Friday, December 27, 2013

The capitals of the E.U. member states: Vilnius 2005

A very nice looking FDC and the stamp issued by Poland in 2005 as one of the series of the capital cities of the European Union member states. The design of the FDC cover is especially nice! Curiously, a stamp depicting the Wilno/Vilnius cathedral with similar angle has also been issued by Poland during the prewar occupation period as well.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Eišiškės 1932

Here is a prewar Polish stamp with a postmark of Ejszyszki (now Eišiškės, Lithuania, also known as Ejszyszok in Jewish) cancelled in 1932, during the Polish occupation. Located in the south east of Lithuania, just 500 meters from the present border of Belarus, Eišiškės have experienced a pretty complex history especially between 1919 and 1945, which makes the town's postal history very interesting.

Priekulė 1907

Prökuls (now Priekulė) postmark 1907

Heydekrug (now Šilutė) arrival cancellation

Not an envelope but a folded letter itself

This is cover sent in 1907 from Prökuls (now Priekulė, Lithuania) to Heydekrug (now Šilutė, Lithuania). Both Prökuls and Heydekrug are part of Memel region which was itself part of Germany at that time. When I first got this cover, I was pretty surprised by the finesse and softness of the paper quality of the envelope but... I was wrong actually. It wasn't an envelope, this he or she, used the letter itself as an envelope, thus explains the high quality of the paper material.
Priekulė is another source of "mix up", sometime mistaken with a Latvian town: Priekule, which is unconveniently located not only to the Lithuanian border but near Klaipėda district. This Latvian town was called Preekuln in German so philatelically (or philatelicly?? I'm always not sure..) speaking it should not cause a problem but for postcard collectors it can be a problem.

German Field post (Feldpost) card sent in 1919 from Preekuln Bahnhof (railway station), now Priekule, Latvia

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cancellations of the First Republic - 03

 Priekulė 1925 and 1935, former Prökuls, Memelgebiet

 Raseiniai 1924 and 1933

 Didkiemis 1939, a village in Tauragė county with a population of 220

Dusetos 1925, a village in Utena county with a population of 870

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Joniškis 1916

This is a German field post (Feldpost) card of Janischky (now Joniškis, Lithuania) sent in 1916 from the field post station 264 to Imlingen bei Saarburg, Lothringen, Germany (now Imling, Lorraine, France). Saarburg is also part of France today with the name Sarrebourg.
Joniškis is also a confusing town just like Abeli/Obeliai which I have posted previously, located near the border with Latvia. So far I have encountered the spellings: Janischky, Janiszki, Jonišķi. We see lot of people on the picture, even cars (I see at least 4 of them)... Sunday mass? Wedding? Easter? I can tell it is not during the winter but what is it, I don't know. Joniškis has a big church comparing to the size of the town, with an enormous bell tower you can see from far away when driving from Šiauliai and looks like as if the long straight road is directly leading to this tower. Curiously, same phenomenon happens with the bell tower of the cathedral of  Šiauliai when you drive from Joniškis.

Obeliai 1916

This is German military field post (Feldpost) card of Abeli (now Obeliai, Lithuania) sent in 1916 to Scholderup, Schleswig (now Taarstedt, Schleswig-Holstein), Germany. Abeli is very often mistaken to be part of Latvia. This town was mentioned as part of Kurland (Courland) in most of the documents prior to WWI, because the term "Kurland" was purely geographic to most the Germans at that time. Today the simple formula: Kurland = Kurzeme therefore Kurland = "part of Latvia" is followed by most of the non-Latvian people. In addition to this, there is a town called Ambeļi near Daugavpils not far from the Lithuanian border, which for some unknown reason, sometime mistakenly spelled "Abeļi". If you are in doubt to identify a picture, the church you see on this postcard can be your best bet, it remains exactly in the same shape in today's Obeliai.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Telšiai 1928

This is a registered mail sent in 1928 from Telšiai to Viekšniai. Telšiai is a town with a population of approximately 30000 today. Since 1926, it hosts the seat of the bishop of the Diocese of Telšiai headed by the first bishop Justinas Staugaitis who is also one of the 20 signatories to the Act of Independence of Lithuania. Žemaitija had a diocese in Varniai but later it was moved to Kaunas. When Kaunas was elevated to an archdiocese in 1926, two dioceses were created in it, Vilkaviškis and Telšiai. Later in 1997, the Diocese of Šiauliai was also created, so there are three dioceses in the archbishopric of Kaunas today.
Viekšniai is a smaller town with a population of 2300, also located in Žemaitija. For some reason, there is no arrival cancel of Viekšniai on the back of the cover unfortunately.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Veisiejai 1936

This is a registered cover sent in 1936 from Veisiejai to Alytus. Like the cover of Veisiejai during the German occupation I have posted before in this blog, the postmark is "Veisejai" instead of Veisiejai, but the registration label has a correct modern spelling. Nice arrival cancellation of Alytus can be seen on the back of the cover, as well as the old spelling "Veisėjai" written by the sender. Veisiejai (Wiejsieje in polish) is known to be the place where the Esperanto language has been given birth by a Białystok/Balstogė ophthalmologist Zamenhof while he worked here.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Vilnius 1939

I recently got this cover by an exchange which I'm very happy about. It is a cover sent in 1939 from Vilnius 10 to Taujėnai. The address tells you that Taujėnai is in Ukmergės apskritis (Ukmergė county) but this county ceased to exist in 1950 according to Wikipedia and the town is now part of Vilniaus apskritis (Vilnius county). There is an arrival cancellation of Taujėnai on the back of the cover.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cancellations of the Railway post - 01

Bahnpost (Railway post) ZUG 10 Insterburg (now Черняховск/Chernyakhovsk, Russia) - Memel (now Klaipėda, Lithuania) 1922, during the Memelgebiet period under the French administration.

