Presentation by Mr. George Kraus to the members of the Peace Arch Stamp Club on April 3, 2019
STAMPS ISSUED BY POLISH GOVERNMENT IN EXILE DURING WW 2
Of the several stamp issues for Polish Nationals living outside Poland's borders-during or after World War II-the most important and known emissions were those of the Polish Government in Exile, with a seat in London, England.
In December 15, 1941, the Polish Emigree Government in Great Britain inaugurated the "Polish Postal Service" in a limited way. The emission of Polish postage stamps and the service was dictated by the necessariness of contacts with Poles still fighting, Polish Nationals in the world and to propagandize the fact that Poland still fights and the Polish Army, Air Force, Navy, and Merchant Marine are still fighting as the fifth world power, although fighting beyond Poland's boundaries.
In order that adhesives issued by Polish Emigree Government would retain its full monetary values and philatelic recognition, special postal agencies were created on Polish battleships and on the medias in Merchant Marine sailing the seas under the banner of Poland, thereby giving this philatelic venture a status of postal service operating on Polish soil.
In this manner 38 postal agencies were established; the centrum of this postal network being the "Postal Department" under the authority of the "Ministry of Defense" of the Polish Emigree Government.
In compliance with the mandates of the World Postal Convention, the regular and registered correspondence was accepted exclusively on ships of the Merchant Marine at sea, or the regular Polish Naval Forces. The mail franked with the stamps of the Polish Government in Exile was accepted only for delivery in Great Britain and friendly or neutral nations. This mail-prepaid with Polish stamps-was delivered through the regular postal channels.
This humble postal service has established full philatelic recognition for covers and stamp issues by the Polish Government in Exile. These stamp emissions not only gained great popularity among stamp collectors, they also established a financial income for the Ministry of Finance and a great war propaganda that kept ablaze the fighting spirit among the Poles.
In World War II, while Adolf Hitler‘s Germany was occupying Poland, the Polish government was exiled in Great Britain. The Polish government in exile issued some postage stamps for use on its ships. Polish exile stamps were inscribed POCZTA POLSKA. Collectors of Poland stamps in general, and of the endless types of WWII stamps, need some Polish government in exile stamps to complete their collection.
Polish exile stamps look like regular Polish stamps except for the fact that each is designed around a war theme. Tanks, soldiers, the ruins of buildings and cities, and others are the downer designs. The postage stamps were issued between 1941 and 1944. Collectors may look for a complete set of all stamps issued – say, one from each year. But there are other items that may be of interest to you as well.