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Memel (Klaipeda)
Lithuanian Occupation Issue of March 1923

Lithuanian Occupation Issue

Memel, a port on the Baltic Sea, was the most northerly city in the German Empire until the Treaty of Versailles placed it under the control of a commission of Allied and associated powers. During this period overprinted German and then French definitives were used. The area had a large Lithuanian-speaking minority and in 1924, as a result of the "Klapeida Revolt," it was occupied by Lithuania. The allies and the League of Nations recognized and ultimately consented to Memel's becoming a semi-autonomous district of Lithuania with the Klaipeda Convention of May 1924. It was transferred to Germany in 1939 and restored to Lithuania with the defeat of German forces in World War II. The first Lithuanian occupation issues were unissued Lithuanian official issues with overprints. The March 23 issue pictured here depicts Vytis (meaning "the Chaser"), an armour-clad knight on horseback holding a sword and shield from a Lithuanian ducal seal.

750th Anniversary of Klaipeda Lithuanian Souvenir Sheet
Lithuanian souvenir sheet issued in 2002 commemorating the 750th Anniversary of Klaipeda (Memel)

Port of Memel on the Baltic Sea


"Klaipeda." Wikipedia. 20 Jan. 2014. Wikimedia Foundation. 29 Jan. 2015

"Klaipeda_Revolt." Wikipedia. 16 Nov. 2014. Wikimedia Foundation. 29 Jan. 2015

Lamb, Bob. "Republic of Lithuania." American Philatelist. Feb. 2015: 192.

"Memel." Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. 2008.

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