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Saturday 20 April 2013

Last Chance to Write: Final Examples from World War Two

This Blog continues the story introduced in the previous two Blogs, looking at letters at the beginning of World War Two following routes which would soon be closed down.

The first cover shown below was sent Air Mail from TEL AVIV 29 NOV 1939 and addressed in English to "Kolomyja" in Poland - though at this point, already in Russian Occupied Eastern Poland. Censored in Tel Aviv  it was routed via Athens - the roller cancel on the reverse is dated 4 XII ... From Athens it travelled to Moscow - a MOSKVA 20 12 39 transit mark also appears on the reverse.
I don't think I have seen the Cyrillic cancellation on the front before. It reads KOLOMYJA / STANISL[aviv] OBL[ast] 12 I 1940. It is not in any Soviet style of this period - there are no Soviet emblems - and it looks as it it has been improvised. But the most important fact about this letter is that it arrived: [Click On  Images to Magnify]

The second cover shown below was sent Express from VILNIUS 22 5 41, just one month before Operation Barbarossa began. The Soviet franking totals 1 rouble 40 kopecks. The letter is addressed to Mersin [Mersina] in Turkey and on the back of the cover is the arrival cancel 17 6 41. From there it was forwarded to Tel Aviv via Cairo - on the reverse there is a CAIRO 3 JLY roller cancel. There is an indistinct roller cancel which is probably a Palestine cancel but the green Palestine Censor tape on its owncan be taken as proof of arrival: [Click On Images to Magnify]

1 comment:

  1. Interesting about the first cover's stamp for Kolomyja is that it is written in Ukrainian rather than Russian. This, despite Stalin's crackdown on non-Russian language and culture from the mid-1930s, and the swift takeover of local institutions in the occupied territories by party functionaries!