Azad Hind stamps

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Five of the different designs used. The high value 1+2 rupee is not shown.

The Azad Hind Stamps are a set of Cinderella stamps in six different designs produced in 1943 in Nazi Germany for Subhas Chandra Bose's Azad Hind (Indian National Army).[1] The Indian Postal Department includes these six unused Azad Hind Stamps in its commemorative book India's Freedom Struggle through India Postage Stamps.[2]

BackgroundEdit

A concept of Subhas Chandra Bose, the stamps were designed by Werner and Maria von Axster-Heudtlass[3] who created many German issues between 1925 and 1949, and show themes depicted on ten denominations.

The stampsEdit

The designs are

  • 1+1 Anna design depicting an Indian Sikh soldier firing a German MG34 machine gun.
  • 1/2 Anna, 1 Anna and 2+2 Annas design, which shows a plough and a peasant plowing a field in the background.
  • 2½, and 2½ + 2½ Annas design, which shows an Indian woman spinning cloth on a charkha.
  • 3+3 Anna design depicting a nurse comforting a wounded soldier.
  • 8+12 and 12 Anna + 1 Rupee design depicting breaking chains on a map of India.
  • 1+2 Rupee, which show three INA soldiers—one clearly a Sikh, the other two presumably a Hindu and a Moslem—with the flag of Azad Hind.

All stamps were printed by photogravure in sheets of 100 at the Reichsdruckerei, the Government Printing Bureau in Berlin. A million copies of the lower denominations were produced, with a further half million of the higher values, except for the 1 + 2 Rupee stamp, of which only 13,500 were printed in three color varieties. Specimens in mint-quality are rare. A lot of the preserved stamps don't have any glue, especially those of variety 2 and 3 (see below).

Each value was printed in a different color. The 1 + 2 Rupee stamp was designed as a multi-color design.

A complete set includes three color varieties of the Mi. VII 1 Rupee + 2 Rupee design. There are some preserved sample prints of variety 2 on orange-colored paper.

Catalogue listingEdit

The German Michel catalog lists the seven semipostals first (Mi. I-VII); the surcharge was for the administration of Andaman and Nicobar Islands then under Japanese control. Next come the three regular postal issues with no surcharge (Mi. VIII-X). A set of 21 stamps currently exist, both perforated (10×12) and unperforated. Mi. VII a,b,c (1R + 2R) only unperforated.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Freeston, Andrew. The Azad Hind and Chalo Delhi Stamps of the Indian Legion and Indian National Army of Subhas Chandra Bose 1941–1945. Waikawa Beach, New Zealand: 1999, p.9.
  2. ^ "Footprints of history" by S. Theodore Baskaran in The Hindu, 16 December 2000. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  3. ^ Freidman, Herbert A. "Azad Hind" and "Chalo Delhi" Stamps. Bombay: Jal Cooper, 1972, p.12.

SourcesEdit