The History of ARGE Bulgaria


We are a group of philatelists interested in Bulgaria and East Rumelia, and since July 2000 we are registered as a working association in the German Federation of Philatelists (BDPh).

But first things first…It all began on November 7, 1999 with a meeting of five enthusiastic collectors of Bulgaria and East Rumelia in Weinheim, invited by Bernd Kleren. This event laid the foundations for our present association.

The founders:
T. Hitzler, R. Simmermacher,
R. Weinbrecht, B. Kleren, G, Dönau (l.to.r.)


A short overview, leading back to the most important steps in our history

  • 2015

    2015: Spring. A new website (Design Bar – Eduardo Pampinella) is launched in German and English.

  • 2014

    October 12, 2014: Eighth general assembly in Dresden: Election of a new board: 1. Chairman – Kasper de Jong, 2. Chairman – Dr. Georgi Popov. Waltraud Kokot is appointed editor of newsletters (starting with RB 30). Thomas Hitzler is confirmed as treasurer.

    October 23-25, 2014: Info-booth at the international stamp fair in Sindelfingen

    November 2014 First bi-lingual edition (RB 30) of the newsletter (in German and English)

  • 2013

    March 2013: Info-booth in Munich. Because of increased costs, the ARGE decides to run only one booth per year in the future.

    September 5-8, 2013: International Philatelic Salon in Sofia with one exhibit about East Rumelia (T. Hitzler)

    October 2013: International exhibition “BULCOLLECTO” in Plovdiv with two exhibits (out of competition) about the Crimean War in Bulgaria 1854, and about Bulgarian Zeppelin post (Dr. G. Popov).

  • 2012

    March 2012: Info-booth in Munich

    August 5, 2012: Seventh general assembly in Tönning. Dr. Georgi Popov announces his plans to retire from the post of 1. Chairman at the next general assembly in 2014. Also Manfred Jannasch announces his plans for imminent retirement from his work as editor of the newsletters.

    October 25-27, 2012: Info-booth at the international stamp fair in Sindelfingen.

    November 2-4, 2012: Joint info-booth of the cooperating associations of Balkan philately at the exhibition of philatelic literature IPHLA in Mainz.

  • 2011

    November 10-18 2011: Info-booth with two exhibits at the international exhibition HABRIA 2011 in Hannover (Dr. G. Popov).

  • 2010

    November 2010: Sixth general assembly in Friedrichroda/Thüringen. The whole board is re-elected unanimously.

  • 2009

    March 2009: First edition of our newsletter (RB 20) on the occasion of our 10th anniversary.
    May 2009 Info-booth at the IBRA / NAPOSTA stamp fair in Essen.
    The ARGE is represented by several members at the FEPA exhibition BULGARIA 2009 in Sofia.

    October 23.-25. 2009: Info-booth at the international stamp fair in Sindelfingen

  • 2007 / 2008

    At the end of 2007 Bernd Kleren retires from the beard and is appointed honorary chairman, until his sudden death on September 18, 2008. .

    Also in 2007 2007 Mr. Leins retires from the job of webmaster. Our new member Massimo De Tommaso, graphic and web designer, takes over and the website is actualized again after several years..

    April 2008: In Sofia, the ARGE decides on an agreement with the Association of Bulgarian Philatelists about the exchange of publications and the translation of articles.

    From left to right:
    Boncho Bonev (President of the Philatelic Club of Sofia),
    G. Popov, Raicho Raichev during negotiations in Sofia, April 2008.

    October 2008: Fifth general assembly in Freyburg / Unstrut. Kasper de Jong is elected as 2. Chairman and takes over the area of „public relations“.

  • 2006

    September 2006: Fourth general assembly in Oberhof/Thüringen. For health reasons Bernd Kleren retires from the post of 1. Chairperson and is replaced by Dr. Georgi Popov.

  • 2004

    November 6, 2004: Third general assembly in Weinheim. Main theme: our 5th anniversary!
    The year 2004 offers two majors reasons for celebration: the 125th anniversary of the Bulgarian Postal Services, and the 5th anniversary of our ARGE Bulgaria. These events are celebrated with a special personalized stamp edited by the Austrian post.

  • 2002

    May 4, 2002: Second general assembly in Weinheim. Most important decision: to launch a series of publications

  • 2001

    February 08. – 11. 2001: First info-booth at the “Berliner Briefmarkentage International”, with regional meeting..

    October 2001: Second info-booth at the international stamp fair in Sindelfingen. Two more regional meetings also in October 2001 in Saalfeld / Thüringen and in Sindelfingen.

  • 2000

    May 20, 2000: First general assembly in Weinheim. Adoption of the present statutes (Satzung) and election of the first board. Application for registration as a working association within the German Federation of Philatelists (BDPh).

    Since July 1, 2000 we are a registered member of BDPh e.V.

    November 2000: Agreement between the associations Bulgaria, Greece, Yugoslavia/Follower States and Ottoman Empire/Turkey about co-operation in the area of Balkan philately.
    In the first two years, we also organized six regional meetings (several of them at international stamp exhibitions) to bring our members together, to discuss philatelic problems and to offer opportunities for exchange.