After the Second World War, two Baltic refugee (Displaced Persons) camps were established on the outskirts of Augsburg, a deeply historic Bavarian town. The smaller camp at Haunstetten was integrated in 1948 into the larger one at Hochfeld which had been set up in mid-1945. Eventually, Augsburg – Hochfeld became a major centre of Baltic refugee cultural activities. An internal camp post office serving the three Baltic nationalities was opened in early 1946. Attended by normally 5 employees it performed many postal activities and had its own specific postmarker. Although the facility did not have the status of a regular German post office, it was exceptional in having been granted a limited scope of functions normal to medium size German post offices, including the right to accept and cancel registered postal items. The two items shown below illustrate the use formal German registration labels and the cancelling of German stamps by the camp P.O. postmarker.
The Augsburg – Hochfeld Baltic camp was also the seat of the Baltic Philatelist Association “Baltia” which was established on July 17, 1946, at the initiative of the notable Lithuanian collector Juozas Liubinskas, sr. The Society embraced a considerable number of knowledgeable Baltic philatelists and so provided a valuable basis for contacts between Baltic and German, later American etc. specialists. One of the Society’s solid achievements was the publication in June 1948 of a multi-lingual “Baltic Postage Stamps Catalogue”. By 1948 “Baltia” had some 300 members and had to its credit several exhibitions as well as regular mainly monthly meetings for discussion and stamp exchange. Below is shown a Member Certificate which, for the benefit of American Occupation inspectors, combines the member’s ID and the legality of his/her ownership of a stamp collection.
In 1948 the Augsburg – Hochfeld Camp post office issued a set of 3 camp post stamps which, however, had no postal validity (a basic listing is provided by the Jankauskas catalogue). The set was designed by Edvardas Krasauskas, himself an artist and active member of the “Baltia” philatelic association. Being involved in the stamp production process, he retained some unissued printer’s proofs and affixed some of them to postally conveyed items. But most of the proofs were taken by him when he migrated to the U.S.A. and then sold (also by his wife after his death) to Charles Matuzas who shared with Vytautas Doniela. The Camp Posts Assembly held by Charles Matuzas, (incl. Augsburg-Hochfeld) was sold at the Cherrystone September 2011 auction as Lot 6289. Some Augsburg – Hochfeld proofs have already spread around, but a more comprehensive listing is still a desideratum. Below are shown early examples in black, as blocks and singles on cards, of printer’s proof of the central part of the 50 Pf and the 1 M values.