CENSUS AND MAPS

      Census:  periodic governmental count of population (Merriam-Webster, 1989). The idea of this page comes from a discussion in which my talking partner wondered if it would be possible to write something interesting about the census stamps. In my opinion it is possible; it is up to my readers to judge if I succeeded or not in this task.

      The above stamps were issued on December 24, 1930 by the Romanian post (Scott 380-383, Mi. 393-396). I have got them for free from a Romanian collector, because I have bought some stamps from him in a philatelic club in Bucharest (opened daily on the Calea Dorobanti) and because they aren't in perfect shape. These are the first Romanian census stamps. They were issued in a period when the country experienced a long period of economic expansion. The stamp valued 1 Leu shows the map of Romania (at that time 20% bigger than today);  the other three stamps show a mother with her child, the mother holding a census card in her left hand. The print run was of 200,000 sets.

    The blue stamp above, on the left, was issued on January 25, 1948. It is the Scott 678, Mi. 1093. It was printed in 1,000,000 copies. On the right is shown its overprinted version of 1952, Sc. 819A, Mi 1299 (print run: 96,150) . It is not a simply coincidence  this was the first stamp of the newly proclaimed Romanian Popular Republic, the census being a political and economic action, perfectly planned by the new communist government . The information collected during this mandatory census was later used in the process of nationalization, i.e. of confiscation of private properties by the state, without compensation.

The census stamps of 1948 displays the new map of the country and some workers and peasants. The new map of the country can be easily compared with that shown on the stamp issued in 1930 and with that shown on the sheet dedicated to the so called "Great Union", issued in 1994 (we show here the already corrected version of the sheet, that was firstly issued in 1993, when the 75th anniversary of the union was celebrated). Take also a look on the Tourism sheet, issued in 1967, Sc.1937. The missing provinces from the North-East, named Bessarabia and Bucovina, were (re)annexed by the neighbor and "liberator", the USSR, after the WW II. 

     Eight years later the socialist state, now victorious in each respect over his own people, wanted a confirmation of its politics and organized a new census. This is reflected on the green stamps shown above, Scott 1081 & a, Michel 1564 & I, the print run of the regular stamp being of 832,000 pieces. The rare variety displayed on the left has the center inverted. On the image one can recognize a happy family with two children and the inverted map of Romania. The whole country was actually turned upside down, and this during tragic 45 years. To be complete, we show also the (blue) census stamp issued in 1992, Sc. 3693.

Created: 10/07/00. Revised: 01/02/06
Copyright   2000 - 2001 by Victor Manta, Switzerland. 
All rights reserved in all countries.

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