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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Stamp Investment Tip: French Legion 1941 Anti-Bolshevism Souvenir Sheet (Michel Block I)

Among the stamps that the Scott Catalog neglects to list are many German Occupation issues of World War II. Until the day that the publishers at Scott relent, correct the error, and list these stamps with "N" numbers in each country's back-of-book section (as Military Occupation stamps), we shall have to turn to Michel's Germany Specialized Catalog in order to find information on them.

In 1941, the Germans issued a semi-postal souvenir sheet to help fund the Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism, a collaborationist French militia which later fought in support of the Germans on the Eastern Front. The sheet is quite attractive, and pictures a sword striking the Russian Bear (symbolizing Bolshevism). 5,000 were issued, and the latest Michel prices it at Euros 650.- for NH.

The sheet is an important relic of World War II, and primarily appeals to both French and German collectors, and secondarily to Animal topicalists. It is undervalued in part because of the "tail wagging the dog" effect of being ignored by Scott along with many other WWII occupation issues, a disservice which results in most U.S. collectors being kept in the dark about them.

Note that expertization is recommended as a condition for purchase, as counterfeits exist.

Those interested in joining a community of stamp investors, dealers, and collectors are welcome to join the "Stampselectors" group at Facebook. The group provides a useful venue for those who wish to buy, sell, and trade stamps, and discuss philatelic investing and practical aspects of stamp collecting.

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