German Federal Post Office

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German Federal Post Office

legal form Federal special fund
founding 1947 as Deutsche Post, from 1950 Deutsche Bundespost
resolution January 2, 1995
Reason for dissolution privatization
Seat Bonn , GermanyGermanyGermany 
management Federal Minister for Post and Telecommunications and for Post and Telecommunications
Number of employees up to around 544,000
Branch Telephony
Information technology
Cable network operator
specialist bank

Signet of the Deutsche Bundespost on a rail mail car

The Deutsche Bundespost ( DBP ) was a state-owned post , logistics and telecommunications company of the Federal Republic of Germany and the carrier of civil telecommunications sovereignty . It was set up in 1950 as a federal special fund with no legal capacity and, with effect from January 2, 1995, was transferred to the public limited companies Deutsche Post AG , Deutsche Telekom AG and Deutsche Postbank AG as part of the legislative package of the second postal reform .

The Deutsche Bundespost was initially the second-largest employer in the Federal Republic of Germany after the Deutsche Bundesbahn , and after downsizing at Deutsche Bahn and increasing the number of employees at DBP in the early 1980s . In 1985 it had 543,200 employees.


The forerunner of the Deutsche Bundespost was founded in 1947 as the successor to the Reichspost under the name Deutsche Post . With the entry into force of the Basic Law , the legal basis for administration was created as a federal special fund, for which the federal government had sole legislative competence. In 1950 the name was changed to "Deutsche Bundespost", also to differentiate it from Deutsche Post (the GDR ). Until 1989, the Deutsche Bundespost was an authority that was not run according to business principles, but was supposed to be independent (see also below); "upscale cameralistics " was used, d. H. In addition to the pure input and expenditure part that is common in public budgets, there was also an asset and an obligation part.

In 1989, through the first postal reform, the unified Deutsche Bundespost was split into the Deutsche Bundespost Postdienst , the Deutsche Bundespost Postbank and the Deutsche Bundespost Telekom . Although these three sub-companies were nominally given a board of directors, they nonetheless remained authorities and were still subject to the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Post and Telecommunications. In spite of expanded powers in economic management, the usual budgetary principles of public administration largely retained their validity.

On the basis of Article 27 of the Unification Treaty , Deutsche Post (the GDR) was integrated into the sub-companies of Deutsche Bundespost. In the former GDR postal services in lieu of regional post directorates in post different directorates, the central office at Postbank Postbank set up and the branches Postbank and telecommunications-service Directorates Telekom.

Legal basis

The legal basis for the administrative activities of the Deutsche Bundespost was the Postal Administration Act (PostVwG), which replaced the Reich Postal Finance Act of 1924. As had been the case since 1924, the main goal of financial policy was to secure its own economic viability. The political objective was always given priority over the economic one. Paragraph 2 of the PostVwG said that the Bundespost “is to be administered according to the principles of the policy of the Federal Republic of Germany, in particular transport, economic, financial and social policy” and “to take into account the interests of the German economy”.

Further regulations were the Postal Act , which regulated the services in the field of the post, the postal travel service and the postal savings bank service, the Telecommunication Systems Act and the Telegrafenwegesetz for the telecommunication service and various ordinances that were issued on the basis of the Postal Administration Act (e.g. postal charges, postal regulations, telegram regulations , Telecommunications regulations , etc.).


Post office counter in the main post office in Bonn, 1988

The Deutsche Bundespost was responsible for the following tasks:

  • Construction and operation of the cable television network
  • Operation of radio broadcasting systems with the exception of the transmitters for the first television program
  • Letter service
  • Data services
  • Own news and television satellites such as DFS-Kopernikus and TV-SAT , also for program feed to the cable networks
  • Telecommunications service
  • delivery service
  • Postal travel service
  • Postal pension service
  • Postal check service (later postal giro service)
  • Postal savings bank service
  • Postal newspaper service
  • Telegraph Service (also called Telegram Service)

Some services were only taken up during the existence of the DBP (e.g. data services) or discontinued (e.g. postal travel service ( Kraftpost ), which was handed over to the Deutsche Bundesbahn).

