ROMANIA - The Five Year Plan

     Below I show several stamps from the Five Year Plan set, issued by the Romanian Popular Republic in 1952. The Plan started actually in 1951 and it failed, like many other similar plans started in other communist countries. But not all of its actions failed, unfortunately. For example on the green 7 Lei stamp (below, the first on the row) one can read: "In 1955 the socialist sector will prevail in the agriculture." The communist party officials, using the forces of the Securitate (Secret Police) and of the army, have imposed to the majority of farmers to join the so called "collective farm".
    The stamp issued in 1956 and labeled "5 years from the founding of collective farms, 1951 - 1956" is one of the most interesting in the Romanian post - W.W.II philately. It was issued the July 23, 1956 and was withdrawn after a few days. On October 18, 1956 it was replaced by a new stamp (not shown), marked "7 years of collective farms, 1949 - 1956". On April 27, 1962 the Romanian P.A. issued a set of 3 stamps (not shown either) celebrating the full collectivization of the agriculture.

   Other two stamps of the Five Year Plan set of 1952 are also quite interesting. The red 3 Lei value show an armed soldier and is labeled: "The army of the R.P.R. (Romanian Popular Republic) defends our peaceful work." One can ask what has it to do with a Five year plan, but if you have read above about the collectivization, you will understand the real role of the army. On the dark green 30 Lei stamp one can read: "In the 5 years there will be afforested 32 times more than in 1940." Normally one could expect that equal periods of time are taken in a comparison, because only one year could be less representative.

Introduction to Inflation

Inflation in Romania

    The results of the suicidal politics of the former Communist leaders and of some of  their later followers can still be perceived today, even on stamps. Take as an example the stamp displayed on the left (Sura Dacilor Lodge, Brasov, Scott 4219). True, it may look better in the overprinted version of 1998 than the original of 1991, but notice the inflation rate of over 5500%, and the quite suggestive image of the archer who tries, unsuccessfully, to hide the old value. My only objection to the design of the overprint is that the archer should be pointing much higher than the roof!   

Inflation in Romania

In the Feb. 1999 edition of Scott Stamp Monthly, the stamp above appeared with the very appropriate caption: "Stamps that need all the help they can get". (p. 107). Another example is the stamp Abies Alba, issued in 1994 and recently overprinted, where the red overprinted rabbit makes a jump from 15L to 4150L (a 27700% increase, or over 5000% per year). Here the rabbit could eventually be replaced by a hawk.

     I present on the right an interesting combination of Romanian stamps, received on a postcard. The Airbus A-310 stamp was issued in 1994 and it was then overprinted with a dirigible airship, possible in the hope of a slow down of inflation.  Control of inflation was a precondition set by the European Community for the countries that wished to join it, and, by chance, the stamp on the right shows the flags of Romania and of the EC. 

Notice that the postcard took 5 days to travel from Azuga to Bucharest (130 Km or 78 miles) and other 5 days from Bucharest to Switzerland (about 1500 Km). The first part of the travel was eventually made on the board of a really very slow airship...

   And here an example for why one should fear a high inflation. The letter below was posted on December 6, 1923 from Germany, Berlin. It was correctly franked, for the destination New York City, U.S.A.. The total face value of all 15 stamps is of 15 x 50 billions = 750 billions! This inflation was one of factors that facilitated the access to power in Germany of Hitler and of his Nazi Party.

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Revised: 04/26/2012 .
Copyright 1999 - 2012 by Victor Manta, Switzerland.
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