April 2024 – April riddle

Maison GenevoiseThe cover of the month April is possibly an April Fool’s joke, as it is also a bit late and I can’t really make any sense of the postmark. Hence my call to the net: can anyone help me with this?

This is a Liechtenstein postal stationary with the stamp motif chamois at 10 centimes and an image of the government building. It bears the printing mark Courvoisier 39 S and was issued in 1940. This postal stationery was valid from January 10, 1940 to April 30, 1968.

AnbauwerkWhat I find confusing, however, is the postmark. The postal stationery was canceled on 31.10.1941 at 12 noon in Vaduz with a bridge postmark. The delivery address was also in Vaduz. So how does the Swiss stamp from 1941 “Schweizerisches Anbauwerk” at 10 centimes, canceled one day later (1.11.1941) by a special postmark in Geneva (Maison Genevoise – Salon du Timbre), get on the cover? The card was postage paid if it went from Vaduz to Geneva at 10 centimes, and from there back to Vaduz at 10 centimes. Nevertheless, is the card genuine? Perhaps someone can help me? I don’t quite understand it.

I also found the subject of the Swiss stamp interesting. As a non-Swiss, I didn’t know what the Swiss (national) “Anbauwerk” was – that’s the title of the stamp. In the meantime, the stamp – and thus philately – has made me smarter again.

Erster WeltkriegDuring the Second World War, Switzerland faced possible isolation and the risk of supply shortages. It imported a large proportion of its food before the war, but the war-related blockades and trade restrictions made these imports considerably more difficult. The Swiss agronomist and politician Friedrich Traugott Wahlen therefore developed a plan: plan Wahlen – also known as the national cultivation plan and similar to what had already been attempted during the First World War. In it, he defined several key measures:

  1. Increase in arable land: One focus of the plan was to convert pastures and fallow land into arable land. This was intended to significantly increase the area under cultivation for staple foods such as grain, potatoes and vegetables.
  2. Promotion of self-cultivation: The population was encouraged to use private gardens and communal areas for food production. This led to an “urban farming” movement in which many city dwellers began to grow their own food.
  3. Optimization of production: Agriculture was trimmed for high efficiency. There were instructions on the optimal use of fertilizers, seeds and cultivation techniques. The aim was to maximize productivity per hectare.
  4. Rationing and distribution: To ensure that the food produced was distributed fairly, the Swiss government introduced a rationing system. This was intended to prevent certain population groups from being disadvantaged.

AltstoffverwertungAltstoffe franz Altstoffe ital

However, the election plan did not only cover food supplies. A contemporary stamp from 1942, for example, called on the population to collect used materials “to hold out”.

These measures were remarkably successful. Swiss agriculture was able to significantly increase its production and dependence on food imports was greatly reduced. This helped to ensure that Switzerland was relatively well supplied during the war. Later, the experience and techniques developed during this period contributed to the modernization and increased efficiency of agriculture. In addition, awareness of the importance of self-sufficiency and sustainable agriculture remained firmly anchored in Swiss society.