Scout Refugee Stamp Issues
W. Arthur McKinney

At the close of World War II, thousands of refugees from eastern Europe were forced from their own homes in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Poland and Ukraine and were herded into huge refugee camps in Germany and other parts of the world.  These refugees who came from all stratas of society were forced to set up facilities within the camps which would make it possible for them to live as nearly normal lives as they were able.  Many of them were Scouts in their own countries and in many cases they represented the only organized group in the camps to rally round a common interest.

These Scout groups made themselves responsible for messenger service both within and between camps.  Special stamps were produced which guaranteed delivery of letters.  It is true in some cases that production of stamps continued after the need ceased and it is almost impossible to distinguish between those destined for postal service and those produced for fund raising purposes.  However, there is one factor that must surely distinguish the simple "seal" from the "stamp" used for postal purposes.  A stamp which appears on a cover with the cancellation of one of the Refugee Camp Post Offices and which shows evidence of being used postally, should be considered as a philatelic item.


SOSSI Journal, VOL X, No. 5, May 1961