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And so, the 10th edition of our Cards for Literacy campaign with Deutsche Post comes to an end, and here we are to let you know how many postcards were sent for this good cause in 2022. Without further ado…

Postcrossers in Germany sent a total of 123,596 postcards during December, raising €12,359.60 for Stiftung Lesen!
A battered German postbox is shown against a wall, with graffiti behind it.

Hurray! A brilliant result, which will help many people improve their reading skills in Germany, and thus improve their outcomes in areas like education, professional success, and integration. Well done to all our enthusiastic German members, and also to all the recipients of these postcards, who welcome them with open arms mailboxes!

Our heartfelt thank you to Deutsche Post, for partnering with the Postcrossing community and making this possible. Being a non-profit organization, funding is super important for Stiftung Lesen to run their various programs, but also to do research into different aspects of literacy! For instance, they’re trying to answer big questions like, how are reading behaviors affected by different media, and whether teenagers read differently than adults. It’s by studying these issues that they’re able to make policy recommendations, that in turn contribute to sustainable social development.

And as always at the end of the campaign, Paulo runs his magical script to randomly choose the recipients of vouchers for the Deutsche Post shop. If you’re in Germany and sent at least one postcard last December, keep an eye on your inbox for a message from Postcrossing soon. You might be one of our winners!


It’s the best time of the year — the time when Postcrossing postcards count for a good cause! It’s hard to believe that this year celebrates the 10th anniversary of this partnership between Postcrossing and Deutsche Post… Ten years have flown by, and in this time, many people have improved their reading and writing skills in Germany with the help of this community. Hurray!

By now, most of you know how this goes, but let’s recap once more for the new postcrossers:

For every postcard sent from Germany through Postcrossing during the month of December, Deutsche Post will make a donation of €0.10 to the non-profit organization Stiftung Lesen (Reading Foundation).

An hand-drawn blue chest of drawers has a string of letters and envelopes flying from an open drawer. That’s it! If you’re in Germany, now is the right time to stock on postcards and stamps… especially the new Postcrossing stamp! 😍 Once December starts, every postcard you send during that month (that arrives before the end of February 2023) will count towards this good cause. But that is not all, as your postcards could also help you win one of these cool prizes:

  • 1 voucher worth €100, to use in Deutsche Post Online Shop
  • 5 vouchers worth €50 each, to use in Deutsche Post Online Shop

The more postcards you send, the more you’ll be helping, and the higher are your chances of winning a voucher to spend on Deutsche Post’s shop. Paulo will run his random number generator in March 2023, and we’ll reveal the total amount of postcards sent (and money raised to Stiftung Lesen) on a new blog post. Last edition, €13,729.90 were raised for this good cause, which was just brilliant!

Many of us are not in Germany though, and I know what you’re thinking… how can WE help? It’s easy — we just need to register the postcards we receive extra promptly! In the next few weeks, a lot postcards from Germany are going to be making their way to our mailboxes and the sooner we register them, the sooner it will be possible for that sender to mail another postcard. :)

Stiftung LesenStiftung Lesen is a German non-profit organization, working to increase literacy in the population, especially among children and adolescents. Their activities include reading clubs, media literacy projects and initiatives to promote the learning of German language by refugee families in the country. Many of us go through life taking these basic skills for granted, but for those who struggle with them, a small improvement in this area can be life-changing. The work Stiftung Lesen does is super important, and we’re glad for this chance to support them.

We hope you will all join in on the 10th anniversary edition of the “Cards for Literacy” campaign, and are as excited as we are to help others with our postcards!

P.S. – Postcrossing respects your personal information and will not share it with any company without your explicit permission. The full details of this campaign can be read here (German only).


Hurray! The German Postcrossing stamp is out and about, and the first postcards sent with it must already be arriving to the nearest mailboxes this week, and making its way around the world to many others out there. It’s been a long while since we attended a stamp launch event, so we wanted to show you a little bit of what happened in this latest one, which took place in Berlin on October 7.

