: LP

71


X 1939, 219 P5 Proof without second overprint

X 1939, 217 Remarkable misprint of the second overprint, for New York, on the prepared issue for Canada, corrected in the third overprint.

72


IX 1939 CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION

SHEET M5

TEXT GOTHIC COLOR

COAT-OF-ARMS COLOR

**

FC

CzC ✉

BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN RED RED RED RED RED RED

BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER

600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600

700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

Nr 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

ERRORS: -.SHEET WITH AUTOGRA PH E. BENEŠ / J. MASARYK: LP

73


X 1939, 217 Misprint, on the prepared issue for Canada, of the third, corrected overprint for New York.

X 1939, 218 R -cover to Ecuador, with blue cancellation :‘Opening Day of the Czecho-Slovak Pavilion / 11. V. 1940'.

74


X 1939 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR

2nd OVERPRINT ON: CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION

Nr

217 218 219 220 221 222

SHEET M4

TEXT COLOR

COAT-OF-ARMS

**

FC

BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK

BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER

60 125 125 125 125 350*)

75 150 150 150 150 400*)

CzC -.-.-.-.-.-.-

✉ 150 250 250 250 250 500*)

*) A version with silver Coat-of-Arms seems not to exist ERRORS:

E8: DOUBLE OVERPRINT: + 500

VARIETY:

V2: SMALL 1939: + 15O

PROOF:

P5: WITHOUT SECOND OVERPRINT: + 500

SHEET WITH AUTOGRAPH E. BENEŠ / J. MASARYK: LP

FIRST REPRINT WRONG: CZCHO INSTEAD OF CZECHO-

TYPE 1: TYPE 2:

1939 BIG V2: 1939 SMALL

75


XI 1940, 225 V3

XI 1940, 241 R -cover in New York with purple cancellation: ‘Opening Day of the Czecho-Slovak Pavilion / 11. V . 1940'.

76


Xl 1940 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR Nr

223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246

ERRORS:

VARIETY:

SHEET M1

TEXT COLOR

COAT-OF-ARMS COLOR

**

FC

CzC

BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN RED RED RED RED RED RED

BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER

75 150 150 150 150 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400

100 175 175 175 175 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450

100 175 175 175 175 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450

✉ 150 250 250 250 250 500 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700

E1: NRS. 223-228: TEXT MISSING: SEE ALSO NRS. 1-6 E1: + 350 E2: COAT-OF-ARMS MISSING: + 500 E3: TEXT INVERTED: + 500 E4: COAT-OF-ARMS INVERTED: +500 E5: COAT-OF-ARMS AND TEXT INVERTED: + 750 E6: BROKEN W IN WORLD'S: + 150 E11: TEXT OR COAT-OF-ARMS IN BLINDPRINT: + 500 V3: GREEN VIGNETTE OF XIII ON GUTTER: + 250

SHEET WITH AUTOGRAPH: E. BENEŠ / J. MASARYK: LP

77


XII 1940, 252 P2 Text and Coat-of-Arms switched

II 1939 of / or / oder XII 1940 E1 Text missing, partial second print of the Coat-of-Arms.

78


XII 1940 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR Nr

247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270

ERRORS:

PROOF:

SHEET M2

TEXT COLOR

COAT-OF-ARMS COLOR

**

FC CzC

BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN RED RED RED RED RED RED

BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER

500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500

550 550 550 550 550 550 550 550 550 550 550 550 550 550 550 550 550 550 550 550 550 550 550 550

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

El: TEXT MISSING: AS NOS. 25 - 30 (350) E2: COAT-OF-ARMS MISSING: + 500 E3: TEXT INVERTED: + 500 E4: COAT-OF-ARMS INVERTED: + 500 E5: COAT-OF-ARMS AND TEXT INVERTED: + 750 E11: TEXT OR COAT-OF-ARMS IN BLINDPRINT: + 500 P2: TEXT AND COAT-OF-ARMS SWITCHED: + 5O0

SHEET WITH AUTOGRAPH E. BENEŠ / J. MASARYK: LP

79


XIII 1940, 275 Misprint of the green vignette.

XIII 1940, 289, E10 Without the green vignette.

