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Post house sign Reichspost around 1900

This article about the Deutsche Reichspost covers the period from the founding of the German Empire to 1919. Because of the extensive topic, the period of the Weimar Republic and the German Reich 1933 to 1945 are dealt with in a separate article, German Postal History 1919-1945 .

The Reichspost was renamed on May 12, 1871 from the North German Post. Her area of ​​responsibility initially corresponded to that of the former northern German postal district , expanded to include the realm of Alsace-Lorraine . The Grand Duchy of Baden , the Kingdom of Bavaria and the Kingdom of Württemberg , which had their own administrations and independently regulated the tariffs for local broadcasts in their areas , initially had a special status . From January 1, 1872, Baden renounced its own postal administration in favor of the Reichspost. On the same date, the first stamps with the inscription "Deutsche Reichspost" appeared. On April 1, 1902, the Kingdom of Württemberg took over the postage stamps of the Reichspost, which now received the inscription Deutsches Reich, while preserving its postal shelf and maintaining its own postal administration for general postal traffic, while the state and local authorities continued to issue and issue their own stamps for traffic were used. It also retained its own tariff structure for inner-Württemberg traffic, which led to the issue of stamps from July 1, 1906 to September 30, 1918, which were valid throughout the Reich, but only corresponded to Württemberg tariffs (stamps of 2 pfennigs and postcards 2 Pf. and 5½ Pf.).

State Secretaries of the Reich Post Office

Reichspostamtsflagge (1892–1918)

History of the Reichspost


The North German Postal District was incorporated into the Reichspost from May 4, 1871 with the law on the constitution of the German Empire of April 16, 1871. The postage stamps of the North German Confederation were still valid until the Reichspost postage stamps were issued on January 1, 1872. In the north and in Alsace-Lorraine the thaler was valid at 30 groschen and in the south the guilder at 60 kreuzers . Since January 1, 1875, the Reichspost had the 100 Pfennig mark as a single currency.

The Imperial Constitution of the German Empire , founded on January 1, 1871, declared the Post to be a unified state transport company. Alsace-Lorraine came under German administration on September 12, 1870 and its postal system was taken over by the postal administration of the North German Confederation from October 1870 . The postal system in the Grand Duchy of Baden was transferred to the Reich on December 31, 1871. The kingdoms of Bavaria and Württemberg were allowed to exercise the post and telegraph system independently in their territory.

  • Shortly after the establishment of the Deutsche Reichspost, the classification of classes was changed in Official Gazette 3 of May 23, 1871. A division into first and second class post offices has been removed. The postal expeditions 1st class became postal administrations. The second class postal expeditions were either converted into postal expeditions or into the new form of the postal agency. Postal agencies had the same tasks and powers towards postal users as other postal agencies, but their operational and cash management were much simpler. The postal agencies were assigned to a neighboring accounting post office for the company association and accounting, as well as in personnel matters. Since August 20, 1871, all post offices are "imperial".

On the basis of Section 50 of the German Empire's Postal Service Act of October 28, 1871, new regulations were issued. It replaced the postal regulations of the North German Federal Post Office, but retained many provisions.


With a few exceptions (widows or relatives of male postal workers), women were initially not employed by the Reichspost. According to the reservations about the employment of women, they were unable to exercise the necessary official authority and found it more difficult to protect the confidentiality of correspondence.

Tariff system

Flag of the Post Ships (1871-1892)
Clothing of a Reichspost employee of the German postal agency in Lamu (Kenya) around 1890

The “Law on the Post Tax System in the Territory of the German Empire” included postage for letters, parcel postage, postage for valuables and the commission for newspapers from January 1, 1872.

The reform of weights and measures required a new postal order, which appeared on December 8, 1871. The following new provisions were made in it:

  • The maximum weight of a letter was set at 15 g, a printed matter at 500 g and a sample of goods at 250 g. The maximum weight of a package was 100 pounds.
  • A dedication could be handwritten for book shipments.
  • Parcels with no indication of value could be sent by registered mail.

