The German occupation of the Channel Islands-Guernsey and Jersey, as well as Sark and Alderney-lasted from June 30, 1940 to May 9, 1945. They were the only portions of the British Isles to be invaded and occupied by Germany. Though the British government did not consider the Channel Islands strategically important, and thus would not defend them militarily, they made ships available to evacuate those residents who wanted to leave. A number factors made resistance and acts of sabotage against the occupiers difficult: the fact of two German soldiers for every citizen; the small size of the islands, and the fact that most of the population of military age had already joined the British army. Also, the fear of reprisals made any act of sabotage unwelcome. For example, in 1942 Germans deported to internment camps Ilag V-Band Ilag VII Laufen residents of the islands not born there, as well as officers in WWI who lived on the islands. This was in reprisal for German civilians in Iran who were interned.
There were some acts of resistance, however. The artist Edmund Blampied, whose wife was Jewish, was asked to design postage stamps for the island. The third stamp in his series contains the initials GR on either side of the number 3 to stand for King George. Blampied's artistry as well extended to forging stamps for fugitives requiring documents.
Soon after the occupation, in October 1940, the small number of Jews who lived on the Channel Islands were required to register. While some had been evacuated by the British citizens of countries aligned with Germany, were not allowed entry to the UK, and were considered enemy aliens. Registration cards were marked with J's, and property owned by Jews-including Jewish evacuees- had to be vacated and transferred to German authorities. Jewish-owned businesses were also closed and turned over to German authorities. Strict curfews had to be observed for Jews. The history of this period of time is contested, and it is not clear how much and to what degree island civil authorities complied with German demands. As well, anti-Jewish measures were not applied systematically: Blampied's Jewish wife Marianne,for example, lived relatively openly, while others received false documents from sympathetic officials, and some officials refused to require Jews to wear the yellow star. However, three Jewish women who came to Guernsey during the 1930's to escape Nazi persecution found themselves trapped on the island, unable to enter the UK. since they were considered "enemy aliens". Therese Steiner, Auguste Spitz and Marianne Grunfeld, were eventually deported t to Auschwitz where they were murdered.
--Michael D. Bulmash, K1966
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Front: Photograph of harbor in foreground with city in background,'OLD HARBOUR AND MODEL YACHT POND, GUERNSEY' at bottom ; Back:Orange postage stamp cut diagonally, text stamped in purple
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Bisected British stamps were permitted briefly after the German occupation of the Channel Islands. After the occupation stamps were scarce since Britain stopped sending stamps.
2019.2.333 – Newspaper page titled “News from England, marked “No. 1 SEPTEMBER 1940 DISTRIBUTED BY THE R.A.F.”
2019.2.334 - Newspaper page titled “News from England, marked “No. 2 SEPTEMBER 30, 1940 For the Channel Islands DISTRIBUTED BY THE R.A.F.”
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Newspapers distributed by the R.A.F. (Royal Air Force) to the German-occupied Channel Islands, “News from England” No. 1 and 2, “September 1940” and September 30, 1940” headed: “Distributed by the R.A.F.” printed on both sides. The first issue bears an uplifting message from King George VI and the Queen, along with words of sympathy and support; King George’s speech to the nation on September 23, 1940; and excerpts from Churchill’s speeches. The second edition includes articles on the progression of the war, escapes made by eight Guernsey men to England; and the drowning of 77 child evacuees by a German U-Boat.
