Monday, September 26, 2016

Mažeikiai 1943

Bahnhof Mazeikiai?

This is cover sent in 1943 from Moscheiken (now Mažeikiai, Lithuania), Ostland to Riga, the present Latvian capital. It has been sent from a Bahnsleiter (station director) of Mažeikiai station (as you see on the back of the cover) to a Reichsbahninspektor (Reich Railway inspector) in Riga. The postmark cancelling the Ostland overprint says Moscheiken, the official German name of Mažeikiai in Ostland, but what surprised me was the Nazi cachet that says "Bahnhof Mazeikiai" and NOT Moscheiken. As you can see from the fact that the station director uses himself the name of Mažeikiai on the back, the use of Lithuanian name was not prohibited but we are talking about Nazi cachet which usually Germanizes every place name. It is possible that the cachet was made before the renaming process but still...

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Vilnius 1941 - Postcard of Trakai

This is a postcard of Troki (now Trakai, Lithuania) sent in 1941 from Vilnius, part of German occupied Ostland to Riga, which was also part of the same territory. It has a nice simple single Hindenburg stamp franking with a postmark of Vilnius C. dated 14 XI 1941. As I've already mentioned in the past in this blog,  regular Reich stamps were also valid along with the Ostland overprinted stamps. It looks like the text is written in Russian and the slightly visible trace of red ink on the upper left corner of the stamp is probably hand stamped censorship mark. It is interesting that Polish postcards with Polish inscriptions are still available for the local market considering the place was under German occupation which often replaced anything printed in the local language by their own productions.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Vilnius 1940

This is a registered cover sent in 1940 from Vilnius 4 during the Soviet occupation period to the Swiss capital Bern. It has a nice arrival cancel of Bern on the back. It even has a letter inside still but unfortunately my Polish sucks therefore I'm unable to tell you guys what is it written about... Given the fact that the Soviet took Vilnius by force from the Poles, I can imagine that the Polish author of this letter (it's obvious from his Polish name and the Polish text) didn't just write a "what's up dude"-kinda letter but rather a serious one. The interesting part is that he wrote his address as "Vilnius, Latvia", which makes it look like he probably isn't from Vilnius/Wilno originally. It is indeed pretty confusing for those who is not familiar with Lithuania's name in other languages, Most worldwide stamp collectors probably know that Lietuva is the Lithuanian name for Lithuania as you can see on their postage stamps but it sounds and looks closer to Latvia than Lithuania. I actually don't know why is it called Lithuania in English...

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Vilnius 1939

Arrival cancel Warszawa 1 on the back

I have few Gryżewski covers and this one is my personal favorite. It is a philatelic cover sent in 1939 from Wilno 2 to Warszawa (Warsaw) with a special postmark commemorating the 20th anniversary of Polish air links. According to B. Brzozowski's "The Vilnius Directorate of Post and Telegraph between 1919 and 1939", the illustration part and the date part of the postmark is separated but on my copy, it looks like a single ensemble or even a machine cancel of some sort.