Postal order from the Deutsche Bundespost from the 1960s

Before the GEZ was founded , the Post also collected the broadcasting fees. In addition, other services were offered (e.g. postal orders with cash deposits and cash withdrawals) which, however, formally belonged to one of the above services. The same applies to the payment of pensions or unemployment benefits, which regularly led to long queues in front of the counters.

The Deutsche Bundespost also performed other services for which it was best suited due to its widespread distribution, but which did not belong to the actual range of tasks of the Post:

Mail delivery and post protest orders were based on the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code and not according to postal legislation, only the fees to be paid for this were anchored in the postal fee regulations

Structure and structure

From the foundation to the first postal reform

The DBP was structured according to the three-stage principle common in the German federal administration : The upper level was formed by the Federal Ministry for Post and Telecommunications (often referred to as the Federal Post Office or BPM for short), the middle level consisted of the Oberpostdirektion including the Equivalent central medium-sized authorities, the Central Post Office (PTZ), the Central Telecommunications Office (FTZ) (both based in Darmstadt ) and the social welfare office of the German Federal Post Office (based in Stuttgart ), the lower tier were post offices , post office check offices (later renamed as post office giro offices ) and telecommunications offices . There were also other offices for technical tasks such as B. the telecommunications offices , which were responsible for the procurement, stockpiling and repair of all devices that had to do with telecommunications (telephone booths, telephones, switching devices, etc.). There were also postal savings banks (located in Hamburg and Munich ) that looked after the postal savings accounts . The management academy of the Deutsche Bundespost , founded in 1969, served as a training facility for the higher and higher service .

Instead of an upper post office, the state post office was set up in West Berlin . This also issued its own stamps . However, these stamps were also valid throughout Germany, and the reverse was also the case (since 1949 or 1950, initially officially as “not objectionable”). Postage stamps from West Berlin can be recognized by the inscription " Deutsche Bundespost Berlin " instead of the usual inscription "Deutsche Bundespost".

Nothing was changed in the organizational structure of the Reichspost. On the lower level there were the post offices, branch post offices, post offices I and II and post office auxiliary offices and, as special offices, the post office check offices, postal savings bank offices (since January 1, 1939) and the workshops of the post office.

On January 1, 1959, the "Guidelines on the Organization of Post Offices (V)" were issued by the Federal Post Office. In the case of post offices, a distinction was made between the post office with administrative service (Postamt (V)) and the post office. The smaller post offices, the post offices and post office auxiliaries, were now under a post office (V) and belonged to its area of ​​responsibility.

The post office (V) was a lower federal authority as an independent office and was headed by a head of department . The designation post office (V) was only used to distinguish between internal business transactions. Similar to the Reichspost, the post offices (V) and the post offices were classified in groups on the basis of scores.

Until the end of the DBP there were no more changes to this.

In the 1990s, the Central Office for Mobile Communications (ZfM, based in Münster ) was set up. It was dissolved by the Federal Post Office on December 31, 1993 after the board of directors of the TELEKOM General Directorate had decided to let DeTeMobil GmbH, a subsidiary of the Federal Post Office, take care of the tasks in the field of mobile communications . One of the tasks of the Central Office was to advise citizens on mobile communications , regardless of the provider (the only provider besides the Bundespost was Mannesmann Mobilfunk ). There was also the Central Office for Approvals in Telecommunications (ZZF, based in Saarbrücken), which was merged into the Federal Office for Approvals in Telecommunications in September 1992 , the University of Applied Sciences of the Deutsche Bundespost Berlin (FH der DBP Bln) in Berlin and the University of Applied Sciences of the Deutsche Bundespost Dieburg (FH der DBP Dbg) in Dieburg (see University of Applied Sciences Dieburg ), as well as the post and telecommunications department of the FH Bund , based in Dieburg, where the next generation for the higher non-technical service of the DBP has been trained since the early 1980s. In addition, the Deutsche Bundespost had an emergency telecommunications service (see below) and other units for self-protection of the authorities , but their equipment went far beyond that of other authorities (such as fire trucks and rescue vehicles ). The self-protection of the Federal Post Office was therefore more like a plant fire brigade .