The Museum of Communications Berlin very generously offered to host the day’s events, which were organized in two parts: one formal event, and the more informal meetup of postcrossers.

For the formal part, representatives of the Ministry of Finance, Deutsche Post, the Bundesdruckerei (the company responsible for printing ID cards, money and stamps in Germany), as well as philatelic associations and Postcrossing gathered in a room of the museum. Some nice speeches were made by the different parts, including an introduction to the history of postcards by the Museum Director Mrs Anja Schaluschke, as well as a speech by state secretary Dr Carsten Pillath, who also distributed special stamp albums. Although designer Greta Gröttrup couldn’t attend the event, she prepared this cute video which sheds some light on her creative process:

After some pictures, it was time for the meetup to begin!

The Lichthof (the circular hall of the Museum of Communications) was set up with tables and chairs, and postcrossers started pouring in. Some took a guided tour of the museum, while others sat down to chat and write some postcards together. We had the chance to talk with most participants for a bit, and it was just lovely to meet different people and hear their Postcrossing stories.

A big green banner welcomes newcomers to the Postcrossing event at the museum. In the background, the great hall can be seen Groups of postcrossers spread around in tables, writing postcards at the Museum for Communications' large hall

There was even time for a group picture, taken by Sabine (aka kroete68)!

A few dozen postcrossers wave to the camera in the museum. In front, a banner stating Postcrossing can be seen.

You can see more nice pictures of the event at the Museum’s Twitter page or on the respective meetup forum topic.

Six postcards lay flat on a table, featuring the new stamp and special cancellation mark

It was such a fun afternoon, with so many postcards being written and sent! Deutsche Post’s special post office was super busy stamping our cards and even ran out of the new stamps. 😅

Commemorative cards and cancellation marks

A big thanks to the group of postcrossers who put such a nice event together, to those who came and made it brilliant, and to the Museum of Communications Berlin as well, for hosting all of us on this lovely day. Hurray!

We got some special commemorative folded cards featuring the new stamp, its cancellation marks and two detachable postcards created by the stamp designer — and have a few to give away! For a chance to win one, leave a comment below with some ideas for fun meetings and stamp celebrations. The giveaway will run for a week, and Paulo’s random number generator will select ten winners by this time next Sunday. Good luck!

And the winners of this giveaway, as chosen by Paulo’s random number generator are… ashcubes, Puceron, triplightly, rubber_ducky, davedrolll, industria, Axolotl_, margreetbtn, geo_ and -Hector-. Congratulations everyone, thank you for taking part and sharing your suggestions!


The much-awaited day is here, and the new German Postcrossing stamp is finally out! YAY! 🎉 This is a very happy day for the community, who have been persistently asking for this stamp for many years. As Germany is home to the most active country by number of postcards sent, this is a well-deserved honor and a special milestone, which makes us incredibly proud. Our heartfelt thank you to the Federal Ministry of Finance, for deeming Postcrossing and this community worthy of this recognition, and for working with us throughout this whole process.

We know some of you in Germany have already received your pre-orders to Deutsche Post’s philatelic department…

A few sheets of Postcrossing stamps are seen strewn on a table.

… and we assume the rest of German postcrossers will march to the nearest post office today, to proudly ask for the Postcrossing stamp — like we are going to do as soon as this post is out. The print run for the stamp is 3.5 million stamps, so at the current rate of sending from Germany, these should last for 3 to 4 years… so there will be plenty to go around. Given how fleißig our German members are at writing postcards, we’re sure it’s just a matter of time until everyone else in Postcrossing receives a postcard with the new stamp… so keep an eye on your mailbox for this little gem! 😍

The stamp is available here, but sadly, Deutsche Post’s online shop does not ship their products abroad… so while it is theoretically possible to order the stamp from abroad through the phone or email, it is both cumbersome and costly. If you’d like to order some stamps, we recommend arranging a swap with a postcrosser on the forum instead.

