What first got you interested in philately

On January 1, 1942 Serbia issued four stamps to commemorate the Grand Anti-Masonic Exhibition, which opened in Belgrade on October 22, 1941. These stamps depict a strong and victorious Serbia crushing an evil Masonic-Communist-Jewish plot for world domination.

The surtax on this issue was used for Anti-Masonic, Anti-Communist, and Anti-Jewish propaganda.

Each stamp bore the opening date 22x1941 and was labeled "Anti-Masonic Exhibition" and "Serbia" in Cyrillic letters.

These stamps, with their juxtaposition of Masonic, Communist, Jewish and Serbian symbols (Nazi symbols are notably absent), provide a remarkable window into the Serbian wartime worldview. Even after the Communist takeover of Yugoslavia in May 1945 Masons were regarded with suspicion and contempt by the Serbian dominated Yugoslav authorities and Masonry remained outlawed for the next 45 years - until the summer of 1990.

The first stamp shows Masonry, allegorically clad as a hooded figure wearing an apron and star of David upon its bosom. This hooded figure is shown cringing from a strong ray of light, which emanates from a circular cabalistic design apparently representing the forces of Anti-Masonry.

Nowhere in Masonry does a hooded figure appear. Also any Mason could readily see the fallacy of "Cringing from Light" - did we not ask for light at least three times? Then too, the attempt to link Jewry with Freemasonry is very evident by the Star of David on the figure's bosom.

The second stamp of the series shows a hand emanating from a silvery light, as in the first stamp, and grasping the neck of a huge viper whose head rests on a square and compasses. This viper or snake is covered with the Stars of David rather than scales. Biblically, the snake represents the forces of evil (Jews and Masons) and here is symbolically being stopped by the hand of Nazism.

The third stamp shows a sheaf of wheat superimposed on a cross, which has a pointed lower leg, together with the hammer, and sickle all resting upon and splitting a star that symbolizes Serbia. This attempts to show that the Jew, Mason, and Communist are alike in ideal if not one and the same.

The last stamp of the series shows a Star of David upon the curved surface of the earth between two pillars which are being put asunder by a zealous modern Serbian Samson. These pillars presumably refer to the two pillars in the porch of King Solomon's Temple.

Our many thanks to Brother Terry Chateau for his extensive description and this photo. If you're interested in Masonic stamps, drop him or us a note! We've been active and involved collectors for some time....