There was a further reduction in postage on July 1, 1872 by increasing the weight levels for printed matter and product samples from 40 g to 50 g and halving the postage for correspondence cards from 1 silver groschen (Sgr.) To ½ Sgr. (1 Kreuzer (Kr.)). The postcard forms were replaced by ¼ Sgr. (1 Kr.) Delivered. The postcard with reply naturally costs twice the fee, i.e. 1 Sgr. (4 kr.), The forms 1 Sgr. (2 kr.)

Postcards with printed stamps were introduced on January 1, 1873. These postal stationery items were sold at face value without a surcharge. The old conditions continued to apply to postcards with a paid reply; a postage stamp continued to be affixed to these forms. An impression of tokens on private envelopes, wrappers and postcards by the Staatsdruckerei Berlin was permitted. In addition to the postage fee, each value stage to be represented by the stamp with 17½ Sgr. calculated for every 1000 pieces or for every started thousand. The customer didn't have to wait long until postcards with paid replies were introduced on October 1, 1873. At the same time, “Post parcel addresses” (parcel cards) came to the counter at a price of 3 pfennigs (Pfg.) For 5 items. Its use was strongly recommended for the time being.

For the postal mandate service introduced on October 15, 1871 (later postal order to collect money), the fee for the collection of funds through postal mandate changed from 5 silver groschen to 3 Sgr on January 1, 1874. (11 kr.). As before, there was also the postal order fee for returning the money. If the letter was not redeemed, the return of the letter was free of charge.

The parcel postage from 1867 was still valid. When the German Reich was founded, there was simply no time to make changes here. The following parcel tariff was applied on January 1, 1874: Parcels up to 5 kg in close proximity (10 miles) 2½ Sgr, beyond that 5 Sgr. Parcels over 5 kg, the first 5 kg as above, then for each additional kg up to 10 miles (I. Zone) ½ Sgr, up to 20 miles (II. Zone) 1 Sgr, up to 50 miles (III. Zone) 2 Sgr, up to 100 miles (IV. zone) 3 Sgr, up to 150 miles (V. Zone) 4 Sgr, over 150 miles (VI. Zone) 5 Sgr. Bulky goods cost a maximum of 50 percent more. For unfranked parcels up to 5 kg and unfranked insured letters a surcharge of 1 Sgr. called for a procedure that was already common with letters and cards. No surcharge was levied on service letters.

At the same time, on January 1, 1874, the insured postage was tackled. For long distances and for larger sums, the postage and insurance fee was quite high. The greater expansion of the companies made this more and more palpable. The following tariffs were used for insured items:

  • Postage for letters, regardless of weight, for distances up to 10 miles = 2 Sgr., Beyond that = 4 Sgr. The usual parcel postage was calculated for parcels. If there was no postage, the surcharge was 1 Sgr. added.
  • Insurance fee regardless of distance and for any amount of the value ½ Sgr. for 100 thalers or a part thereof, but at least 1 Sgr.

As always when the value fee changed, the postage for the advance letter also had to be reorganized. By order of the General Post Office of December 11, 1873, postage was equated with that of insured letters.

For the first time, the mailing form of the station letter was created by order of May 27, 1874. With this form of dispatch, the recipient was given the right to receive his station letters at the station immediately after the train arrived. A monthly fee of 4 talers was calculated for this option. The postage for the normal letter was added daily.

The next far-reaching change in the tariff system brought the introduction of the mark currency on January 1, 1876.

The new postal regulations were characterized by the fact that foreign words such as “recommend” were replaced by “registered mail”, “express courier” by “express courier”, “post mandate” in “mail order”, “poste restante” by “post restante” etc.



On January 1, 1875, the Reichs-Postverwaltung introduced the mark billing: on this day, in place of the previous, generally new postage stamps denominated in the Reichsmark currency (postage stamps, postage-paid envelopes, postcards, stamped wrappers) and forms Postal orders kick. The provisions on the details are reserved. However, in order to put the public in a position to take into account the upcoming change in times when purchasing supplies, it is already announced that all postage stamps (postage stamps etc.) in the guilder currency, furthermore those at ¼ and ⅓ groschen of the thaler currency on January 1, 1875 lose their validity for franking, and are replaced by the new ones, but the stocks of postage stamps of ½, 1, 2, 2½ and 5 silver groschen may still be used after January 1, 1875 until the available stock the postal service will be used up, about which further notification will be given in due course.

Berlin W., August 19, 1874 Imperial General Post Office

When calculating the parcel postage tariff for shipments to and from Austria-Hungary and for postage or insurance fees for letters with a declaration of value and for parcels to and from Austria, the post office in which the thaler currency is available must pay the amounts from January 1, 1875 onwards to convert the Reichsmark currency with the proviso that the amounts running out to ¼ and ¾ Sgr are rounded up to a sum divisible by 5 pfennigs. On July 1, 1875, the Reichsmark currency was introduced in Württemberg. The postage stamps and the stamped postal order cards for 7 or 14 Kreuzer (equal to 20 or 40 Pf) will be used up. The other postage stamps of the southern German currency, the value of which cannot be transferred to the market currency without broken pennies, will be suspended and in their place stamps of the market currency will be introduced, which correspond to those on this side.

  • " The imperial currency comes into force in the entire imperial territory on January 1, 1876, " announced the German Kaiser, Wilhelm, King of Prussia on behalf of the German Empire on September 22, 1875.
    • A thaler or 1¾ gulden equals 3 marks equals 300 pfennigs, therefore 10 groschen or 35 kreuzers equals 1 mark equals 100 pfennigs, therefore 1 groschen or 3½ kreuzer equals 10 pfennigs.


  • On January 5, 1875, "railway post offices" became "railway post offices", and "railway post offices" - "railway posts".
  • On January 1, 1876, the administration of the post and telegraph system came from the department of the Reich Chancellor under the direction of the Postmaster General. He was thus head of a supreme Reich authority. The "Post and Telegraph Directorates" became "Upper Post Directorates". The post offices, telegraph offices and postal agencies were subordinate to them.
  • The post offices were again divided into three classes on January 8, 1876. The post office director headed the first class post office, the former post office, now the second class post office, was headed by the postmaster. The post offices III. Class, led by a postal administrator, were previously postal expeditions. There was no change in the postal agencies. The telegraph offices were divided up in the same way as long as they remained in larger towns. If there are several post offices in one place, they are differentiated using Arabic numerals.

Tariff system

Postage 1875
Package fees

The currency changes naturally had a great influence on the tariff system; all tariffs had to be converted to the Reichsmark currency. The new postal regulations of December 18, 1874 took this change into account. In it, however, not only was the Reichsmark currency introduced.

The new postal regulations came into effect on January 1, 1875. The previous provisions essentially contain the following changes: (only the most important)

  • The main weight of a printed matter is extended to 1 kg,
  • Printed matter may also be placed in open envelopes and posted for transport at the reduced rate,
  • the sending of open cards as printed matter against the reduced rate was only permitted in the form of postcards and book slips,
  • no more than five parcels may belong to a parcel accompanying address (up to 1876),
  • for postal orders the most amount has been increased to 300 marks,
  • Postal advances may be taken from registered mail of any kind;
  • the maximum amount admissible for the collection of funds by mail order (postal mandate) is set at 600 marks. Orders for higher amounts are treated as non-orderable;
  • the designation: "poste restante" was in future "post restante"; "Recruited": "enroll!"; “By express”: “by courier!”; "Post mandate": "Mail order".

The tariff changes are listed in the adjacent tables.

From January 1, 1876 on, only three parcels were allowed to belong to an accompanying address.