Tomorrow (October 7) is a day for celebrations, and we’re getting together with a group of enthusiastic postcrossers for a big meetup, kindly hosted by the Museum of Communications, in Berlin. The Little Mail Carriers have been there before, and can confirm it’s a really neat museum for a visit… there are so many treasures to discover! If you’re in town, please do consider joining us — everyone is welcome!


It’s not everyday one gets an invitation to learn more about the history of printing presses and how they work… so when the invitation came, the Little Mail Carriers jumped into their envelope and made their way to the north of Germany, where the newly revamped Museumsdruckerei Hoya (Hoya’s Printing Museum) is re-opening today! Here they are, to tell you all about what you can discover inside.

Being Mail Carriers, we hold many paper goods in our hands every day. These are letters and postcards in various sizes and colors with all kinds of stamps on them – lots of printed and written paper. Like thousands of postcrossers in the world, we are fascinated by stationery, paper and other printed matters. So are our hosts Claas (aka Speicher3) and Christine (aka Reisegern), who have shown us today how the printed letters and images have been applied to paper since ages.

They invited us to come with them to Hoya, a small town on the river Weser in Northern Germany.

The Little Mail Carriers look onto the Hoya bridge

Once we arrive in the letterpress printing office Museumsdruckerei Hoya, we are welcomed by Michael Linke, who built up an amazing collection of printing presses and types over thirty years.

Overview of the museum, showing lots of printing presses and wooden drawers Rows of wooden chests of drawers, filled with letterpress letters

Right at the entrance of the museum, we spot a figurine on a wooden construction. Michael, who’s that?

There are two images: on the left, Michael is standing by a desk, laughing. A poster lies on the table. On the right, there's a mini statue of Gutenberg, and the Little Mail Carriers are standing next to it.

“That’s Johannes Gutenberg, Michael explains. “The figurine is placed on a reproduction of the Gutenberg printing press. Gutenberg is known as the inventor of modern printing.” While we drink some coffee and eat butterkuchen, a typical northern German cake, Michael tells us about the history of printing:

"Already several thousand years ago, simple printed (stamped) seals were used in Egypt and Mesopotamia. More progressive printing technologies were developed in China more than a thousand years ago. For printing books, in the beginning whole pages were carved into wooden blocks, later on moveable letters were invented. That made printing much easier, though for printing something in Chinese, a lot of different characters were needed.

“In Europe, books were mainly multiplied in monasteries by copyists — all handwritten. Until at the end of the Middle Ages, in the 15th century, Johannes Gutenberg triggered a gigantic media revolution. He used moveable letters made from new materials, found a new ink recipe and invented a special printing press. He combined known printing technologies and his inventions to an efficient printing system. This allowed inexpensive, high-quality mass media production for the first time. The Gutenberg printing system spread across Europe and the whole world.”

But what are moveable letters? Michael encourages us to explore the printing workshop, where we find an aisle full of drawers.

A set of three images filled with letter

Opening them, we discover an overwhelming amount of moveable letters in different sizes and fonts. Yay, let’s take some of them and build a word! It’s a bit complicated, as all those letters are mirrored.

The Little Mail Carriers spell out the word Postcrossing in reverse on a tray, using moveable type.

Michael lets us know: “Before the invention of digital printing, all printed texts were composed by typesetters. They put every single character of the texts line by line into composing sticks, which were then transferred to the printing press.” Wow, what an effort! Can you imagine how many types a typesetter has to handle for a daily newspaper?

In another drawer we find images that look like rubber stamps, but they are made of metal instead of rubber, some very old ones even are woodcuts.

The Little Mail Carriers stand in a drawer, surrounded with old wooden stamps, that can be printed

Let’s take some and see what they look like when they are printed! We’ll combine them with the text we composed in the composing stick. For our first printing experiments, we use a very simple printing press. We put our design in there, add printing ink, lay a sheet of paper on top, close the lid and press firmly.

