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]
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!ReplyDelete