Large broadside titled "Translation of a Communication addressed to the Governor of the Isle of Jersey” in black print near top of page, dated “1st July, 1940, list of eight items. Broadside issued July 1, 1940, an English translation of a communication addressed to the Governor of the English Channel Isle of Jersey, from the commanding general of the German Air Force in Normandy, announcing the German intent to occupy the island and ordering its surrender. The broadside reads in part: “1. I intend to neutralize military establishments in Jersey by occupation. 2. As evidence that the island will surrender the military and other establishments without resistance and without destroying them, a large White Cross is to be shown as follows… 3. If these signs of peaceful surrender are not observed by 7 a.m. July 2nd, heavy bombardment will take place… 6. All Radio traffic and other communications with Authorities outside the Island will be considered hostile actions and will be followed by bombardment. 7. Every hostile action against my representatives will be followed by bombardment. 8. In case of peaceful surrender, the lives, property, and liberty of peaceful inhabitants are solemnly guaranteed…” The local governor adds a note at bottom: “The States have ordered this Communication to be printed and posted forthwith, and charge the Inhabitants to keep calm, to comply with the requirements of the Communication and to offer no resistance whatsoever to the occupation of the Island.” Utilizing slave laborers held in concentration camps on Sylt and Norderney, the German occupiers constructed elements of the Atlantic Wall fortifications on the island.
First Envelope Front: Tan envelope with two green postage stamps, writing in black ink, and a black hand stamp.First Envelope Back: Writing in black ink reading, "Any morning before 10; afternoon after 1 except Friday."Second Envelope: Tan envelope with one green and two orange postage stamps. Includes writing in black ink and black hand stamps.Third Envelope: Tan envelope with writing in black ink, a purple postage stamp, and a black hand stamp.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Sent from the early 1940s from Guernsey on the Channel Island, occupied by the Nazis throughout most of the war.
Front: A white form with black printed text in German and English. Includes text written in black ink in English.Back: A continuation of the survey with a signature at the bottom.
Internment Camp ILAG VII-LAUFEN Postcard from POW Robert Boxall to J.G. Hutt, St. Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands
Document labelled “Interniertenpost Postkarte” at top, “KANAL INSELN” written in lower right corner, dated “1st Sept 43” on back.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Ilag VII-Laufen internment camp, administered by the Wehrmacht, was in Bavaria near the Austrian border and was known to house more than 400 British men from the Channel Islands, as well as other British internees, along with some Americans. The author of this letter, one of the Channel Islanders from Jersey deported to Germany during the occupation, states to his friend in Jersey that he cannot report all the news he is asked to because “we are very restricted… on what we can write… but will send what is possible.”
Front: A white envelope split with blue lines. Includes nine stamps with various colors and scenes depicted. Includes an address written in blue and several black hand stamps.Back: Includes a printed return address and lines written in blue.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Stamps issued by the Jersey States Authority in 1943 under German occupation. They were designed by Edmund Blampied. It is alleged that he incorporated the "V" for Victory sign in the design over the triangular value tablet. It is also alleged that the royal cipher, GR, appears in the scroll-work at the triangle base enclosing 3d.
Envelope addressed to “Miss. H. Mathew,” includes two red postage stamps and one green postage stamp, “ENGLAND” underlined in bottom left corner.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:The Channel Islands were the only part of Great Britain to have fallen to the Germans during World War II, having been occupied from June 30, 1940. This cover, with stamps of the occupation, was sent on May 7, 1945, the day the German High Command surrendered to the Allies. On May 8, 1945, officially V-E Day, Churchill announced that the war in Europe was over: “Active operations will cease at one minute after midnight tonight and our dear Channel Islands are also to be freed today.: The Channel Islands were thus reclaimed, and Thanksgiving services were held.
Envelope with green, red, and blue postage stamps along right side, image of globe on left side labelled “CHANNEL ISLANDS LIBERATED.”
Document titled “POST OFFICE TELEGRAM” in black print, stamped over with purple ink, includes five labelled strips, with one marked “MRS LE M THOUMINE SHANGRI-LA KINGS RD GUERNSEY =”
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:Telegram sent to a Mrs. L.E. Thoumine in Guernsey, Channel Islands, just two weeks after the liberation of the Channel Islands on V-E Day, May 8, 1945. The Thoumine family can trace its lineage to the 16th century on Guernsey. This telegram from well-wishers expresses delight that Mrs. Thoumine has been liberated from the German occupation.