Three weeks after Germany attacked Poland, the Soviets invaded the country to the complete surprise of the Poles.
Because the eastern portions of Poland were occupied for only 21 months before the Germans attacked Russia, the confusing period provides a time frame for very interesting study of the dissolvent of the Polish postal system (which was not immediate) and the attempts by the Soviets to blend currencies that were on par, postal rates that were similar, while combating the nationalistic tendencies of both the Poles and Ukrainians, who were trying to make life for the invaders unpleasant.
There has been very little study done of this area and my award winning work, The Soviet Occupation of Poland, 1939/41, (NAPEX, 2008) is the first exhaustive study in English. This study has resulted in exhibit and it was initiated by the material in this exhibit.
The exhibit is broken down into the following areas of study -
Background Material – Relating to the time period.
Time of Chaos – That short 3 month period between occupation and stabization of services including a period of Obliterated Post Cards and Mixed Polish / Russian Franking.
Russian Franking and Rate Changes – Showing the new rates established after 3 months of occupation.
Cancellations – showing Provisionals, altertered cancellers and Polish cancellations on Russian stamps.
Registration Markings – Showing difference between Latin and Cyrillic alphabet markings and UPU Regulations of their usage.
Routing of International Mail – German occupied Poland was considered a Foreign Country.
POW Mail – To and from Soviet occupied Poland.
Various Interesting and Unique Items – Covers that tell a story unto themselves.
Proceed to the exhibit gallery.