Greenland during the Second World War SI

Greenland during the Second World War

We are very pleased to present this new series which covers a part of our history that has not yet been told through stamps: Greenland, during the Second World War, as seen through the eyes of Greenlanders.

We are planning to issue a ten stamp series printed in combined offset and intaglio which will be com- pleted in 2020, on the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

The series begins with the three stamps which are issued on 17th October, with partially photographed images from the War period. Some aspects are,

therefore, photographic reproductions from that time, whilst on other parts of the stamps the artist has added her own artistic impression to the design. The artist who has designed this series is Naja Ros- ing-Asvid, who also created the 2015 series ‘Archi- tecture in Greenland’. Martin Mörck engraved all ten stamps.

In the early part of the Second World War, on 9th April 1940, Denmark was occupied by Nazi Germany. As a result, Greenland ended up being isolated from Denmark and no supplies could reach the country. Therefore, the Greenlanders received all their sup- plies from the USA and Canada throughout the War until 1945. They paid for these supplies by selling cry-

olite and through cod fishing.

The Second World War also changed Greenland. It happened gradually with the country’s first airfields being constructed, new and ‘exotic’ products being introduced, as well as food rationing. In East Green- land there was also some actual face to face combat.

Until 1940 the Greenlanders had been very isolated from the rest of the world. The Danish government, that governed Greenland as a colony, was convinced that the Greenlandic culture would be diluted or even disappear and the local population would be eradicated if the borders were opened up to the rest of the world. In many ways Greenland opened up 

to the outside world as a result of the War; politi- cal relations changed and news coverage was in a different form to that which Greenlanders had been used to.

By the end of the Second World War, Greenland had become the allies’ important middle station for North Atlantic air traffic from the USA and the United King- dom. After the War, the USA developed a great geo- political interest in Greenland, an interest which still exists to this day.

POST Greenland hopes that this stamp series will un- cover facets of Greenland’s history that many readers and collectors were not aware of and, thereby, con-

tribute to the general storytelling about Greenland.

About the artist

Naja Rosing-Asvid has an architecture degree and is an autodidact artist. She works with different media and forms of expression in her art. The materials, used to put her pictures and installations together, are often found in nature or from waste products found in the towns. For the last ten years Naja has worked independently with different creative genres i.e. art, exhibition design, urban design, scenogra- phy, children’s books.

To find out more about the artist and her art please refer to her webpage .

Her own thoughts about this stamp series:

“The series narrates the story about wartime seen through the eyes of Greenlanders. The illustrations mirror the moods and episodes from that period, which have made a great impression on the people and the country’s development. The stamps are de- signed with retro colours that suit the time period and are reminiscent of the camouflage colours used during the war.”

Photos for the stamps are reproduced courtesy of Greenland’s National Museum and Archive and the Arctic Institute. 

Technical Details

Issue Date: 17.10.2016
Designer: Naja Rosing-Asvid
Illustrator: Martin Mörck (engraving)
Process: Intaglio and Offset
Size: 57.68 mm x 33.44 mm
Values: DKK 0.25, DKK 36.00, DKK 36.50