80


XIII 1940 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR Nr

271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294

ERRORS:

SHEET M4

TEXT COLOR

COAT-OF-ARMS COLOR

**

FC

CZC

BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN RED RED RED RED RED RED

BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER

25 75 75 75 75 350 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400 400

40 100 100 100 100 375 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450

40 100 100 100 100 375 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450 450

El: E2: E3: E4: E5: E6: E9: E10: E11:

✉ 100 250 250 250 250 600 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700

TEXT MISSING: + 350 COAT-OF-ARMS MISSING: + 500 TEXT INVERTED: + 500 COAT-OF-ARMS INVERTED: + 500 COAT-OF-ARMS AND TEXT INVERTED: + 750 BROKEN W IN WORLD'S: + 150 VIGNETTE INVERTED: + 1000 WITHOUT GREEN VIGNETTE: + 350 TEXT OR COAT-OF-ARMS IN BLINDPRINT: + 500

SHEET WITH AUTOGRAPH E. BENEŠ / J. MASARYK: LP

81


R -Cover, in New York, cancellation in purple: ‘Opening Day of the Czecho-Slovak Pavilion / 11. V. 1940'.

XIV 1940, 317 R -Cover, in New York, cancellation in purplet: ‘Opening Day of the Czecho-Slovak Pavilion / 11. V. 1940'.

82


XIV 1940 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR Nr

295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 ERRORS:

TEXT ITALIC COLOR BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN RED RED RED RED RED RED

SHEET M3

COAT-OR-ARMS COLOR

**

FC CzC

BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER

500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500

600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

✉ 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000 1000

El: TEXT MISSING: + 350 E4: COAT-OF-ARMS INVERTED: + 1000 ( IV)

SHEET WITH AUTOGRAPH E. BENEŠ / J. MASARYK: LP

83


Folder of the 1940 issues, pink cardboard.

XV 1940, 322

XV 1940, 342, The very last issue

84


XV 1940 NEW YORK WORLD'S FAIR Nr

319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342

SHEET M5

TEXT ITALIC COLOR

COAT-OF-ARMS COLOR

**

FC CzC

BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLACK BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN GREEN RED RED RED RED RED RED

BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER BLACK BLUE GREEN RED GOLD SILVER

600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600 600

700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700 700

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

ERRORS: -.SHEET WITH AUTOGRAPH E. BENEŠ / J. MASARYK: LP

85


XIV 1940, 307 – 312 The only known complete set of six combinations with green text: RRR.

86


PART III APPENDIX

87


The Czechoslovak 1943 issue of London (120 x 149 mm), autographed by President Edvard Beneš.

88


THE CZECHOSLOVAK ISSUE OF 1943, LONDON

O

n October 28, 1943, at the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Czechoslovak Republic, a Stamp Exhibition was organized in London. The sheet, issued with stamps in Czechoslovak currency, had no postal validity and was sold for 5 shillings. Proceeds went to the the Czecho-Slovak Red Cross. The total amount printed -in two sequential prints- was 46,600 examples, including 150 imperforated sheets for dignitaries and participants in the exhibition. It is known, that the secrteary of the Czechoslovak Embassy, where the exhibition was held, send to important politicians of the allied nations two imperforated sheets with a request to end one back with autograph. So there exist sheets with signature of Anthony Eden, Churchill and others. These can be seen as real historical documents. There exist proofs of the sheet, imperforated in other colors, used for approval.

________________________________________________________________________________ For splendid documentation see: “THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF CZECHOSLOVAK INDEPENDENCE�, LONDON 1943. Monography 10 - The Czechoslovak Philatelic Society of Great Britain, 1996.

89


The issue of these two sheets in 1945, in Brussels, was semi-official. The Belgian Ministery of Post made the special cancel. Quantity: approximately 25.000 pairs. Remarkable is that such an amount of sheets, so shortly after WWII, was available for printing.

90


THE CZECHOSLOVAK ISSUE OF 1945, BRUSSELS

I

n October 1945, a special Stamp Exhibition was organized in Brussels to commemorate the liberation of Czechoslovakia and to remember the destruction of Lidice as retalliation for the assasination of Heydrich. The issue was an overprint -in two languages- on sheet Michel no. 1, and with permission of the Belgian Post, which makes it semi-official. A special cancel was made and used. Approximately 25,000 examples were made. Proceeds were for the village of Lidice. As yet, this issue has not been researched and documented.