Further, extensive changes, mainly of an editorial nature, were decreed on April 13, 1877:

  • a weight limit of 250 g has been introduced for postal advance letters.
  • "Postal orders for obtaining exchange acceptances" were newly introduced. In addition to the fee for the mail order (30 Pf.), A presentation fee of 10 Pf. And the postage for the registered letter with the returning bills of 30 Pf., Thus altogether 70 Pf. Is charged in advance.
  • The state printing company takes over the printing of letterheads, wrapping paper, envelopes and postcards with the appropriate postage stamps. Private postal stationery.

From October 1, 1878, the term “cash on delivery” was introduced instead of “post advance payment”. At the same time postcards with postage stamps (10 Pf.) Are introduced for communication with the Universal Postal Union. Postcards other than those issued by the Reich Postal Administration and directly stamped with the postage stamp were not permitted for international mail transport. In non-postal union countries, 10 pfennigs had to be sealed.

On December 1, 1876, the pneumatic tube network was opened for public transport in Berlin . The telegrams, letters and postcards had to be placed in the cylindrical containers. Therefore they could not exceed a length of 12½, a width of 8 cm and a weight of 10 g. Corresponding stamped envelopes and postcards on light red paper were kept ready, there was no obligation to use these postal stationery.

Initially, the traffic was only planned within the Berlin pneumatic tube network. The postage, including the express order for letters - 30 Pf. And for postcards - 25 Pf. - On January 1st, 1877, the items were also forwarded outside of Berlin via the pneumatic tube network. In addition to the pneumatic tube fee, the usual postage had to be paid: for letters (up to 10 g) 30 + 10 = 40 pfennigs, for postcards 25 + 5 = 30 pfennigs. After leaving the network, the items were to be treated as normal. Express letters had to be ordered by couriers at the destination. It was not the posting post office that had to enclose the express letter, but the railway mail. From March 1877, shipments from outside Berlin could be posted for transport in the pneumatic tube network if they met the regulations for pneumatic tube mail. They were to be marked with the comment "Pneumatic Post". In these cases, too, the usual postage had to be paid in addition to the pneumatic tube fee. It was thus also possible to have consignments from outside Berlin transported within the Berlin pneumatic tube network (e.g. from one railway post office to another) in order to be forwarded further beyond Berlin. As an experiment, on April 12, 1877, tube postcards at 50 Pf. Were introduced.


The most common stamps from the period

Preliminary remark

These new postal regulations had become necessary in order to bring the existing regulations for internal German postal traffic into line with the relevant provisions of the Paris Universal Postal Treaty, which came into force on April 1, 1879.


On February 23, 1880, the Postmaster General was given the title of State Secretary, and his Post Office General was given the title of Reichs Postamt.

In 1881 it came about when the rural postal service was redesigned to establish post offices . The post office was responsible for the delivery of postage stamps and forms as well as the acceptance of normal letters and parcels. Until 1888, no letters were delivered by the post office. The acceptance of instructions, registered mail and items of value was a matter of trust between the sender and the owner of the post office. The shipment only became a mail item at the post office. The owner of the post office did his job as an unpaid honorary office, only the delivery fees remained with him. Between 1881 and 1887 a total of 7,560 post offices were set up on the “flat land”, in 1913 there were already 25,683.

In the Kingdom of Bavaria , "Postablagen" were converted into postal agencies or post offices on November 1st, 1898. The postal services received an official rubber stamp.

Tariff system

The following essential provisions were introduced or changed with the new postal regulations:

  • For inadequately franked printed matter or product samples, the recipient was only charged twice the amount of the missing postage portion.
  • The maximum amount for the transfer of funds through postal orders was increased to 400 marks.

In order to implement the new postal regulations, it was determined that:

  • The use of postage stamps cut out of stamped envelopes, postcards and wrappers for franking mail was not permitted.

On October 1st of the same year (1879) the "letters with handling certificate" were renamed "letters with delivery certificate " and the regulations were changed. There was no longer any distinction between public and private senders, delivery fee 20 Pf.

