The SCM #025


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The SCM #025

  1. 1. The Sub-Carpathian Messenger Newsletter of the Study Circle for the Postal History of the Carpatho-Ukraine Number 25 – March 2013 Beggar woman in the Podkarpatská RusThe Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 1
  2. 2. About us and the NewsletterThe Study Circle is a loose group of persons who are interested in the postal (and general) historyof the area known as Kárpátalja in Hungarian, as Podkarpatská Rus during the First CzechoslovakRepublic, which had a short day of independence as Carpatho Ukraine, and later was integratedinto the Ukrainian SSR in the Soviet Union as the ‘Zakarpatskaja Oblast’. Since 1991 it is ЗАКАР-ПАТТЯ, the westernmost administrative district in the now independent Ukraine.The Newsletter came out of a meeting of a few collectors during the PRAHA 2008, its first numberappeared in November 2008. In the last four years we have always produced five issues per yearbut cannot keep this high level and cannot promise regular publication intervals as they dependon the contributions we are receiving. As we can see from the numbers at the public web site,this Newsletter is read by more than hundred people.We are very sorry and apologize for incorrectly reporting the passing away of Colin SPONG in ourlast edition – may he live long and prosper!Our Honorary Member and continuous supporter since the first hour, Otto HORNUNG, has left thisworld on January 8th, 2013. Our sincerest condolences go to his wife Chichi – in the last years Ottowas more and more relying on her dedication and strength.We send our best wishes and kind regards to the members of the Study Circle.Distribution methodAll issues of the »Sub-Carpathian Messenger« can be browsed at and downloaded from the Inter-net address those who have no Internet access and/or no e-mail, the distribution method is still the same:you will receive a colour print-out by air/surface mail as you did in the past.Everybody can freely access the uploaded numbers of the Newsletter but the notification servicefor new numbers (including an easy download web datalink) will be limited to the members of theStudy Circle. So joining us still has some advantage.Rules and RegulationsAll articles in the Newsletter carrying the name of an author are the sole responsibility of thisauthor and should not be taken to represent the common opinion of the Study Circle. Sucharticles are, if not marked otherwise, copyrighted by the respective author. Free use within theStudy Circle is granted. We thank our authors for their much appreciated work and contribution.Participation in the Study Circle is not bound to a formal membership and does not include theduty to pay a membership fee. There is a moral obligation to support the Newsletter from timeto time by sending some article, some interesting piece of information, some question, someanswer or whatever.We will “print” everything even only loosely connected with our subject of interest so any contri-bution is certainly welcome. Please send it (as Word 2003 or 2007 document, graphical elementsin JPEG, 300 dpi) to our editor’s e-mail address ( His postal address, if you wouldneed it, is: Dr. Helmut Kobelbauer, Untergrossau 81, A-8261 Sinabelkirchen, Austria / EuropeThe Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 2
  3. 3. Andrew CroninPre-Stamp and Stampless Mail from the Carpatho-Ukraine – Part IIThis was a series of articles in the magazine »ЯМЩИК – The POST-RIDER« of the CSRP (Canadian Society for RussianPhilately), starting with number 11 (November 1982) – see SCM #023, pages 3 to 15. Your editor has only, wheneverpossible, replaced the original b/w illustrations by colour copies and has added a few comments (always in [brackets]) tobring the presented information to the current state of knowledge. The editor.NAGYSZŐLLŐS, capital of Ugocsa county (Sevljuš; СЕВЛЮШЪ; СЕВЛЮШ; НАДЬ-СЕВЛEBШЪ; ВИ-НОГРАДОВ; ВИНОГРАДІВ). Population of 2052 in 1835.(a)Applied in black from 1826 to 1848. The letter here [see fig. 22] was sent by the Deacon nearbyat Magyarkomját and again addressed to Bishop Vasyl Popovych in Ungvár. Endorsed “In stricteoffosis”. Dr. Béla Simády Collection. Fig. 22: Official letter, Magyarkomját to Ungvár, July 21st, 1842. Simády collection.[I have replaced the original b/w illustration by the colour copy of a very similar letter. This post-mark was in use from 1826 until 1850 and is also known in red – please see fig. 23.] Fig. 23: Official letter, Nagyszőllős to Ungvár, October 4th, 1826. Simády collection.The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 3
