Imperial Russian Brailov, Podolia guberniya, was a small town south east of the regional centre of Vinnitsa and north west of Zhmerinka. In the 1890s it had a population of about 9000, of whom about 4000 were classified as Jews. By the mid 1920s the population had shrunk to around 3000 and nearly 100% were Jewish. A Pogrom in 1919, during Denikin's White Army occupation of Ukraine, had left 20 dead and a hundred women raped.
The Shpits Jewish family in Brailov included several brothers and sisters born around 1900. Here is one of them, Yakov, writing in August 1918 to the Austro-Hungarian Command in Vinnitsa. He writes in Russian on the front and German on the back and gives his own name (preceded by his status - "Student") and address on the reverse of the card:
Yakov had an important request to make of the Austro - Hungarian Command. He writes in German - my guess is that his mother tongue was Yiddish and possibly his mother script - which I translate as follows:
Please give me a Pass [ Erlaubnis] for travelling to Crimea, to the town of Yalta, where one finds the University, where I am a student. I must travel there in a few days to learn and without a Pass from the Command one cannot travel to Crimea.
Student Yakov SchpitzThe Austro - Hungarian Command endorsed the card on the front, top left, with a cachet reading GESEHEN [Seen] and two or three other words which I can't read.
Soviet Ukrainian Brailiv was occupied by German troops on 17 July 1941 and most of the remaining Jewish population was liquidated locally between February and August 1942.
* See Alexander Epstein, "The Postal Rates of Independent Ukraine 1918 - 1920" in Ukrainian Philatelist # 92 (2004)