Sunday, May 24, 2015

Joniškis 1913

Hebrew text on the back

from Янишки / Yanishki to Двинск / Dvinsk

This is a postal stationery sent in 1913 from Янишки / Yanishki (now Joniškis, Lithuania), Ков (Kovno gubernia) to Двинск / Dvinsk (now Daugavpils, Latvia). Nice arrival cancel of Двинск город.  / Dvinsk city! It has again the old manuscript looking Jewish text on the back which was the major reason why I bought this card in the first place. Prewar Joniškis had a large number of Jewish people with some fine Synagogues which were very recently restored.

Joniškis 1965

This is a cover sent in 1965 from Йонишкис / Joniškis, Lithuania SSR to Montrose, Angus in Scotland, UK. I particularly like the three sport stamps on the cover, which are the ones to commemorate the 1965 Спартакиада / Spartakiada, a major sport event in USSR.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Šiauliai 1916

Schaulen - Postamt / Šiauliai - Post office

This is a German military field post (Feldpost) card of the post office building in Schaulen (now Šiauliai, Lithuania) sent in 1916 to Bremen, Germany during the WWI German occupation. The postcard tells us only that it is a post office in Šiauliai so I'm sure about exactly which post office it is referring to but I can tell you for sure that it is not the main post office building used during the Imperial Russian time. It is most probably a building occupied by the German military not far from the railway station and used to house the field post office. The card itself has been sent from the field post of the 41st infantry division.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Linkuva 1912?

This is an Imperial Russian postal stationery sent from Линково / Linkovo (now Linkuva, Lithuania), Ков (Kovno gubernia) to Riga. From the postmark it looks like it is 1912 but I'm not 100% sure. On the bottom left of the front, there is a part of Riga arrival machine cancel with the typical three lines. Unfortunately, the card has traces of folds but the Hebrew text on the back makes it look like an Indiana Jones old manuscript! I have absolutely no knowledge of the Hebrew language though...

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Lauksargiai 1941

This is a German semi-postal stationery sent in 1941 from Laugszargen (now Lauksargiai, Lithuania) to Göttingen, Germany. It has a nice commemorative cancel of "Rückführung der Volksdeutschen aus Litauen" which can be translated as the repatriation of ethnic Germans from Lithuania. Laugszargen was a town in former Memelgebiet with a railway station bordering Lithuania. When it was re-annexed by the Third Reich in 1939, it served has repatriation gate to Germany for the ethnic Germans living in Lithuania.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Šiauliai 1923

This is a cover sent in 1923 from the Žemės ūkio kooperatyvų sąjunga „Gamintojas” in Šiauliai to Taastrup, Denmark. Žemės ūkio kooperatyvų sąjunga „Gamintojas” was one of the numerous trade unions of coorperatives established throughout Lithuania during the early 1920's. In 1927, Gamintojas was eventually absorbed by „Lietūkis“, another agricultural coorperatives union based in Kaunas.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Ukmergė 1899

Вилыкомıр / Vilkomir (now Ukmergė, Lithuania) 

Бердичев / Berdichev, Киевская губерния / Kiev gubernia

Клинцы / Klintsy,  Черниговская губерния / Chernigov gubernia

ГордѢевка / Gordejevka, Черниговская губерния / Chernigov gubernia

This is a postal stationery sent in 1899 from Вилыкомıр / Vilkomir (now Ukmergė, Lithuania) to ГордѢевка / Gordejevka, Черниговская губерния (Chernigov gubernia), now spelled Гордеевка / Gordeevka in modern Russian. What's interesting about this cover is not the front but rather the back of the cover with multiple of postmarks for a non-registered, non-express just regular domestic postal transaction. It is a bit confusing for the readers who are not really familiar with cyrillic alphabets so I'm gonna first list down the postmarks in chronological order:

1. front: Вилыкомıр / Vilkomir (now Ukmergė, Lithuania) 3 February 1899
2. back: Бердичев / Berdichev, Киевская губерния / Kiev gubernia (now Бердичів / Berdychiv, Ukraine) 8 February 1899 - the postmark uses the abbreviation "Киевск. г." / Kievsk. g.
3. back: Клинцы / Klintsy, Черниговская губерния / Chernigov gubernia, (now it is part of Bryansk Oblast, Russian Federation) 9 February 1899 - the postmark uses the abbreviation "Черниг. г." / Chernig. g.
4. back: ГордѢевка / Gordejevka, Черниговская губерния / Chernikov gubernia (now Гордеевка / Gordeevka, Bryansk Oblast, Russian Federation) 10 February 1899 - the postmark uses the abbreviation "Черниг. г." / Chernig. g.

What I don't get in this, is: why sending via Kiev gubernia? It's probably easier to understand if I post a map so I've looked the driving route from Бердичів / Berdychiv, Ukraine to Гордеевка / Gordeevka, Russia on Google map with Vilnius on it as well. Here it is:
Car route from Berdychev to Gordeevka via Kiev and Klintsy on Google map

Looking on this map, you can see this totally wasted and useless 500km journey by sending first to Berdychiv, Ukraine. I do not have any concrete evidence but after couple days of research, I have come up with 2 possible reasons.
Normally, most of the mail going from Vilnius to Chernigov gubernia at that time, it would go via Minsk and Gomel which is pretty much a straight line and literally the shortest way, there was even a railway post for it. For some reason, it couldn't take this route and instead went through the railway post Vilnius - Rovno (now Rivne, Ukraine). Berdychiv is located in the middle of the railway line Rovno - Kiev, itself has a station and is an important railway junction. But it still doesn't explain why Berdychiv and not a Kiev or Rovno connection postmark.
Now the second possible reason. When I was looking at Berdychiv on an old Imperial Russian map I was very confused to find a town called Гордевка / Gordevka (now Гордіївка / Gordiivka, Ukraine) right next to Berdychiv. Doesn't it sound familiar? Gordeevka, Russia and Gordevka, Ukraine, I think that it could have been a simple mistake of destination by the post office.

Whatever the conclusion, I really had fun researching those locations and the postmarks. That what really counts anyway, isn't it?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Žagarė 1924

This is a Russian new year's postcard locally used in 1924 within the town of Žagarė. I know the card is not in perfect shape but I bought it anyway because it is damaged in a right way which gives somehow an authenticity of the antiqueness. I'm not sure how to describe it exactly. Žagarė is definitely not a big town so it is in a way unusual to see a locally used card. But why use a new year card on 29th of February? hm... beats me... I know that the Russians used to celebrate new year in January 17 (or are they still?) according to the Gregorian calender but still there is a big gap between February 29.