From the first postal reform to the second postal reform (privatization)

In the course of Postal Reform I, new levels were created within the Federal Post Office, while others, such as the Oberpostdirektion, were given at least partially new areas of responsibility. The individual business divisions Post Service, Postbank and Telecommunication Service were each managed by a general management, which was headed by the board of the respective division. The directorate of the Bundespost was in charge of all areas. There was a supervisory board for each business area. The upper post offices remained, but, like the Federal Ministry, were primarily responsible for sovereign tasks, while the operational tasks were assigned to the three business areas. However, sovereign tasks such as B. radio direction finding, post protest orders, etc. continue to be carried out by the business units.

In the accession area , from October 3, 1990, the postal service departments were set up in the post office department, the central office Postbank and the Postbank branches at Postbank, and the Telekom departments at Telekom.

Company social facilities

Social institutions were the Postbeamtenkrankenkasse (PBeaKK), the Bundespost-Betriebskrankenkasse (BPBetrKK), the pension fund of the Deutsche Bundespost (VAP), the recreation facility of the Deutsche Bundespost (EWBP), the Bundespost implementing authority for accident insurance, the central office for occupational safety at the Federal Office for Post and Telecommunications that postal uniform store , the welfare service of the German post Office , the post provident fund , the study Foundation and the tape-journal " the bridge ".

The Postbeamtenkrankenkasse, the pension fund of the Deutsche Bundespost, the recreation agency of the Deutsche Bundespost, the postal clothing fund, the care agency of the Deutsche Bundespost, the postal support fund, the study foundation and the editors of the magazine “Die Brücke” are among others. a. continued by the Federal Agency for Post and Telecommunications (BAnstPT). The accident insurance (Federal Post Office Implementing Authority for Accident Insurance and the Central Office for Occupational Safety and Health) were merged and transferred to the Post and Telekom Accident Insurance . The Bundespost-Betriebskrankenkasse continued to operate as the Post Company Health Insurance Fund (BKK Post).

Self-help institutions of the employees

There were also self-help institutions, namely post-savings and loan associations (today PSD banks ), insurance associations, associations of postal staff and institutions for promoting international understanding, the Association of Radio Amateurs in Telecommunications and Post (VFDB) and postal sports associations .

Postal reform

Juxtaposition: Mailbox with old post horn with stylized lightning bolts in the form of arrows from the Deutsche Bundespost, above the new post horn from Deutsche Post AG , without lightning bolts, as the telecommunications service became independent as Telekom

As a result of the first postal reform in 1989, the Deutsche Bundespost was divided into three so-called "public companies":

  • Deutsche Bundespost Postbank
  • Deutsche Bundespost postal service
  • Deutsche Bundespost Telekom

However, these companies continued to work together under the umbrella of the Bundespost, constituted a sub-fund and were not independent in this regard. The intermediate authorities remained unchanged, although some were unbundled, for example in the telecommunications billing service, which for historical reasons was located in the data centers of the postal system and partly in the central postal office.

The divisions were privatized as part of the second postal reform in 1994. The result:

The - now renamed - Federal Ministry of Post and Telecommunications remained responsible for the sovereign tasks in the postal system and telecommunications. After the dissolution of the ministry, the Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Post ( RegTP , now Federal Network Agency ), initially created under the name of the Federal Office for Post and Telecommunications (BAPT), took over the tasks of the intermediate authorities on January 1, 1998 . Tasks of the ministry and some tasks of the intermediate authorities were transferred to the Federal Ministry of Finance . Some telecommunications tasks for which the Central Telecommunications Office was responsible (especially in the area of BOS radio ) were transferred to the Federal Ministry of the Interior .

The Federal Agency for Post and Telecommunications Deutsche Bundespost (BAPost) was set up for civil service and supply law tasks for the post office officials who remained with the company .

