BSV Lutherstadt Wittenberg e.V. (Germany)

The Philatelic Association of Wittenberg (BSV-Wittenberg) was founded October 4th in 1920. You had to be 21 years old to be allowed to join the Association.

During 1923 – the Year of Inflation in Germany – the Association had 36 members and the Cash Balance amounted to 2.903.281 Mark and 69 Pennies October 22nd! National Currency and Life in the Association finally normalised. In 1924 there were 10 Mark and 45 Pennies on the Pay Desk. Philately became famous in Wittenberg. People came to see Stamp-Fairs and -Exhibitions. During the “Third Reich” from 1933 to 1945 there only existed „Synchronised” Associations – inside Philately it did as well. Those ones who didn’t goconform to that so-called “Law of Synchronisation” had to dissolve – and so had BSV Wittenberg.

After the end of the “Second World War” in 1945 Germany was separated and Wittenberg found itself in theSoviet-Occupation-Zone. Many people in Germany had lost their belongings and even more their lives!

In June 1949 Philatelic Working Groups (= ArGe: German short form) were founded – Civic Associations hadnot been allowed in the “German Democratic Republic” (=GDR)! On First Advent in 1950 the first Philatelic Exhibition after the War took place in Wittenberg. The first Philatelic Youth Group of Wittenberg wasfounded in 1956. During 450th Anniversary of Reformation in 1967 BSV could show 76 members. “ArGeWittenberg-Friedrichstadt” was founded in 1982 and numbered 26 young members. 40 Philatelists travelledto Prague in 1988 to participate in the FIP-World-Exhibition. 16-years-old Tanja Thormann won the

Competition and became European Champion in “Special-Subject-Philatelie” in Individual- as well as in Team- Competition.

The years of 1989 and 1990 proved to be the most important Milestones in German History after the two World Wars of the last Century: German-Re-Unification! Many philatelists had to move in a new direction professionally and left for moving to other Federal German States.

Only two Associations stayed in Wittenberg: “ArGe Wittenberg-Friedrichstadt” – the young and active Association – and BSV Wittenberg – the old traditional Club. BSV-Wittenberg of 1920 re-established in 1993. As they hardly found any Nominee for Presidency in 2003 they finally merged with the Young Association“ArGe Wittenberg-Friedrichstadt” and elected a new and active Board. Four philatelists won Gold and other prizes for their “Special-Subject-Exhibits” and for “Postal History of Wittenberg” in 2005. The Beauty of Philatelie became public! Nine Exhibits out of small “Wittenberg Association” have been internationally qualified for “Rang 1” in 2017!

Since 2008 and for already 10 years Dr. Richard Thomas has been going along with the “Martin-Luther-Decade” and edited 16 Special Postmarks until 2017 concerning the subject “Wittenberg – Martin Luther andThe Reformation”.

From 8th to 10th September of 2017 the BSV- “City-of-Luther”-Wittenberg organised the 115th German- Philatelic-Anniversary associated with the German-Team-Challenge and an International Special-Exhibitionabout “Martin Luther and The Reformation: An Ecumenical Movement”. German Philatelie came back to itsRoots by this Event as Johannes Wagner (1852-1940), the so-called “Father of German Philatelic Anniversaries”, was born in Wittenberg. Many “Philatelic Pilgrims” from different European Countries attended that 115th Anniversary Event in Wittenberg, the “Smallest World-City of Reformation”.

In 2018 the BSV- “City-of-Luther”-Wittenberg counts 24 Active Members and 13 Sustaining Members treatingthe subjects “Homeland-History” and Reformation. The Association is actively and by correspondenceconnected to philatelists from all over in Europe and Overseas.