UPPER SILESIA- GORNY SLASK
Under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, an Inter-Allied Commission
was set up to administer a plebiscite in Upper Silesia following the First
World War. The 4 designated powers were England, France, Italy and
the United States. Each of these countries sent soldiers to occupy
the region, which was the scene of fighting between German and Polish (and
some Czech) insurgents. There were two Polish uprisings against the
Germans before the plebiscite. The plebiscite of March 20, 1921 proved
inconclusive and the Allied Commission divided the territory based on the
vote. A third Polish uprising occurred after the vote. It was
later discovered that the Germans had brought in thousands of people from
Germany to participate in the plebiscite, most of them returning to Germany
after the vote.
Issued under the Inter-Allied Commission Occupation after World War
One. The stamp on the left is from a series of 9 issued in 1920.
2 1/2, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 50 (shown) pfenig, 1 and
The other two are from a series of 17: 2 1/2,
3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 40 pfenig in the smaller size shown in the
middle; 50, 60, 75, 80 pfenig, 1, 2, 3, and 5 mark in the larger size shown
on the right. The middle and right stamps were also issued with a
Plebiscite overprint. All the above stamps were also issued with
surcharges. The stamps above were printed in Paris.
"Commission of Government Haute Silesie" (CGHS) overprint on Official
1920. 20 different stamps in this series.
The French Administration in Opole (Oppeln) used a CIHS overprint on
German stamps as official postage. Original stamps with this overprint
are rare and are often forged.
Stamps of this type (un-authorized by the Inter-Allied Commission)
were issued privately by the Polish Insurgents during the 3rd Silesian
Uprising against the Germans, early May, 1921. Known sometimes as
the KORFANTY issue. Wojciech KORFANTY (1873-1939) led the Polish
Insurgents and became acting head of the Upper Silesian Government.
Some stamps were reputedly used for postage, particularly for internal
and official mail of Korfanty's government.
Values issued in this series: 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 fenigow and
One of a series of 7 labels issued by German insurgents. These
were never recognized as legitimate postage. The labels, which resemble
Polish stamps, are counterfeits. They were intended to cause confusion
during the dispute. The overprint claims that the stamp is recognized
by Germany. Printed in various colours that approximate the colours
of the Polish originals.
1922-23: A set issued in Poland to commemorate the incorporation
of parts of Upper Silesia into Poland. The lower value stamps in
fenig resemble the 1919 issues, but the colours are different. The
1 mark and above show a coal miner. 5, 10, 20, 40, 50 and 75 fenig,
1, 1.25, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 20, 50, 80, 100, 200 and 300 marek in this
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