(mm) The Hans Wagner Medal is the second-oldest philatelic award in Germany. It was installed on 22 April by the German ‘Verein für Briefmarkenkunde 1885 e.V. Mainz’. The aim was to honour the merits of Hans Wagner (‘father’ of the German ‘Deutsche Philatelistentage’ and promotor of the unification of philatelic associations under a common umbrella). Since 1910, club leaders and researchers have been awarded this medal for outstanding philatelic activity. It is awarded only about every five years. It is considered by many to be the most representative award in the philatelic field.
Lothar Both, the chairman of the Mainz association, recently honoured Wolfgang Maassen from Schwalmtal. Maassen was also awarded for his previous work. Wolfgang Maassen (born in 1949) worked for the official German league of philatelist (BDPh) for nearly 40 years. He acted 28 years as the Editor of the German stamp magazine “philatelie”. He was active as press officer, team manager and/or organiser during three important exhibitions: IBRA 99 in Nürnberg, IBRA/NAPOSTA 2009 in Essen and IPHLA 2012 in Mainz. He is the only German philatelist who was jointly responsible for three international exhibitions on German soil.
Numerous are his publications, which include more than 80 book publications and over four thousand articles. The number of the awards that he gathered from all over the world can hardly be overlooked.
The list of winners of the Hans Wagner Medal during the last 25 years is short. The list includes only five names of prominent philatelists: Peter Fischer, Berlin (1992), August Wahn, Heilbronn (1995), Consul Hermann Walter Sieger, Lorch/Württemberg. (1999), Reiner Wyszomirski, Langen (2004) and Eckart Bergmann, Arnstad (2011). Legendary names are also found among the other receivers of the medal. For example, Victor Suppantschitsch (1918), Hugo Krötzsch (1920), Arthur Ernst Glasewald (1925), Ludwig Hesshaimer (1928), Erich Stenger (1931) and Franz Kalckhoff (1947). Maassen has written extensive philatelic essays about some of the aforementioned persons.