Detmold Lithuanian Displaced Persons Camp Scout Issue of 1947
Jay Rogers

During the years immediately following World War II there were numerous displaced persons (DP) camps in Germany.  These camps were actually temporary cities of no small proportions with many of the needs of ordinary cities.  One of these needs of course was a postal service.  Adhesives at many camps were prepared for prepayment of mail and to guarantee delivery.  These DP camp stamps are in the category of local or provisional issues rather than official country issues.  No country was responsible for their release, nor required their use.

Of particular interest are the five "Detmold" Scout stamps.  There was a camp for Lithuanian DP's at Detmold.  These five stamps were used for postage through 1947.  The Allied Military Government in Germany at that time did not evidentally require postage stamps on mail eminating from these DP camps.  Nevertheless, DP stamps appear on covers, both alone and in combination with regular German issues.  Genuine covers with intercamp, intracamp, local and international destinations exist.  In addition there were covers prepared of the FDC type as philatelic souvenirs.

Complete Camp Scout Issue
Complete Issue on Cover with DP "Detmold Pastas"
Cancel and German Stadhagen Cancel and
"Meerbeck DP Mail Paid" Franking Handstamp
Mixed Postage

Cover with DP "Detmold Pastas" and German stamp
Destination to Meerbeck DP Camp

Detmold DP

Stamp Quantity Issued Color
10f Detmold 19,480 Light blue, dark blue and red value
20f Detmold 9,750 Orange, brown and blue value
50f Detmold 6,700 Lavender, purple and black value
Augsburg Overprint 7,030 Orange, green and red overprint
Augsburg Overprint, Imperforate 2,340 Orange, green and red overprint

The 10f, 20f and 50f stamps were issued together in sheets of 88 as shown in the diagram.  This interesting arrangement results in two types of se-tenant gutter pairs.  A very small quantity are known imperforate.  The background colors, which were apparently applied simultaneously to the entire sheet, did not always register exactly.  This shift resulted in a white line variety.

Sheet Format of Scout Issue
Sheet Format of the Detmold DP Camp Issue

Augsberg Overstamp

The Augsberg overprint stamp is on heavier paper and bears a red "R" on the gummed side.  Only about 100 copies of the unoverprinted error are thought to exist.  Probably only one sheet was made this way.

MEERBECK DP Cancel MEERBECK DP Cancel
Detmold & Augsburg Stamps with Meerbeck DP Cancel

Postmarked Greven

Postcard with 6 pfennig German stamp postmarked Greven Apr 30, 1947, with Detmold Boy Scout stamp cancelled by mute oval to the right of the German stamp.  The card is addressed to Canada.

Postcard addressed to Canada
Postcard addressed to Canada with two Augsburg overprints.

The value of these DP stamps belies their low printing.  This is because many consider them to be in the seals and labels category.  Nevertheless, they are hard to locate.  Covers are very scarce.  They are of interest to German and Lithuanian specialists and DP camp stamp collectors as well as Scout stamp collectors.


SOSSI Journal, Volume 21, No. 6, June 1972.