July 2017

Reg Dixon was our speaker in July and he entertained us with The Deutsche Nothilfe (German Emergency Aid) welfare organization which was founded in 1923, initially as a fund for national disasters such as floods. Reg won a Large Vermeil for this display so we were eager to see it.

The organisation issued an annual series of postage stamps from 1924 to 1935 with a charitable premium to raise funds.

In the first half Reg displayed the various stamp issues and a series of stamp booklets, which were issued every year from 1925, as well as postal stationery cards from 1927. The booklets provided a great source of philatelic interest because of the printing format, which led to se-tenant and tete-beche combinations, different watermarks, papers, perforations, errors and gumming. We also saw the different colour trials of the stamps

In the second half Reg informed us how the German Emergency Aid was hijacked by Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi Minister for Propaganda and it became the Winter Relief Fund of the German Nation popularly known as WHW, and its slogan was, - ‘Help us to Fight against Hunger and Cold.’ This came about because of the massive unemployment of over 6 million caused by depression and the ensuing widespread poverty, which required the immediate attention of the new Hitler regime. Success in alleviating both was a primary reason why Hitler remained generally popular before the war. 17 million people received assistance from the WHW during the first winter, much it in the form of potatoes and coal.

Reg showed us the various ways of collecting the money via commercial support, stamps, postal stationery cards, posters, door plaques and souvenir sheets.

It was a fascinating and entertaining afternoon, thank you Reg.