Allenstein 1920 Definitives of Germany - Overprinted "TRAITE DE VERSAILLES" in Oval
From Stamps of the World
- Issue Date : 01 May 1920
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After the defeat of Germany in World War I, a plebiscite was held in 1920 to determine whether the people of the region, including Allenstein, wished to remain in East Prussia or become part of Poland. In order to advertise the plebiscite, special postage stamps were produced by overprinting German stamps and sold commencing 3 April of that year. One kind of overprint read PLÉBISCITE / OLSZTYN / ALLENSTEIN, while the other read TRAITÉ / DE / VERSAILLES / ART. 94 et 95 inside an oval whose border gave the full name of the plebiscite commission. Each overprint was applied to 14 values ranging from 5 Pf to 3 M.
The plebiscite was held on 11 July, and resulting in a clear wish (97.8%) to remain in East Prussia. The stamps became invalid on 20 August 1920. Despite their short period of use, almost all of the stamps are cheaply available both used and unused.