By Hal Klein

The Overrun Countries Series is comprised of 13 stamps, issued in tribute to countries overrun and occupied by the Axis powers, as follows: Poland, Czechoslovakia, Norway, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Greece, Yugoslavia, Albania, Austria, Denmark, and Korea. All of these stamps are of 5-cent denomination, 84/100 by 1 44/100 inches in dimension, arranged horizontally, and issued in sheets of 50 stamps each.
The central subjects, which are surface printed, reproduce in natural colors the flags of the respective countries with the name of the country underneath. Rays of light extend from behind the central subjects to the outer frames. The main frames of the stamps, steel engraved, are printed in purple and depict on the left the phoenix, a mythological bird symbolizing the renewal of life, and on the right, in a corresponding position, a kneeling female figure portraying the breaking of the shackles of oppression and enforced servitude. Both figures are supported by pedestals on which, in oval-shaped panels with dark ground, the numeral 5 is indicated in white. These pedestals rest on a panel, in which appears the word "Cents" in white-faced Roman. Immediately back of the wording the panel is of a darker shade fading out at each end. Across the top of the stamps are the words "United States Postage" in white-faced Gothic, within a ruled panel with ornamental scroll ends.
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Treasury Department, contracted with the American Bank Note Co., New York, N.Y., for printing of these stamps to take advantage of their special multicolor printing equipment.