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Alsace - Lorraine 1918 - 1920, tarifs et règlements postaux

”Alsace - Lorraine 1918 - 1920, postal rates and regulations”

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Between the armistice of November 11, 1918 and January 1920, Alsace-Lorraine experienced an unusual legal situation. This situation continued until the two departments of Alsace and Moselle were attached to France by the Treaty of Versailles of June 28, 2019, which was only ratified by Parliament on October 11, 1919 and published in the Journal Officiel on January 11, 1920. In the meantime, the "Territory of Alsace and Lorraine" remained legally German under French military occupation.

As soon as the French troops entered the territory, which took place between November 17 and 23, 1918, postal relations were quickly authorized with France, while they were immediately prohibited with occupied and non-occupied Germany. From December 15, 1918, the French administration moved into the German structures. The post offices were regularly supplied with French stamps but German stamps remained tolerated until the end of the year. It is thus possible to meet during this period of mixed frankings Franco-German.

The German date stamps, the griffes, the labels, the German forms remain in use until the introduction of German date stamps francized or French provisional, without name of department. Bilingual postal forms will gradually appear from February-March 1919.

The German tariff of October 1, 1918 remains in force until December 15, 1918. Then, and until July 15, 1919, two postal rates are applied in Alsace-Lorraine. On the one hand the French domestic rate of January 1, 1917 which applies in relations with France. On the other hand a special rate which is used inside Alsace-Lorraine and which is the exact translation in centimes and francs of the German rate of October 1, 1918. A specific postal regime for Alsace-Lorraine will apply until the second German annexation of June 21, 1940. This is one of the many legal and administrative specificities of Alsace-Lorraine, in addition to the local law and the maintenance of the religious "concordat".

This work analyses the various pieces of correspondence (letters, postcards, postal parcels, money orders, etc.) coming from Alsace-Lorraine during this very particular transition period.

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