Front and back of the invitation card for the Czechoslovak Stamp Exhibition of October 1945 in Brussels. . 91


92


VERENIGING VOOR TSJECHOSLOWAKIJE FILATELIE

www.cs-filatelie.nl Studiebijeenkomsten - publicaties verenigingsveiling - rondzendingen.

CZECHOSLOVAK PHILATELIC SOCIETY OF GREAT BRITAIN http://www.cpsgb.org.uk/

The worldwide membership benefit from the award-winning journal Czechout four times a year, regular meetings in London and outside, library, postal auction, and exchange packet (GB only).

SOCIETY FOR CZECHOSLOVAK PHILATELY INC. http://www.csphilately.org/

Journal - publications - meetings - circuit - library - cooperative auctions - expositions.

http://www.arge-tschechoslowakei.de/deutsch/mainframe.html

Forschungs-Berichte aus der Tschechoslowakei-Philatelie - Schriftenreihe - Literaturstelle Rundsendedienst - Vereinsauktionen - Jahreshauptversammlung - Ausstellungen.

THE INFORMATION ON THESE SOCIETIES IS UPDATED TO 2012

93


94


PART IV ADDITION

95


III 1939, 53 Autographed sheet “with best wishes”, signed by dr. Jan Masaryk, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czechoslovak Government-in-exile.

96


97


98


I 1939,4 & I 1939, 4 E1 These two sheets are as originals of the 1939 issue in each printed volume of the First Edition of this book included. (ed. 2012)

99


III 1939, 53 E7 Error: Czecho-Sbovak instead of Czecho-Slovak Pavilion.

100


In 2012 revised page for the Web Edition:

ON THE BOOK ISSUES OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA FOR THE NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR OF 1939 AND 1940 The first edition and first print of this publication consists of: 50 copies in size A4, hardcover bound, numbered 00001 – 00050. All 50 copies had two original sheets (I 1939, 4 and I, 1939, 4 E1) included. The second edition and second, revised print consists of: 25 copies in size A4, hardcover bound, numbered 00051 – 00075. These 25 copies all have one original sheet (I 1939,4) included. Two bound volumes without numbering were specially produced for the Praga 1998 International Stamp Exhibition, Prague, Czech Republic and are now in the Postal Museum. One special made volume was presented to the Office of mr Vlaclav Havel, the President of the Czech Republic, HC.

101


MARCH 1939: CZECHOSLOVAKIA IS OCCUPIED BY GERMANY. THE CZECHOSLOVAK PAVILION AT THE NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR STANDS EMPTY. MAYOR LA GUARDIA AND THE CZECHOSLOVAK GOVERNMENT-IN-EXILE SPONSOR A COMMITTEE TO KEEP THE CZECHOSLOVAK PAVILION OPEN AS AN APPEAL TO FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY. DESPITE PROTESTS FROM NAZI- GERMANY THE PAVILION WILL REMAIN OPEN TO THE PUBLIC FOR THE TWO-YEAR DURATION OF THE FAIR. THE FINANCES FOR THIS BRAVE ENDEAVOR ARE GENERATED IN A MOST CREATIVE WAY: THE ISSUING OF CZECHOSLOVAKSTAMP SHEETS OF 1937 AND 1938 WITH A SPECIAL OVERPRINT FOR THE NEW YORK WORLD’S FAIR. THE FAIR WAS AN INVITATION TO VISIT “THE WORLD OF TOMORROW”. THE PERMISSION OF THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT TO KEEP OPEN THE CZECHOSLOVAK PAVILION SIGNALED A DEFIANT REFUSAL TO RECOGNIZE THE GERMAN OCCUPATION OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA. SO THE CZECHOSLOVAK PAVILION EVENTS BECAME NOT ONLY AN ASSERTION FOR A FREE CZECHO SLOVAKIA, BUT ALSO MAY HAVE INFLUENCED WORLD HISTORY. THIS MONOGRAPHY AND COMPREHENSIVE CATALOGUE IS A REPORT OF THIS LITTLE KNOWN BUT MOST FASCINATING HISTORY.

102

The Issues of Czechoslovakia for the New York World's Fair of 1939 and 1940  

The Issues of Czechoslovakia for the New York World's Fair of 1939 and 1940. Monography and Catalogue on the Czechoslovak Participation at t...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you