Latvia: Baron von Münchhausen

Hieronymus Karel Frederik Baron von Münchhausen was born on May 11,1720, in Bodenwerder a.d. Weser. At a joung age he went into service as squire to Anton Ulrich von Brunswijk. When von Brunswijk became the lieutenant-colonel and commander of a Russian trooper regiment, von Münchhausen was appointed, by imperial decision, to cornet and a year later to lieutenant of the regiment, encamped at Riga.

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These are historical facts and they explain why Latvia (capital Riga) honoured the German Baron with a stamp. The adventures of the Baron - he did not know it - are written by Rudolf Erich Raspe, who knew von Münchhausen personnely in Göttingen. 

When Raspe was in London and needed money, he "remembered" the stories about von Münchhausen and wrote a book. In the book the Baron is followed on his campaigns in Germany, Russia (Riga) and in the battle against the Turks.

The bees on the stamp are found in chapter 6 of the book. The Baron was made a prisoner of war and sold for a slave. As a slave he kept the Sultan's bees. As you can seen on the stamp the Baron has taken this job very seriously.

by Jan de Crom  
taken from "The Postal Bee" 2/2006 
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