Rates and Operations: 4.4.1938 to 1945

Rates and Ops: index 1875 to 30.9.1916 1.10.1916 to 3.4.1938 1945 onwards

Unsurprisingly, with the Anschlüß came changes...

On 4 April 1938, some postal rates were changed and expressed in Rpf; but all the remainder were unchanged and were still expressed in Groschen. The "local letter" (Ortsbrief) was reintroduced, at 8Rpf/12G; and the local postcard at 5Rpf/8G. A within-Vienna pneumatic letter thus cost 8Rpf/12G plus inland express surcharge of 30G, making 42G ie 28Rpf total; a within-Vienna postcard cost 5Rpf/8G plus 30G = 38G = 25Rpf.

See the Postal Decrees reproduced in Wurth III (1980 pp 105, 111, 113) and also Wurth XI (1988) pp97-99. Some catalogues show the "from 1.8.1938" rates as being introduced on 4.4.1938, and lasting until 7.7.1938. The official decrees do not support this and we believe it can be ignored.

From 4 April, it was possible to post German postal stationery in Vienna for pneumatic handling; supplementary franking was usually required and could be added in German or (while they retained validity) Austrian adhesives. See ArGe Öst vols 104 & 105.

  From To Letter Postcard Pneu Schg Exp Schg VVPEL VVPEPc
Local 4.4.1938 7.7.1938 8Rpf 5Rpf 30G 30G 28Rpf 25Rpf
Inland 12Rpf 6Rpf 30G 30G -- --

Letter rates are for a lowest-weight letter. For 1938, they are expressed in Rpf although to a diminishing extent mixed-currency franking was possible; Pneu Schg is the special pneumatic surcharge; Exp Schg is the normal express surcharge; column VVPEL is "Local letter plus pneumatic surcharge plus express surcharge" ie the total charge for a Vienna-to-Vienna Pneumatic Express Letter; column VVPEPc is the same calculation for a Postcard. G is groschen, Rpf is Reichspfennig.

On 8.7.1938, the rates & surcharges were unchanged, but were restated in Rpf only. As Groschen stamps were rapidly being phased out, and Groschen currency had by then faded away (see "Currencies"), this had little practical effect.

  From To Letter Postcard Pneu Schg Exp Schg VVPEL VVPEPc
Local 8.7.1938 31.7.1938 8Rpf 5Rpf 20Rpf 20Rpf 28Rpf 25Rpf
Inland 12Rpf 6Rpf 20Rpf 20Rpf -- --

On 1 August 1938, the system used in Germany since 1927 was introduced, whereby the pneumatic post charges were altered to consist of three components: a) the normal fee for a card or letter, b) a pneumatic post surcharge for carriage by pneumatic post, and c) the Express Delivery fee. Labels of two kinds were used for pneumatic mail: "Rohrpost" and "Rohrpost und Eilbote".

Express Delivery, which had been mandatory in Germany until 12 July 1938, became optional. If it was required, the sender paid a surcharge of 40Rpf for Ortszustellbezirk (= delivery within the delivery area of the receiving Post Office; this would include delivery to anywhere in Vienna) and 80Rpf for Landzustellbezirk (ie delivery outside the delivery area of the receiving Post Office, eg to a nearby Postablage) See the Postal Decrees referred to above. The sender could choose to leave the recipient to pay the express surcharge, in which case they paid the higher of the surcharge and the messenger fee.

The pneumatic surcharge was 10Rpf. If an item was sent from Vienna to Berlin or vice-versa and the pneumatic post was specified as to be used in both places, two 10Rpf fees were chargeable. For such items, two pneumatic surcharges at 10Rpf were cheaper than one Express Delivery at 40Rpf and were likely to produce the same result in practice.

  From To Letter Postcard Pneu Schg Exp Schg VVPEL VVPEPc
Local 1.8.1938 1945 8Rpf 5Rpf 10Rpf 40Rpf 58Rpf 55Rpf
Inland 12Rpf 6Rpf 10Rpf 80Rpf -- --

A within-Vienna express-delivered pneumatic letter posted on or after 1 August 1938 thus cost 8Rpf local letter + 10Rpf pneumatic + 40Rpf local express making 58Rpf in total. Specimens exist showing this rate, and others showing 48Rpf where the 10Rpf wasn't added perhaps the sender realised that an express-delivery letter was highly likely to be sent pneumatically whether or not he paid for that service.

Registered Post

The table of registration rates for the relevant period is reproduced below. Note that these are surcharges, payable as well as the normal postage (and as well as any pneumatic & express surcharges) on the item. G=Groschen; Rpf=Reichspfennig.

From:Inland (and Germany till 1945)ForeignNotes
4.4.1938There was no change in the registration rates at the Anschluβ date, contrary to the tables in Michel and ANK
8.7.193827Rpf/40G47Rpf/70GSame rate, restated in Rpf
1.8.193830Rpf30RpfRates changed
2.7.194530RpfsuspendedService in Vienna and Lower Austria only; to other parts later.


(Opens new windows; close when seen)

30 May 1938 6 May 1938 1 Aug 1938 5 Aug 1938
22 Jun 1939 3 Oct 1940 5 Mar 1941 24 Mar 1941
26 Mar 1941 27 Aug 1941 26 Mar 1941 8 Apr 1943

Rates and Ops: index 1875 to 30.9.1916 1.10.1916 to 3.4.1938 1945 onwards