Images of the printing process: adding ink and lifting the paper after printing Several papers with images printed in the letter press machine. One paper reads Postkarte and Postcrossing, and has two postal horns

That’s fun! Look, the images at the bottom of the page seem to be postal stamps. Michael, would that be possible? Michael explains: “Of course. Stamps were also printed with so-called printing clichés (that’s the name of those images).”

Does this mean, we could print our own stamps in this printing workshop? 🤔 “Good idea!”, Michael says, “We can print your personal stamps here. Did you iron your uniforms? I’ll take a photo of you.” With those photos, a metal cliché is being produced.

The Little Mail Carriers stand in front of the steel plate (cliché) that was made with their photos. The plate show the images and text in reverse

We are so excited! The cliché is fixed in a big printing press. Now we have to work very accurately, because if the height of the image is off by even a tenth of a millimeter, it can make a difference that’s visible in the quality of the print.

The Little Mail Carriers put their plate in the machine securely in place

Can we now print? “I think you forgot something”, says Michael. “You need to grab some printing ink.”

A close-up photo of two tubes of ink, with other ink tubs in the background The Little Mail Carriers stand on top of several tubs of dark ink. The ink is black and looks very sticky

Oh gosh, that’s some thick, sticky stuff. Michael smirks and shows us his totally paint-smeared work coat. “Indeed. If you get that onto your uniform, you won’t be able to remove the stains ever again.”

For this printing press, we don’t need to hand-ink the composition. Instead, we put the ink onto the rollers of the printing press and can print our stamps. Oh, they are wonderful, aren’t they? While the ink is drying, we have some snack and listen to Michael, who tells us more about printing history.

The finished print is shown on the letterpress machine, with the Little Mail Carriers standing in front of it

“Gutenberg’s invention initiated meaningful social developments. Through the mass printing of texts, knowledge, information and opinions could suddenly be spread much easier, more widely and without the control of state and church. Just like today with the internet, many more people were able to access knowledge or publish their own texts through the printing press than ever before.”

Enlightening! We never thought about all that.

Our prints are dry now. But something’s missing. Our stamps cannot be taken apart from each other. So more accurate work is needed for perforating our stamps with a vintage perforating machine.

A hand holds a sheet of stamps, which are being perforated in an old machine

Done! Now we can send out postcards with our own decorative stamps in addition to the normal postage.

Nowadays, most printed matters are being produced with offset or laser printing technologies. We enjoyed our visit to the museum printing office with all those fascinating machines, strange sounds and odors.

Michael and the Little Mail Carriers The Little Mail Carriers sit atop a box, itself on top of a drawer with moveable type

Thank you Michael, we love our stamps. What’s next? “Let’s grab some ice cream and enjoy the evening on the banks of the river Weser.” A great suggestion, Michael!

Information: Michael decided to commit his collection to the public, and now the newly founded association Museumsdruckerei Hoya “Zwiebelfisch” is responsible for running the place. Speicher3 and Reisegern are members of the association. The museum’s website (in German) is, and you can also find it on Facebook: Museumsdruckerei Hoya (no login required!).

Our huge thank you to Claas, Christine and Michael, for this fantastic tour and giveaway! The Museum is opening today again after a long break, and we’re excited to see this beautiful collection be shared with the public, so that people can learn from it and make beautiful things. Hurray!

Reisegern and Speicher3 would like to give away five of the stamp sheets* that were printed with the Little Mail Carriers to the readers of the Postcrossing Blog. If you’d like to win one of these, leave a comment below sharing a memory concerning letterpress machines, suggesting what the next thing we should print should be or what we should write about on our website! The giveaway will run for a week, and Paulo’s random number generator will select five winners by this time next Saturday. Good luck!

A sheet of six cinderella stamps with images of the little mail carriers profiles

(*) Please note that these are Cinderella stamps and cannot be used for postage on your outgoing mail.

And the winners of this giveaway, as chosen by Paulo’s random number generator are… joyoustmjp, paicontea, pbjohnny5, kaitmmo and evbirch! Congratulations everyone, thank you for your enthusiastic participation!