1995 32¢ Refugees
WWI – 1945: Victory at Last
Issue Date: September 2, 1995
City: Honolulu, HI
Quantity: 5,000,000 panes of 20
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
The fifth and final installment of the World War II series commemorates the 50th anniversary of the war's final year. Titled "1945: Victory at Last," these 10 stamps chronicle the events leading to Germany's surrender, the Japanese surrender, and ultimately the Allied victory. Nearly 300,000 American service personnel lost their lives between 1941 and 1945.
During World War II destructive force was used against civilians in an unprecedented manner. Civilians were specifically targeted, and subjected to starvation, bombing raids, massacres, epidemics, and other war-related hazards. The results were catastrophic.
The war uprooted millions of people – more than 12 million were displaced in Europe alone. These included orphans, prisoners of war, Holocaust survivors, and people who had fled from armies and war-torn areas. Many people left their homes due to the reorganization of natural boundaries during the war – large numbers of Germans had moved into Poland, Czechoslovakia, and other Eastern European countries under Nazi control, but they were later expelled. After the war many refugees from Eastern European nations were unwilling to return to their homelands due to the totalitarian communist governments that had taken power.
To remedy this immense problem the Allies created the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration or UNRRA. It first began operating in 1944 in areas freed from Nazi occupation. UNRRA efforts involved setting up camps that supplied food, clothing, and medical care. In 1947 there were still one million refugees in the camps waiting for homes.