I just got this cover for a few dollars and wonder if it's worth anything and I'd like to know more about it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
I know it has the French Censorship Labels tied by purple handstrucks. The postmark on the stamps read ENGEN 23-5-1946. There are some post war Occupation stamps and was sent from Baden to Canada.
I was able to translate part of the letter and it is speaking about Family matters. The German writer sounds like things were pretty tough saying that at least they were all still alive except one brother who died.
Hi jimjung, the French zone of occupation is where my parents met (in Freudenstadt) and conceived my older brother in 1957. My great aunt settled there after the war in 1946. Tante Ernie told me many stories of how kind American soldiers were to her and her son, especially compared to the occupiers elsewhere. The French zone was more rural, centering on the Black Forest region which escaped much of the devastation of the war years.
i would (and still do) rummage through flea markets, "estate sales" and dealer cover boxes precisely for these type letters. They open a window into the past and sometimes letters can be quite personal in nature. Your example happens to be exceptionally neat and it is evident the writer had outstanding penmanship skills. There are many specialists who delve deep into postal history markings, censorship, and of course some stamp issues themselves are ripe for plate flaw studying and flyspecking. Your cover might bring a few bucks on a decent day at auction, probably not a lot more as Germans were prolific letter-writers and there is simply lots of simular German material out there!
Typical German manuscript can be hard to decipher; it helps to have a lengthy letter or multiple samples of the same letter-writer to compare context and similarities. My grandfather (Opa) was a prolific writer, I still have a few of his letters to me written when he was in his sixties through 1984 (when he attained the age of 82). Unfortunately he wrote smaller, more slanted and more erratically as he progressed, as happens inevitably.
delcampe & eBay: stampguyAPS177-681 one day soon I will start listing a lot of interesting worldwide covers cards and stamps....
Typical German manuscript can be hard to decipher;
In that regard, this letter is easier than most. At least, I can read much of it! Sütterlin handwriting was still common back then, and much of what I see from the era is completely incomprehensible to me.
The letter is quite remarkable, and I'm sure the writer didn't expect West Germany's post-war economic success. "We have become a poor people, which is inevitable after a lost war."
I was an exchange student in Nuremberg and returned there quite a few times in later years for winter sport. They weren't as fortunate to escape the bombing - the city's status as an important industrial target, combined (I'm sure) with its prestige as Hitler's ideal German city, led to devastating bombing raids. I was there in January 1995, the 50th anniversary of a major bombing run that destroyed the old city, and they had placed billboards around the town, showing the site as it looked both shortly before and immediately after the bombing. A couple of quick shots of a book in my library that shows those same pictures as well as how it looked in modern times (well, modern as in 1985).
I also studied in Europe in Copenhagen in 1994 and later travelled to see more of Europe in 2000, driving from Netherlands down thru the West side of Germany, went down the Rhine and stayed at a small Medieval town overnight in the country beside the river. I don't know the name of that tiny town. Next day we went to the Alps to spend the day near Innsbruck before travelling to Florence and onwards.
Tubingen, mentioned in the letter is very close to Stuttgard which was near the route that we travelled.
Ah yes, traveling the smaller roads in Germany has been a favorite vacation pastime of mine (and my wife's and son's) for years. We go an average every couple of years, if not more. Getting from point A to point B in Germany is so much fun, if you do a little homework.
Flohmaerkte (flea markets) and Troedelmaerkte (antique/junk) are held all over Germany, usually on the weekends and we have picked up some really fun and memorable things over the years.