  • A fee of 20 pfennigs was charged for customs clearance of parcels from abroad. In the case of parcels weighing up to 3 kg, the customs clearance fee was included in the order fee. By order of June 5, 1886, in accordance with the Paris Agreement and the Lisbon Supplementary Agreement, it was ordered that a special order fee in addition to the customs fee of 20 pfennigs could not be charged for all parcels cleared by the post office up to a weight of 5 kg.

On January 1, 1882, “mail orders for book consignments” were approved as a new type of consignment: book consignments (consignments with books, music, magazines, maps and pictures) weighing more than 250 g were allowed on payment of a fee of 10 pfennigs a postal order for the collection of the invoice relating to the shipment must be enclosed. Such programs could be registered.

As of January 1, 1883, it was agreed that the letters "R" in Latin script should be given a uniform designation for registered mail in the universal postal service in the posting slips and in the special stamps.

An order of March 24, 1883 dealt with the carriage of postcards between the Reichs-Postgebiet, Bavaria and Württemberg. From April 1st, postcards with stamps from the Reich Post Administration, the Royal Bavarian or the Royal Wuerttemberg Postal Administration and which were delivered in the district of a different German postal administration than the one to which the stamp belongs, should be charged 5 Pfennig postage and 5 Pfennig surcharge - a total of 10 Pfennig - can be carried. However, if such postcards are determined according to the area to which the stamp belongs, only the amount remaining after deduction of the value of the stamp etc. was to be collected from the recipient at the destination. For example, a postcard delivered in Berlin with a Wuerttemberg postage stamp of 5 pfennigs had to be topped with 5 pfennigs if it was sent to Stuttgart, and 10 pfennigs if it was sent to Munich or Cologne.

On March 12, 1883, an extensive change to the postal regulations was decreed. the essentials in brief:

  • Postal parcel addresses could be used for written communications
  • Parcels marked "urgent" were possible, fee 1 RM,
  • handwritten dedications were permitted for printed matter,
  • for telegraphic postal orders the sender had to pay the postal order fee and the fee for the telegram. In addition, a) 25 Pf. For the procurement of the telegram if the telegraph company is not in the post office (until April 1, 1886), b) Postage and registration fee if there is no public transport telegraph company at the place of posting, c) Postage and registration fee if the telegraphic postal order is directed to a post office not provided with a telegraph company, d) the express order fee if the item is not marked “poste restante”. The fees for a + b are to be paid in advance.
  • Mail orders for book mails were included in the mail order,
  • the regulations for the appointment of express couriers were included in the postal regulations. If several mail items etc. are ordered locally, only 25 Pf. Is to be paid for the order process, not each item.
  • An additional fee of 5 pfennigs was levied for the postage-compulsory registered items collected by country mail carriers on their order trips, as well as for parcels up to 2½ kg incl., Postal orders and insured letters for forwarding to another post office. The land order fee is calculated for heavier parcels, it is to be paid in advance, [from August 1, 1888 for heavier parcels - fee 20 Pf]
  • For the normal parcels collected by parcel buyers on their order trips, an ancillary fee in the amount of the usual order fee is levied; it is to be paid in advance, [1. June 1889 for 10 Pf]
  • The posting of registered items outside of office hours was possible at some post offices for a posting fee of 20 pfennigs. The fee was payable in advance,
  • for an unorderable message, if z. B. a package could not be delivered, and the answer to be given the sender had to pay the postage with 20 Pf. He could then decide what to do with the broadcast.

The postal regulations were changed again on April 1, 1886:

  • In the case of "urgent" parcels, registration or a declaration of value was not permitted. For bulky and urgent parcels, only the postage had to be paid as for urgent parcels.
  • the designation “postcards” was not allowed to be used as a printed matter card, open cards were still allowed.
  • In the case of telegraphic postal orders, the fee of 25 pfennigs for the transport from the telegraph to the post office was no longer charged,
  • Post cash on delivery is allowed up to 400 marks (previously 150 marks),
  • Post was liable for postal orders as for a registered letter,
  • Parcels accepted outside counter hours had to be marked as urgent. So the fee for urgent parcels and the special postage fee (20 pfennigs) were offset.
  • the sender had to pay for the withdrawal of mail and changes to inscriptions: if the request was sent by post, the rate for a simple registered letter, for transmission by telegram, the rate for the telegram at the usual rate,

On January 1, 1889, another change to the postal regulations came into force:

  • For express deliveries to recipients in the land order district, 60 pfennigs were charged for letters and 90 pfennigs for parcels.

