03.11.2006 - New books - written by members of the AIJP
Wolfgang Maassen: Ludwig Hesshaimer – Light and dark, love and passion for art and philately

Ludwig Hesshaimer (1872-1956), a born German Saxon in Rumania, in his time was well-known as

Wolfgang Maassen: Ludwig Hesshaimer – Light and dark, love and passion for art and philately

Ludwig Hesshaimer (1872-1956), a born German Saxon in Rumania, in his time was well-known as both an an artist and a club philatelist. As an Austrian, he tended the German body of thought, founded the first Association of Austrian Philatelists Clubs in 1921 and united it with the later Reichs Association of philatelists in Germany. After his career as an officer in the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy and the First World War, which had a major impression on him, he turned to arts, the muse he had loved from his childhood days. The commercial and free artist produced various postcard and ex libris illustrations and put down his experiences in etchings and paintings.

The German-speaking philately can thank him for studies of interest to post and philatelic history as well as a series of stamps (of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Columbia) which he designed in the early 30s. No one before and probably nobody after him has depicted the German and Austrian philately in such a huge number of illustrations, etchings and paintings as Ludwig Hesshaimer managed in the course of only a few decades.

Hesshaimer’s life was characterized by a lot of light and dark, as can be vividly seen in his etchings. Apart from the heights of celebrated success he lived through the depths of human loneliness and abandonment. Especially the role he played in the Nazism during the Third Reich, his pathetically exaggerated engagement as much as his numerous disappointments as a stamp designer reflect his love and passion for philately, but just as much the black and white polarization in his life.

The author succeeds in proving this – and this is a first – with formerly unknown proofs and with insights into the fraud scandal concerning Hesshaimer’s special stamps for Iceland. He furthermore documents until now unknown stamp sketches for Germany, Hungary and Brazil, describes Hesshaimer’s last years in the exile he had chosen for himself and thus draws a psychologically refined picture of a personality who went the way from assimilation to identification to serve club philately and, in the end, himself.

A lot of information the author drew from so far unknown extracts of Hesshaimer’s private diaries which his family inherited. This opens up a window into the spiritual and emotional spheres of an art-loving club philatelist, which finally help to understand his personality, his real ambitions and motives. In the end it opens up the tragic of his life which mirrors human, in many situations far too much human nuances.

Not only friends of art will indulge in the more than 400 partly large-format illustration of highest quality: the design of the book satisfies all expectations and has the character of the special series “Chronic of German Philately”.

Format approx. DIN A4 (large format), 180 pages, 404 partly large format colored illustsrations printed on 150g high quality picture paper, canvas cover with gold imprint on the title and the spine, colored dust cover, Schwalmtal 2006, costs: 75 Euro plus postage / packaging (5 Euro share of costs). Contact: Phil*Creativ Verlag, Vogelsrather Weg 27, 41366 Schwalmtal, phone +49 21 63/3 07 77 or fax 3 00 03. E-Mail:, Internet: