From Stamps of the World

The Klaipėda Region (Lithuanian: Klaipėdos kraštas) or Memel Territory (German: Memelland or Memelgebiet) was defined by the Treaty of Versailles in 1920 and refers to the most northern part of the German province of East Prussia, when as Memelland it was put under the administration of the Council of Ambassadors. The Memel Territory, together with the other parts severed from Germany, the Saar and Danzig, was to remain under the control of the League of Nations until a future day when the people of these regions would be allowed to vote on whether the land would return to Germany or not.

The original Prussian Scalovian and Curonian territory was requested by the duke of Masovia and confirmed to be conquered by the emperor and pope, Christianized and to be administered by the Teutonic Knights, who constructed Memelburg ("Memel Castle") and the city of Memel (now usually known by its Lithuanian name Klaipėda). In 1422, a border was drawn up between Prussia and Lithuania under the Treaty of Melno, and this border existed up to 1918.

The then predominantly ethnic German Memel Territory (Prussian Lithuanians and Memellanders constituted the other ethnic groups), situated between the river and the town of that name, was occupied by Lithuania in the "Klaipėda Revolt" of 1923. It was annexed by Nazi Germany in March 1939 and immediately reintegrated into East Prussia, just half a year before the outbreak of the Second World War. In the final stages of the war in 1945 it was occupied by Soviet forces, and was formally annexed by the Soviet Union in 1946, cleared of its native German population, and made a part of the Lithuanian SSR in 1948. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, it has been part of the Republic of Lithuania, contained within Klaipėda and Tauragė Counties. The border that was established along the river by the Treaty of Versailles remains in effect as the current international boundary between Lithuania and the Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia.

The first stamps issued by the territory were overprinted German Germania stamps in 1920, followed by the then German high value set again overprinted. The Council of Ambassadors, then instructed that overprinted stamps of France be used in all post offices. In 1923 following the occupation by Lithuainia stamps of that country were issued overprinted in surcharged values.

Pages in category "Memel"

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