The Postal History of the Anschluss:
The German annexation of Austria 1938.

Front Cover This book was written by Tony Hickey, Ian Nutley, David Taylor and Colin Tobitt; it is produced in A5 in full colour on heavy glossy paper with clear plastic covers and a sturdy wire binding (so that unlike many street maps it opens flat but the end pages don’t fall out!). There are iv+181 pages; the font is black sanserif and easy to read.

Brief scene-setting leads to the 1921 post-WWI plebiscites and Dolfuss. Wollersdorf Camp gets two pages; the reviewer enjoyed the first paragraph . Dolfuss’ assassination leads to Berchtesgaten and Schuschnigg’s aborted plebiscite. This is perhaps where the book reveals its special merit: the range and diversity of the material illustrated. Next is the German entry on 12.3.38; German FPOs were opened and a list is provided. Hitler’s plebiscite on 10 April is extensively illustrated, on piece card and envelope. The many different ways of voting Yes are well documented.

The transition from Austria to Ostmark comes next, with illustration, explanation, tables of postal rates, and numerous examples. A brief 7th chapter on slogan and commemorative cancels is followed by a very long 8th on Propaganda Cards, of which there were enormous numbers. Finally comes material on the assimilation of the Austrian way of life into the German; some Schussnig propaganda; and Antisemitism in Austria.

This book is not a detailed study of the political history, nor of the dry minutiae of postal decrees – those who seek these will find them documented elsewhere. What it provides is an outline of events, and a lavish display of rarely-seen material which brings the monochrome of history alive in glowing colour.

©APS; last changed 19 Mar 2013