Alright guys. These stamps, issued in Berlin in 1968, are some of my favorite animal stamps of all time. They are part of a semi-postal series intended to raise funds for child welfare causes (“Für Die Jugend”). See the additional denomination shown under the postal rate (+5 on the Wild Cat stamp, for instance)? That means that, when a customer purchased these stamps, he or she paid a surcharge that supported charitable programs within the issuing country or state.
Here in the US, semi-postals are popular; one of the most well known is our Breast Cancer Research stamp, which has been available from the USPS since first issued in 1998, and has raised over $76 million for the National Institutes of Health and a Department of Defense research program.
The stamps above are just four of dozens of wildlife stamps designed by a fellow named Froitzheim. I am really drawn to his bold, graphic designs. And pretty excited that there are so many others to add to my collection. Unfortunately, though, (as is the case with many other stamp designers), I have had difficulty finding more information about Froitzheim’s career and other work.
A bit of postal history now: In the past I just bundled all of my German stamps together, but realized after researching this set that many of my favorite stamps were actually issued by Berlin’s post—Deutsche Bundespost Berlin—a local postal entity which operated during Germany’s post-war divided period, from 1948 to 1990.