Friday, November 23, 2012

Užuguostis 1935

This is a cover sent in 1935 from Užuguostis to Kaišiadorys.  Užuguostis is a village with a population of little less than 300, not so far from the destination of the letter Kaišiadorys. Thanks to the postmark, it mentions the name of the district (in this case Trakų apskritis/Trakai district) so it was easy to locate this village. But.. isn't Trakai (Troki in Polish at that time) occupied by Poles in 1935? Yes, and it is the same as it has been done to Vilnius. Vilnius was the official capital of Lithuania in 1935 but the function of the capital city was transferred to Kaunas as "temporary capital". The same thing happened here, the administrative function of Trakų apskritis/Trakai district was "temporarily" moved to Kaišiadorys, therefore it carried the name of Trakai even though Trakai itself was in Polish hands. What was different, is that part of Trakai district remained in Lithuanian hands so the district was divided in 2 parts both named Trakai district (Powiat Trocki in Polish). In that respect, we can say that it was more similar to Kreis Tilsit than Vilnius. When Memelgebiet was detached from the rest of Germany as the result of WWI,  Kreis Tilsit/Tilsit district was divided in 2 parts by the border but both sides remained as "Tilsit district" until 1922. Some postmarks such as the post office of Kamščiai /Kampspowilken for example, had the inscription "Kreis Tilsit" even though the city of Tilsit itself was on the other side of the border.
It is amazing that a simple postmark can be a witness of such complicated history. 2 different "Trakai district" existed simultaneously... It reminds me a bit of a TV show I'm watching now called "Fringe" with 2 alternate universes but it is so irrelevant to philately so I'd better finish this post...

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