On June 1, 1889, the postal regulations were changed again:

  • Postal orders for postal orders are allowed up to 800 marks, the fee for postal orders over 400 marks is to be calculated as for two postal orders up to 400 marks.
  • Station letters are the subject of the postal regulations, they may weigh a maximum of 250 g, the appearance is mandatory (red border etc.) and in addition to the usual postage, a monthly fee of RM 12 must be paid.
  • An additional fee of 10 pfennigs was levied for the normal parcels collected by parcel delivery companies on their order trips (previously delivery charges)

One year later, on June 1, 1890, the postal regulations were changed:

  • Post cash on delivery is permitted up to 400 marks, the fee is: a) the postage for letters and parcels without cash on delivery (if the value is stated or registered, the corresponding additional fee), b) a presentation fee of 10 pfennigs and the fee for the transmission of the collected amount to the Sender.

On July 1, 1890, the postal regulations changed again: for parcels and insured letters, the postage and insurance fee from destination to destination will be added in the event of postage or return; the postage surcharge of 10 Pf. [unfranked] is not charged. There is no new approach for other programs. Registration, postal order and postal order fees, as well as the fee of 1 mark for urgent parcels and the presentation fee for cash on delivery are not charged again.

The last change to the postal regulations of January 1st, 1892 deals with express couriers. The fee for parcels over 5 kg to be ordered by express couriers is at least 30 pfennigs (previously 40 pfennigs) to be paid.


The following provisions were essentially made in the new postal regulations. - From now on, cash on delivery was permitted on letters, printed matter and samples up to a weight of 250 g, as well as on postcards and parcels. - In the future, neither a presentation fee nor postage for the return of the postal order was charged for postal orders for the collection of exchange accepts. - The request to obtain a return receipt was not only permissible for registered mail, but also for parcels without an indication of the value and for consignments with an indication of the value on payment of a fee of 20 pfennigs. Shipments against acknowledgment of receipt must be franked by the sender. [did not apply to postal orders]. - On June 1, 1896, the mailing type “Post orders for book mails” was canceled.

An extensive change in the postal regulations came into force on January 1, 1899: - The main weight of a sample was increased from 250 to 350 g. - On the outside of letters, postcards, printed matter and samples, images were permitted under certain conditions. - The maximum weight for mixed shipments , i.e. packaged printed matter with samples, has been increased from 250 to 350 g. - The maximum amount for postal orders and cash on delivery was increased from 400 to 800 marks. - Parcels that are delivered outside of counter hours no longer have to be marked as "urgent". - A special postage fee of 20 pfennigs has to be paid in advance for each package. - For a fee of 20 pfennigs to be paid in advance, the sender can request a return receipt later than when the shipment was posted.

So much for the few changes to the postal regulations before the major redesign on April 1, 1900.


Mailbox from the time of the Reichspost (in Dresden)

The postal regulations of March 20, 1900, which came into force on April 1, 1900, brought about a major redesign. In addition to the regrouping of the individual paragraphs, the following essential changes were to be mentioned: - In the case of postcards, picture decorations and stickers on the back were permitted insofar as this did not impair the property of the item being sent as an open postcard and the sticky notes etc. were attached over the entire surface . - Printed matter in the form of open cards was permitted up to the approximate size of the forms for postal parcel addresses. - As a new type of dispatch, business papers were introduced into internal German traffic under the already known conditions. (Introduced in the Universal Postal Union in 1875). - The weight of the mixed items (printed matter, samples and now also business papers ) has been increased from 350 g to 1 kg. - In the case of letters with an indication of the value, the envelopes had to be made from one piece and were not allowed to have colored edges, they could have been confused with letters from the station. - The fee for station letters was 4 marks a week if the carriage was to take place for shorter periods than a month. - In the case of letters with a certificate of delivery, the sender could in future also use simplified delivery in private matters. - For letters, postcards, printed matter, business papers and samples in local and neighboring traffic, reduced fees were set, already limited to letters as of July 1, 1906. - A Unbestellbarkeitsmeldung was then adopted in the future, if a letter with value or money order was therefore unanbringlich because the recipient is not reliably detected due to insufficient address if the sender has called on the item.