Colors, official sign and flags of the Federal Post Office

The term "gray post" for the telecommunications service comes from the early days of the Bundespost: In the 1950s and 1960s, the vehicles of the telecommunications construction service were in tent gray ( RAL  7010), the other vehicles of the telecommunications service ( fault service , radio measurement and paging service, Telex etc.) and the other postal vehicles in honey yellow (RAL 1005) since 1945. In keeping with the spirit of the times, cadmium yellow (RAL 1021) replaced the comparatively pale honey yellow in 1971 . Because of the high proportion of heavy metals, in 1980 there was a change to the broom yellow (RAL 1032) that is still common today.

As a special feature, some emerald green (RAL 6001) vehicles from Saarpost were added in 1957 .

Instead of the usual service flag of the federal authorities, the Bundespost used the Bundespostflagge , which consisted of the federal flag with a post horn on the red stripe. This flag was derived from the Reichspostflagge. The post horn in yellow was used as a badge on uniforms.

Ships carrying post on behalf of the Bundespost set the post flag at the pre- stop .

Vehicle registration number of the Deutsche Bundespost

Mobile post office based on a Magirus-Deutz 150LS12 from the license plate group BP 42

Until privatization, vehicles of the Deutsche Bundespost had the vehicle registration number BP , which consisted of two groups of numbers according to the scheme BP XX-YYY (from the 1980s four differentiating digits). The license plates were differentiated according to postal service and telecommunications service. The number block BP 10 to BP 59 was assigned to the postal service, the number block BP 60 to BP 99 to the telecommunications service. In addition, the telecommunications vehicles were gray until the 1980s, later yellow with a red line and the door inscription "Fernmeldedienst", later "TELEKOM". The numbering plans were drawn up uniformly by the Central Postal Service .

System of the vehicle registration number of the Deutsche Bundespost
genus Postal service Telecommunications service
Buses and coaches (KOM) BP 10 - BP 16 BP 99
Passenger cars BP 18 - BP 23 BP 60 - BP 69
Combination vehicles BP 59 BP 83 - BP 87
Ordinary trucks up to 1 t payload BP 24 - BP 31 BP 70 - BP 72
Ordinary trucks over 1 t to 2 t payload BP 32 - BP 38 BP 73 - BP 74
Special trucks up to 2 t payload BP 17 BP 75
Ordinary trucks over 2 t payload BP 39 - BP 41 BP 76 - BP 78
Special trucks over 2 t payload BP 42 BP 79 - BP 81
Tractors and tugs BP 43 BP 82
Motorbikes and scooters BP 44 - BP 47 BP 98
electrically powered vehicles BP 48 - BP 51 BP 88
pendant BP 52 - BP 58 BP 89 - BP 97
Test drives BP 0400 - BP 0499

The vehicles were registered directly by the responsible Oberpostdirektion , the license plates were sealed with their official seal . The head post offices notified the Federal Motor Transport Authority of the approval . Vehicles of the Federal Ministry for Post and Telecommunications were registered with the license plate for the federal administration "BD".

The license plate "BP" remained valid until 1997, although after privatization in 1995, at least at Telekom, these plates were converted to civilian plates across the board within a few weeks. A large part of the Telekom fleet initially received license plates from Bonn, due to the company's headquarters being in Bonn, while vehicles from the technical departments were registered in Münster. Postal service vehicles were usually registered close to the location.

Since April 30, 2006 the license plate "BP" has been issued to the Federal Police .

Postal travel service

The postal service has its roots in the history of the Post. Like the rail buses of the Deutsche Bundesbahn, it was used for local public transport mostly in rural areas. Historically, it is often difficult to find out why a regional line was now served by the post office or the train. At the beginning of the 1980s, however, politicians became aware that the public sector was providing different officials with different legal bases for the same task - here the Deutsche Bundesbahn (with dark red or red-black-white buses ) with private-law transport contracts, there the Deutsche Bundespost (with yellow buses) with public use according to the postal travel regulations. The consequences were drawn and both services were combined under the roof of the Deutsche Bundesbahn, whereby the postal workers concerned could decide whether they wanted to remain post workers or become rail workers.

