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  The Stamp Gallery of Czech and Slovak Graphic Art


1939: With the attack on Poland, Hitler causes World War II. In his new surrounding in Belgrade Seizinger has to mourn about his son Heinz who fell in Poland. In Yugoslavia, since the assasination of king Alexander by Ustasha terrorists in 1934, prince regent Paul rules for Alexander's under age son Peter II.

Enlarged part of a Yugoslavian postage stamp
The Stone Gate in Zagreb
where you are able to detect Seizinger's engraver sign.
depicted by courtesy of Tom Mikulić

After leaving Czechoslovakia, Belgrade was the next station in Seizinger's eventful professional career, where he arrived not before November 1938. This is proofed by a postcard which he sent to his friend Jaroslav Goldschmied in Prague on November 24, 1938. The content of this postcard shows that it was not easy to him to start a new life in his new surrounding. So Seizinger writes that there is nothing to buy what he would need for graphics. Because Goldschmied obviously had promised him help in building up a new existence abroad, he asked him to procure the expedients for graphical work. At the same time it seems that he also wrote to Mr. Janas, the leader of the state supervisory board for the printing house Unie, who should procure for him metal plates for his engravings. At least he mentions this on his postcard.

However, it appears soon that his stay in Belgrade should be only a short intermezzo in his professional career. First it lasted almost one year until stamps engraved by Seizinger were issued again. On the 6th of September 1939 - shortly after beginning of World War II - a set of postage stamps with altogether 4 ship motifs engraved by his hand were issued. According to his own words these stamps were "the first on Balkans in copper egraving technique."

A second set with two motifs of Zagreb followed on March 16, 1941. However, this issue already should be the last stamps for Yugoslavia and their history documents the turbulent days of Yugoslavia's occupation by the Third Reich and Italy as well as the establishment of the new Croatian state. For these stamps non only should be the last issues of Yugoslavia, but laso the first ones of the new state Croatia. Both issues were stamps with surcharges for financing the postage stamps exhibition in Zagreb, planned for the time between the 16th and 24th of March, 1941. At the the same time the stamps additionally should issue with exchanged colours for another exhibition in Slovanski Brod dated from the 13th to 20th April, 1941. Just between both of these dates - after occupation of the old Yugoslavia - Croatia declared its independence on April 10, 1941. Because of the war the exhibition in Slovanski Brod was cancelled and the 80,000 printed stamps were given to the central postal office in Zagreb, where they could be sold - either to use them in the province of Zagreb or overprinted with the new state designation in whole Croatia. Altogether 56,000 stamps were overprinted with a golden designation "Nezavisna Država Hrvatska" (Independent State Croatia), the rest is existing in the original print. However, only few stamps came into circulation, because the authorities stopped the sales activities soon and limited the validity of the stamps up to the 1st of July, 1941.

Seizinger's stamps, engraved for Yugoslavia, continue a speciality which already can be found on most of his Czechoslovak stamps. He hid his engraver's sign within the vignette of the stamps, mostly the capital "S", sometimes als his initials "KS". On the above image, which shows an enlarged part of the original Yugoslavian stamp depicted at right with the stone gate in Zagreb (MiNr. 437), you for example find the capital "S" near a window (marked by a circle). As opposed to his former items, where every stamp of a sheet has the signing, in Yugoslavia and later in Croatia, however, Seizinger signed mostly only one single stamp of a sheet. So the example shown here is only found on the 6th stamp of each sheet. Of course, these stamps, signed in this way, are extremely seldom and valuable. If you want to have some fun, try to find Seizinger's signing on his stamps. An overview in the 4th part of my catalogue with Seizinger stamps can help you (only in German).

Title Page * Introduction * Biography * Personality * Hildburghausen * Helsingfors *
Praha I * Praha II * Praha III * Praha IV * Praha V * Praha VI *
Belgrade * Zagreb * to be continued

Thank you very much to Tomislav Mikulić who gave me the permission for showing pictures from his website on this and the next page. Tom, who lives in Australia, is also Co-author and co-designer of Croatia's first definitive stamp after the independence in 1991, issued on January 15, 1992 (MiNr. 186). He also maintains a website about Karl Seizinger, on which you can find the complete interview with Seizinger (mentioned on the next page) in Croatian language.