On August 1, 1903, a special pneumatic tube system came into force, which was reflected in the postal code through a new section.

Further changes to the postal regulations that were important to us were published on July 1, 1906. The special fee in local and neighboring local traffic was limited to letters. It was therefore no longer valid for postcards, printed matter, business papers, samples and packaged items (mixed items). The postage for letters remained unchanged at 5 pfennigs franked, 10 pfennigs for unfranked letters. In the case of insufficiently franked letters, the fee for unfranked letters was calculated minus the amount of postage stamps used. From October 10, 1907, the left side of the front of a postcard could also be written on. - Since December 12, 1908, a postal ID card has been issued ( e.g. for collecting poste restante items) at a price of 50 pfennigs.

On October 1, 1908, "§ 18a Post Protest" was inserted. The following were to be charged: a) for the postal order letter - 30 Pfg. B) for the raising of the postal protest, for bills of exchange up to 500 RM including 1.- RM, for bills of exchange over 500 RM 1.50 RM c) for the return of the protested Bills of exchange with protest document 30 Pfg., In local and neighboring local traffic 25 Pfg.

Postal check fees

By law of March 30, 1900, the Reich Chancellor was authorized to “ introduce postal checks”. The law also stated regarding the determination of the Reich budget for the financial year 1900: "The postal check system must be regulated by means of legislation by April 1, 1905 at the latest." Postal checks were actually introduced on January 1, 1909 (RGBl . P. 587). Because of the interestlessness of the deposits, one was by no means convinced of the success of this institution. Nine post office check offices were set up in the Reichspostgebiet , three in Bavaria and one in Württemberg. The following tariff was applied a) for cash payments by means of a payment card for 500 RM or a part thereof 5 pfennigs, b) for each cash repayment by the cash desk of the post office or through a post office a fixed fee of 5 pfennigs, also 1/10 of the thousand of the amount to be paid out (increase fee) c) for each transfer from one account to another postal checking account 3 Pf. The payee is obliged to pay the fee under a, and the account holder is obliged to pay the fee under b and c, from his account he follows. For more than 600 bookings a year, a surcharge of 7 pounds was added for each additional booking. Since April 1, 1910, payments into a postal checking account could also be made “by transferring postal orders and amounts collected by postal order or cash on delivery”. As a result, since June 1, 1910, collected amounts for postal orders and cash on delivery items could be transferred to a postal checking account. Also on June 1, 1910, post office cards were issued for a fee of 25 Pf. One month later, since July 1, 1910, delivery notes for ordinary parcels could be requested for a fee of £ 10. With the "change in postal regulations" on January 1, 1913, Braille items , previously admitted as printed matter, were introduced: the main weight of a Braille item was 3 kg. The fee was up to 50 g - 3 Pfg., Over 50 to 100 g - 5 Pfg., Over 100 to 1 kg - 10 Pfg., Over 1 to 2 kg - 20 Pfg. And over 2 to 3 kg - 30 Pfg. Since January 1, 1914, the maximum weight for samples has been increased from 350 to 500 g.