Postal pension service

The post pension service was a historically grown service that resulted from the widespread distribution of the post in the German Empire. The Deutsche Bundespost (as the successor to the Reichspost) carried out both adjustment and payment of the pensions on behalf of the state insurance institutions (LVA), the railway insurance company (BVA) and the Federal Insurance Agency for Salaried Employees (BfA) . The considerable number of cash payments regularly led to long queues in front of the post office counters on the payment days of the pensions. With the increasing introduction of cashless payment transactions and the gradual abolition of cash payments of pensions (at the counter or by money order), the importance of the postal pension service in the counter area decreased, but the adjustment of monthly pensions remained with the Deutsche Bundespost. The adjustment of the pensions must not be confused with the (initial or one-off) determination of the pensions (e.g. from the contribution and credit periods completed), which was not part of the postal pension service.

Postage stamps

The stamps issued bore the inscription "Deutsche Bundespost" until 1995 and from 1995 the inscription "Germany". In contrast to other postal administrations, the issuing policy was cautious, there were fewer issues and fewer blocks. Many special stamps were themed or event-related, “general” motifs such as flowers, animals, cars, trains and planes etc. were mostly reserved for surcharge stamps only. As a rule, well-known graphic designers were invited to a competition to design the respective postage stamps, exceptions were mainly made for stamps with the same motif from the European series . Most of the postage stamps were printed in the Bundesdruckerei in Berlin, although care was taken to ensure that at least one issue was also produced by a different printing company every year, so that appropriate capacities and the associated know-how can be used if necessary.

Until 1969, stamps were only valid for a few years, with exceptions initially for the permanent series and, for the first time, for the special stamps in 1968. From 1969, the year of issue was printed on the special stamps and all stamps had unlimited postage validity. The unlimited validity was revoked with the introduction of the euro , after which there was still an exchange period. The discontinuation of the postage validity partially affected the collector's value of mint postage stamps.


Deutsche Bundespost rail mail car in Rottweil
In 2013 the sign "Deutsche Bundespost" still hangs at the entrance of a building in Stuttgart-Hoffeld
  • The East German counterpart was the Deutsche Post .
  • The Landespostdirektion Berlin in West Berlin was formally independent from 1945 to 1990 and also issued its own postage stamps bearing the inscription "Deutsche Bundespost Berlin".
  • The emergency telecommunications service for disaster and defense cases was part of the Deutsche Bundespost .
  • The disaster control of the Deutsche Bundespost should ensure that German citizens are adequately supplied with postal and telecommunications services in the event of a crisis and that staff, facilities and buildings are secured .
  • The Bundespost also included the operational security service , which was a kind of police force and was supposed to clear up the theft of mail and prevent sabotage of telecommunications equipment. The officials of the middle, upper and partly higher service were auxiliary officials of the public prosecutor's office (today: investigators) depending on the state law regulation . The operational security service was dissolved when the Bundespost was privatized.
  • There were unions especially for the employees of the Deutsche Bundespost, the two largest being the Deutsche Postgewerkschaft (DPG) (merged with others in ver.di in 2001 ) and the Deutsche Postverband .
  • The processing of mail in railroad cars was known as rail mail .
  • Telecommunication towers made of reinforced concrete are available as standardized so-called type towers and as special towers . Today as Deutsche Funkturm GmbH a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG.
  • The Deutsche Bundespost also operated television and communications satellites such as TV-SAT and DFS-Kopernikus .
  • Even today there are signs or inscriptions of the Bundespost at the entrance of some of the former offices of the Bundespost. Eagles, made of metal or carved in stone, are also attached to buildings.

Web links

Commons : Deutsche Bundespost  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. On the foundation date (at the end) , accessed on December 8, 2018.
  2. Post Conversion Act (PostUmwG)
  3. Article 143b GG
  4. Law on the establishment of a Federal Agency for Post and Telecommunications Deutsche Bundespost (BAPostG)
  5. ↑ License plate history (PDF; 209 kB).
  6. a b Small textbook series for the postal and telecommunications service, Burkert, The technical motor vehicle service at the Deutsche Bundespost, Verlag Erich Herzog 1963.
  7. Raichberg_13.jpg. Archived from the original on January 17, 2015 ; accessed on November 5, 2019 .