Explore the history of Novi Bečej's commemorative stamps and their connection to significant events. Discover the first impression and its historical context

Commemorative Postmarks Used in the Post Office of Novi Bečej

Commemorative postal stamps, as the word itself suggests, are used to mark a special occasion. Commemorative stamps usually have a fixed date or last for several days, and they are often ordered by philatelic associations.

The first discovered impression of a commemorative stamp from Novi Bečej was produced in the First Hungarian stamp factory Klason (Első Magyar Bélyegzőgyár Klassohn A. Budapest) in Budapest in April 1941. The impression is found on a shipping (cargo) list with the factory's memorandum, alongside five other impressions of commemorative stamps, and it was sent on April 12, 1941, to the Hungarian Royal Postal Administration. The commemorative postal stamp is circular, with the inscription TÖRKBECSE (TURKISH BEČEJ) at the top, a crown of St. Stephen and the legendary mythical bird of the Hungarians – turul in the middle, and below it is written VISSZATÉRT 1941 (RETURNED, meaning – within the historical Hungary). Whether the commemorative stamp TÖRÖKBECSE VISSZATÉRT was forwarded to the post office in Novi Bečej or not, we do not have a valid answer, but it is more than certain that it was not in use. Neither I nor any of the most renowned experts on the occupation issues of postal stamps in northern Serbia, i.e., Vojvodina, have seen a letter with the imprint of that commemorative stamp.

Historical Background of the First Commemorative Stamp

On March 27, just before the German attack on Yugoslavia, Hitler offered the allies a division of the spoils. Accordingly, Hungary was entitled to, in addition to Bačka and Baranja, Banat as well. He reiterated this promise to the Hungarian Minister of War and Ambassador Stojai (Sztójay Döme). As soon as the Romanian government was informed in early April that Banat would belong to Hungary, it immediately threatened to send its troops into the Yugoslav part of Banat. Two days after the Romanian reaction, to appease his allies, Hitler abandoned the participation of Hungarian troops in the conquest of Banat. Germany occupied the Yugoslav part of Banat, and the Tisa River became the border between Hungary and the German-occupied territory.

As seen, the Hungarian government took Hitler's promise regarding Banat seriously, and preparations for taking over the authorities began in early April, but they did not anticipate Romanian claims. Evidence of this is the pre-made commemorative postal stamp celebrating the return of Novi Bečej to the motherland – Hungary.

Related Articles