The Postal Check Act of March 26, 1914 changed the fees: a) for a deposit by payment card, for amounts up to RM 25 - 5 Pfg., For amounts of more than RM 25 - 10 Pfg., B) a fixed fee of 5 Pfg., And also an increase fee of 1/10 of the thousand of the amount paid out, and c) for each transfer from one postal check account to another 3 Pf., The latter free of charge on April 1, 1918. (The next change to the Postal Check Act took place on April 1, 1921)

On May 1, 1914, the postal credit letter was added to the postal regulations as a new section 21a . A) for the cash deposit to be made with a payment card or for the transfer from a postal check account the tariff-based fee according to the postal check regulation, b) for the execution of the postal credit letter - 50 Pfg., And c) for each repayment a fixed fee of 5 Pfg . and an increase fee of 5 Pfg., for every 100 RM or parts thereof.

From August 1914, the regulations for post-protest orders from Alsace-Lorraine and some districts in East or West Prussia (e.g. extended deadlines for renewed submissions) were changed frequently, the war had started. On August 1, 1916, a Reich tax on post and telegraph fees was levied to finance the war . For this reason the postal order had to be changed again. Parcels with newspapers or magazines were not subject to the Reich tax, so they had to be specially marked. For unstamped letters in local and neighboring traffic no longer 10 pfennigs (such a letter now costs 5 pfennigs + 2½ pfennigs imperial tax), but twice the fee or the shortfall rounded off to a sum divisible by 5 pfennigs . Last but not least, on September 1, 1917, the fees for the forms offered by the post office will be changed. The new postal regulations came into effect on October 1, 1917.

See also

Imperial mail on the Curonian Spit


Essentially, the Reichs-Gesetzblatt and the Official Gazette of the Reichs-Postamt were used as sources, compared and checked by means of fee overviews from this period. The change periods resulted from the period of validity of the postal regulations .

  • Post office papers of the corresponding years
  • History of the Deutsche Post. Volume 4, 1945 to 1978, Steinmetz / Elias Bonn 1979.
  • Handheld dictionary of postal services . Berlin 1927.
  • Handheld dictionary of postal services. Frankfurt (Main), 1953, with an addendum to the 2nd edition, 1956.
  • Werner Steven: Postal charges NDP until 1945. Series of articles in the DBZ, 1982
  • Werner Steven: Foreign tariffs for letter and parcel post, 1875-1900. Braunschweig, 1986
  • Rainer E. Lütgens: Postage rate catalog 1923 to 1945. Langenhagen and Hamburg 1986
  • Werner Steven: Constitution of the German Empire of October 28, 1871, law on the postal system and the postal tax system in the territory of the German Empire, postal regulations for the law, archival Philatelic series - issue 5, Braunschweig 1994
  • Werner Steven: Law regarding the amendment of the law on postal taxation of November 3, 1874, very highest ordinance regarding the introduction of the Reich currency, law regarding the amendment of § 4 of the law on the postal system of the German Empire (Eisenbahn-Post-Gesetz) , Postal regulations, pneumatic tube in Berlin, archival philatelic series of publications - issue 6, Braunschweig 1997
  • Werner Steven: Postal regulations to the law on the postal system of March 8, 1879, changes to the postal regulations from April 1, 1879 to June 30, 1892, overview of charges for letters sent from 1879 to 1892, archival Philatelic series of publications - No. 7, Braunschweig 1998
  • Werner Steven: Postal regulations of June 11, 1892 to the law on the postal system, changes to the postal regulations from July 1, 1892 to March 31, 1900, overview of fees 1892 - 1900, archival Philatelic series - No. 8, Braunschweig 1998
  • Werner Steven: Postal regulations for the German Reich of March 20, 1900, pneumatic tube regulations for Berlin of August 6, 1903 and January 3, 1909, the changes to the postal regulations from March 1, 1900 to October 31, 1917, overview of fees, field post fees, archive of philatelic publications - Issue 9, Braunschweig 1998

Web links

Commons : Reichspost  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Post  sources and full texts
Wiktionary: Reichspost  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Friederike Bauer: First Choice: Women! Reviled, used, now indispensable - a look at the history of Swiss Post . In: Das Archiv , vol. 2013, issue 1, pp. 6–13, here p. 8.
  2. ^ Reichsgesetzblatt; P. 25