P.V. (pašto vagonas) Nr. 20 Smalininkai (former Schmalleningken, Memelgebiet) - Pagėgiai (former Pogegen, Memelgebiet) 1928, during the Lithuanian First Republic.

Railway post Warszawa - Wilno (now Vilnius, Lithuania) 1938, during the Polish occupation of Vilnius region.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Juodupė 1990

This is a cover sent from Juodupė in 1990 to the UK. One of the things I was underestimating was that I thought it would be relatively easy to collect post-Soviet provisional postmarks but I must say I was wrong. Large towns are indeed not so hard but Juodupė class towns are somehow not so easy. The postmark is made out of the Soviet one, excluding the inscriptions indicating CCCP, but the Soviet stamps and postal stationery were still valid at that time.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rokiškis 1943

This is a registered mail sent in 1943 from Rokischken (now Rokiškis, Lithuania) to Wien also under German occupation. Michel calls Rokiškis, "Rakischki" but the correct official German name during WWII was Rokischken. I wouldn't say it is "wrong" because there are several sources that mention about the name Rakischki especially during the WWI period, probably coming from the Polish name Rakiszki. It has a nice arrival cancellation of Wien on the back.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Vilnius 1920

Unfortunately one stamp is missing but this is a registered postal stationery with added stamps sent on 21 June 1920 from Wilno (now Vilnius, Lithuania) to France. Prior to the formation of Central Lithuania, the Poles occupied Vilnius from 19 April 1919 to 13 July 1920, this card has been used during this period.
It is addressed to a certain Madame A. Hock in Gueugnon in the department of Saône-et-Loire in France but later redirected to Uriage (Uriage-les-Bains) in the department of Isère, which is known to be a spa town. The sender's name Helene Kwasser also doesn't seem Russian (rather German sounding) but their correspondence is clearly in Russian. Hôtel du Gare does not seem to exist in present Uriage anymore.

Vilnius 1937

This is a maximum card of Józef Piłsudski, the Chief of State of the Polish Second Republic, cancelled in Wilno (Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1937 with a commemorative postmark of the exhibition of the 10th anniversary of Radio Wilno, known as "Radio dla miasta i wsi" (Radio for cities and villages) at that time. It was the first permanent radio station in Vilnius. The following year in 1938, the Polish Radio released a publication about the contents of the exhibition which, thanks to the Polish National Digital Library, we are able to see. Here is the link.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Palanga 1943

This is a stampless official use registered cover sent in 1943 from Polangen (now Palanga, Lithuania) to Berlin, Germany. The sender is the Dienstpostzweigamt Polangen, a branch of Dienstpost Ostland post offices which was the postal authority of the region during the German occupation in large part of Lithuania. The term "postlagernd" is the equivalent of Poste-restante.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Gilandviršiai 1914

 Queen Louise Bridge, the border between Sovietsk and Panemunė

 Sterpeiken (now Strepeikiai, Lithuania), 9.21 1914

 Gillandwirszen (center) and Sterpeiken (left) on a 1861 map

This is a German military field post (Feldpost) card sent in 1914 from Gillandwirszen (now Gilandviršiai, Lithuania). According to the list of post offices of Memelgebiet provided by Michel Deutschland Spezial, the post office of Gillandwirszen has closed down on the 1st of December 1923. The postmark on the scan with the inscription "Kr. Tilsit" has been used during pre-Memelgebiet period as well as after the Treaty of Versaille along with the newly created postmark with the inscription "Memelgebiet". Gillandwirszen has been later incorporated into Kreis Pogegen and during Nazi re-annexation into Kreis Tilsit-Ragnit. Today, Gilandviršiai is part of Tauragės apskritis/Tauragė county with the population of 55 according to 2001 census. If you look closely to the card, the author actually wrote it in Sterpeiken (now Strepeikiai) which is a village right next to Gillandwirszen.
The picture on the card is Queen Louise Bridge which linked Tilsit (now Sovietsk, Russia) and Übermemel (now Panemunė, Lithuania) over the Memel (Nemunas in Lithuanian) river. It has been named after the Queen Louise who resided at the city of Memel (now Klaipėda, Lithuania) when it served as the temporary capital of the kingdom of Prussia during the Napoleonic wars. The bridge still exists today and serves as the Russo-Lithuanian border.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Utena 1913

This is an Imperial Russian postal stationery sent in 1913 from Уцяны/Utsyany (now Utena, Lithuania), Ков (Kovna/Kaunas Gubernia) to Варшава/Varshava (Warszawa/Warsaw, Poland). The sender is obviously Jewish, you see on the back the Hebrew text which I have absolutely no idea what is it written about unfortunately. Utena was historically known for it's Jewish population, according to the 1875 Russian census, 75% of the population of the city was Jewish. It has a nice arrival cancel of Варшава/Warszawa.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Kaunas 1941

The cover itself is not in perfect condition but I have decided to post it because the postmarks are clear and stamps are undamaged. This is a registered cover sent on 31.3.1941 from Каунас/Kaunas to Ленинград/Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg, Russia) during the first annexation to the Soviet Union. The cover arrived on 3.4 and delivered on 4.4 according to the arrival postmark on the back. Lithuanian has been annexed by the Soviet Union on 1940 and Nazi Germany took Kaunas on 25.6.1941, not even 3 months after this cover has been used.