AMG Travel Permit Revenues
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AMG Travel Permit Revenues

by Bonnie & Roger Riga

At the end of World War II, it was necessary to put a government in place in the defeated countries to take care of business. At the end of 1945, the Allied Military Government began the process of rebuilding the infrastructure in the various countries that had been defeated. Much of the paperwork of life - birth certificates, deeds, etc. - had been destroyed in the war. Yet people had the need to travel, for instance, and had nothing to prove citizenship or other identifying documents.

The Allied Military Government, to address this problem, issued travel documents in Germany, which designated the bearer as a presumed citizen. These documents, as well as regular passports, required payment of fees and revenue stamps were created to show that payment. Travel from Germany or travel to Western Germany, Trieste and Austria required use of these Travel Permit stamps. The Allied Military Government (Great Britain, France and the United States) issued the first of these stamps in April of 1947 in the denominations of a $1.00 red (Figure 1) and a $2.00 blue. The SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force) shield is shown. The first issue was printed in London in sheets of sixty engraved stamps.

Figure 1.

In 1948, it was decided that a smaller stamp in new denominations and lithographed would be needed. Printed in Baden-Baden in sheets of 100, the stamps came in a Gratis value in blue (Figure 2), the smaller $1.00 red and $2.00 violet, a $4.00 orange, $10.00 dark green, $20.00 orange, and $50.00 gray-black. The higher values were used for tour groups or other numbers of people traveling together. In September, 1950, the $1.00 stamps was overprinted in three lines "Fifty/U.S./Cents"- in black.

Figure 2.

In 1948, the currency valuation was changed to Deutschmarks and $1.00 stamps were overprinted 5 DM and $2.00 stamps were overprinted 10 DM until new stamps could be issued. In December, 1948, the 5DM lilac and the 10 DM pale green were released. In 1950 a 15 DM red lilac was issued. Thereafter, the existing stamps were overprinted as new values became necessary, all in Deutschmarks. The $1.00 red stamp was overprinted for 1, 2, 4, and 6 DM (Figure 3). Other new values included 8, 16, 40, 80 and 200 DM.

Figure 3.

Most of these stamps are quite scarce today and command some high prices. On document they are rarer still. A number of years ago, probably twenty-five or so, a cache of these stamps in full sheets came into the marketplace, but was quickly absorbed and has had little effect on the prices of these stamps.

As collectors we are used to stamps and revenues from countries that no longer exist, but it is unusual to find them from an entity - not a country - that also no longer exists. Stamp collecting gives us many benefits, such as relaxation, knowledge of history and geography. That holds true for collectors of cinderellas and revenues as well. We can visit another era without leaving our comfortable home and chair, even a time when an Allied Military Government issued Travel Permit stamps to aid travel in a time of chaos following war.

This column first appeared in Scott Stamp Monthly and has been edited for online presentation.
This page was last updated July 10, 2016.
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