Philatelic Immigration

When I started in the stamp business in the late 1960s there was still active a large group of professional philatelists who had been political refugees from the 1930s. These were people who had escaped Germany and Eastern Europe and had come to the United States, often by very circuitous routes. All had a story and most appeared to be alive only because of the most fortuitous of circumstances. Stamp Dealers had a better survival rate from the Nazi final solution than did many other professionals and this was because they were less reluctant to pick up stakes and leave, and so got out earlier while there was still time. Most professionals deal in a language and culturally specific skill (a German lawyer or Polish accountant is unemployable in the United States in the often lucrative profession in which he was trained) and most business men have their investments in unmovable plant and equipment. But stamp dealers are more mobile. But rearranging his stock to fewer, scarcer items a dealer can take a small fortune in his pockets when he needs to leave his country of birth to start a new life. And so many did in the 1930s that the stamp business had a real foreign flavor when I was young.  Julius Stolow was Russian, S. Serebrackian was Armenian (interestingly Mr Serebrakian and Mr Stolow were married to sisters who they had met here in America), Arthur Korzyn was German and came here by way of China. There were many more. They all had stories and they all felt they owed their adoptive country hard work and good citizenship as a small exchange for saving their lives.

Share on:
Shopping Cart
Scroll to Top