Exhibitions on territory of Czechoslovakia from 19th century to 1992
Exhibitions on territory of the Czech Republic 1993 – 2000
Philatelic exhibitions are an important part of philatelic life. Did they play the this role in the past as well ? What is the history of philatelic exhibitions ? And how many exhibitions took place(or were held) ?
Unable to find answers to such questions, I started searching for any information about philatelic events in Czechoslovakia in the past .
I started in 19th century, when the postage stamp and philately were born. The first exhibitions on the territory of Austro-Hungarian Monarchy (to which Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia belonged) were organized in Vienna.
They can be understood as prologue to the Czechoslovak ones, because the Czechoslovak collectors gained experience by exhibiting there. In the classic period (1881 – 1918) the quantity of philatelic exhibitions was very limited and it was no exception, when the philatelic exhibits were incorporated in a general show as its postal section. This period finished with World War I.
After fall of Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the establishment of Czechoslovak Republic in 1918, the first years were aimed at reconstruction of economy of the new state as well as at setting of its borders, so that philately played little role in life of the whole society. But in these years the future philatelic expansion began. The first Czechoslovak stamps of 1918 (so called Hradčany issue) attracted new collectors, the legislation of the new state enabled easy creation of various societies and clubs .
The philatelic exhibitions in Bohemia and Moravia re-started in the 20s, on the Slovak territory first philatelic exhibitions were organized in the 30s. This positive situation which resulted in the founding of new philatelic clubs in whole country and with organizing of philatelic exhibitions by the clubs lasted only until 1938.
In the year 1938 the first exhibition called PRAGA was held in Prague (its tradition is still alive – remember the last PRAGA 98 one) – but this exhibition was also the last big Czechoslovak philatelic exhibition until the 50s.
In September 1938 Czechoslovakia’s border areas were occupied by Germany, Poland and Hungary,
In March 1939 Slovakia broke away from Czechoslovakia and became an independent state and Bohemia and Moravia was totally occupied by Germany (it became known as the so called Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia) .
Philatelic life was influenced by World War II, but in early 40s a lot of exhibitions were organized in Bohemia and Moravia. At that time the German authorities were not so strong in such matters – which can be shown by a series of exhibitions in 1940 commemorating the 100th anniversary of first postage stamp . But even this “limited freedom” ended quickly and some of the philatelists emigrated, others were sent to prisons or concentration camps, and their collections were nationalized by German Reich … .
We can interpret the philatelic exhibition held in London in 1943 (with approval of Czechoslovak Government in Exile) as a political signal that Czechoslovakia was still alive.
The restoration of philatelic life occurred in 1945 after liberation of Czechoslovakia by the Allies .
It gained a new dimension in 1948, when Communists took over the government of Czechoslovakia and philately was supported by the State. The result of this system was, that the state financed a large number of philatelic exhibitions, but on other side some of them had to be organized under political slogans.
This state’s “support” finished in 1990, when the Union of Czechoslovak Philatelists become a truly independent organization without any dependence on the state .
Another important change occurred in 1993, when Czechoslovakia was divided into two independent
countries – Czech Republic and Slovak Republic.
As you can see from the list, these changes caused some decrease of quantity of philatelic exhibitions
in the 90s, but the philatelic movement freer and the exhibitions depend only on financing
and not on decision of a committee.
Of course, the list of philatelic exhibitions is not complete. My sources were philatelic journals and books,
I am sure that they were organized exhibitions, which are not listed.
In case you know about any of them, please let me know by e-mail
and I will add the exhibition to the list !
To enable you easy access to the list of philatelic exhibitions, I divided them into several lists,
so that everybody can look at period, which he is really interested in . I wish you enjoyment of the tour through history of Czechoslovak philatelic movement and I am looking to your comments or questions to the theme.
You can use this e-mail for them.
Period of Austro - Hungarian Monarchy to 1918
Czechoslovakia 1918 – 1939
Exhibitions during WWII (1939 – 1945)
Czechoslovakia after 1945 (part I.)
Czechoslovakia after 1945 (part II.)
Czechoslovakia after 1945 (part III.)
Czechoslovakia after 1945 (part IV.)
Czech Republic after 1993
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