Friday, April 12, 2013

Panevėžys 1916

This is a postcard sent in 1916 from the Field post (Feldpost) station No. 216 located in Poniewiecz (now Panevėžys, Lithuania). I get the feeling that everytime I see a WW1 postcard of Panevėžys, the name is spelled differently. In my last post of Panevėžys postcard, it was written "Ponnewesch" (posted on January 21, 2013), in other posts either "Poniewiesz" or "Poniewiez". The German Postgebiet Ob. Ost postal authority used the spelling "Poniewiez" in their postmark but why is it that there were so many version in these German postcards? I haven't found the answer on the internet but to me it seems obvious. The "ż" sound in the Polish spelling of "Poniewież" ("ž" in Lithuanian, "ж" in Russian) was simply unavailable in German language so they couldn't spell it properly anyway since they weren't really an official name in German (During WW2, they finally gave a German name "Ponewesch").
Now let's go back to the postcard. The church on the postcard is called the Holly Trinity church (Švč. Trejybės bažnyčia in Lithuanian) which is still standing nowdays but looking a bit different. The 3 typical Russian Orthodox oval tower can be seen but the presently, it is replaced by a single Catholic looking sharp bell tower. It is amazing how the tiny single bell tower can totally change the impression of the church. According to the Lithuanian version of Wikipedia, the Germans used this church complex for a P.O.W. (prisoner of war) camp. What you see on the picture of this postcard is probably that.
There is a hole look-a-like damage on this postcard. I thought it was somehow burnt but I've actually tried myself to burn a piece of carton paper with a lighter several times. It is surprisingly difficult to make the hole as small as this postcard and moreover, when using a fire, the carbonized black part around the hole becomes much wider than it is here. Could it possibly be a part of a gun hole?? Unfortunately, I have no way to prove it...


  1. The people on the card make - somehow - a swastika, did you note that?

    1. I didn't notice at all. Very interesting observation.