Poland 1940 – Copernicus memorial

In 1900 a monument to Nicolaus Copernicus was set up in the courtyard of his alma mater, the Collegium Maius (Great College) of the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. Copernicus is modelled in a cape, holding an armillary sphere. The statue is not there now, as it was moved to the Witkowski Collegium in nearby Planty Park in 1953, but this stamp shows how it looked in 1940. As the inscription “Generalgouvernement” and the Nazi eagle indicate, this stamp was released while Poland was under German occupation during World War II. As far as I can ascertain, the violet version was issued in 1941, a year after the green one, by when the printing plate was showing signs of wear.

The same monument to Copernicus shows up again on Polish stamps from 1945 and 1946.

SG number
Face value
12 g
12 g