Occupation zones in Germany after the Second World War, printed on necessity paper

GERMANY: MAP OF THE OCCUPATION AREAS [:] KARTE DER BASATZUNGS-ZONEN. Frankfurt am Main: Atlanta Service, [late 1945].
Lithograph printed in colors on necessity paper, 16”h x 20”w at neat line plus margins. A few cities in the American zone underlined in red, some soiling and staining, printer’s crease at upper right, and some wear along old folds.

An evocative map depicting the occupation zones in Germany at the end of the Second World War, featuring the flags of the occupying powers and printed on necessity paper.

The map delineates the Allied occupation zones in Germany as established by the Potsdam Conference of July-August, 1945. The Russian zone is pink, the American blue, the English purple, and the French red-white-blue. To the east Poland is colored with pink stripes, reflecting its status as a nominally independent country under Soviet control.

The map was published in 1945 by Atlanta GmbH, a “Company for international advertising for industry, export and traffic” operating in Frankfurt. The reality of military occupation is highlighted by a note in the lower-left margin, according to which the map was “designed and distributed with approval of the military government”. Legally, at least, the occupation lasted until 1949, when in May the three western zones were merged to form the Federal Republic of Germany, and in October the Soviet zone was constituted as the German Democratic Republic.

This example of the map is particularly interesting for being printed on the back of a 1933 German-language map of the Ardennes commune of Francheval. Such uses of necessity paper are occasionally seen on maps printed during the war years, tangible evidence of the prevalent shortages of consumer goods due to the redirection of production toward military supplies as well as the outright destruction of productive capacity.

Another version of the map[1] was issued the following year, roughly the same size but with a different layout and also indicating the occupation zones in Austria.

Rumsey #9046.