  4. 4. (b)The double-circle type was applied from 1848 in black. The letter here [fig. 24] was sent fromMagyarkomját through the Nagyszőllős P. O. to Bishop Vasyl Popovych in Ungvár. Dr. Béla SimádyCollection. Fig. 24: Official letter, Magyarkomját to Ungvár, June 23rd, 1849. Simády collection.POLENA, in Bereg county (Poľana u Svaľavy; ПОЛЯНА).(a)A rare single-line type, unlisted by Térffi. Struck on a letter sent by the Deacon nearby atSzolyva, again to Popovych in Ungvár. Note the wt. designation 2 ¾ L. at bottom centre. Dr. BélaSimády Collection. Fig. 25 [Source: »ЯМЩИК – The POST-RIDER«, no. 11 (November 1982), page 47].[This postmark is known used from 1840 to 1844.]The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 4
  5. 5. (b)The double-circle type was struck in black, probably from 1847. The item here [fig. 26] again toBishop Popovych in Ungvár. It originated in Szolyva and has wt. indication 1½ L. at bottomcentre. Dr. Béla Simády Colln. Fig. 26: Official letter, Szolyva to Unghvár, February 18th, 1848. Hanus collection.[I have again replaced the original b/w illustration by a quite similar colour copy, this time fromthe Hanus collection. On this cover the weight indication is 1¾ Loth.][Both in the »Handbook of the Hungarian Pre Stamp Mail« and in T. Gudlin’s »Classical Postmarksof Hungary« a third pre-stamp postmark from Polena is mentioned, referring to a booklet by Her-mann Schmirler (1982) which listed an oval postmark in black from the year 1834. Never have Iseen such postmark, nor have any of my companion collectors. Also the largest pre-stamp collec-tion in Austria, started by Dr. Karl Kühn and then continued by his son, Dr. Herbert Kühn, doesn’thold such a postmark. Therefore I consider this information as unconfirmed until proven wrong.]SZEREDNYE, in the Ung county. The place-name is of obvious Slav origin and means “middle” (Se-redne; СЕРЕДНОЕ; СЕРЕДНЕ).(a)This ornamental type was struck in black from 1830 to 1843. It is rare and none of us has anexample.[Current information has this postmark from 1829 until 1846. All strikes in red have been identi-fied as forgeries. Please see fig. 27 for an example of this postmark.](b)The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 5
  6. 6. The double-circle type was applied in black from 1846. The stampless item here [fig. 28] was senton 31 Dec. 1855 to Munkács. Lauson H. Stone Collection. Fig. 27: Official letter, Szerednye to Ungvár, May 21st, 1829. Simády collection. Fig. 28: [Source: »ЯМЩИК – The POST-RIDER«, no. 11 (November 1982), page 48].TÉCSŐ, in Máramaros county. The place-name was spelt TETSÖ in the pre-stamp period. Thereare Roumanians in the district, who call the town TEIUŞ. It had a population of 1351 in 1835(Ťačovo; ТЯЧОВО; ТИЧЕВЬ; ТЯЧОВЕ).(a)Applied in black from 1839 to 1848. The example here [fig. 29] was sent to Bishop Popovych inUngvár. Dr. Béla Simády Collection.[This postmark was used until 1850.]The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 6
  7. 7. Fig. 29: Official letter, Técső to Ungvár, 1842. Simády collection.TISZAÚJLAK, in Ugocsa county. It had 1434 inhabitants in 1835 (Výlok; ВЂЛОК; ВЫЛОК; ВИЛОК).(a)The first type, struck in black in 1838 and not yet found by us. Rare.[We show this rather elusive postmark on a cover from the collection of Jan Verleg – see fig. 30:] Fig. 30: Official letter, Tisza Újlak to Pest, October 16th, 1838. Verleg collection.(b)Second type, also in black, 1839 to 1847. Not yet seen by any of us. Rare.[Please see fig. 31 for an example of a cover with this postmark – already used in the year 1838.]The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 7
  8. 8. Fig. 31: Official letter, Tisza Újlak to Buda, December 1838, Ore collection.(c)Third type, applied in black from 1848. This item [see fig. 32] from Fancsika (ФАНЧИКОВО)nearby and sent to Bishop Popovych in Ungvár. Dr. Béla Simády Collection. Fig. 32: Official letter, Tisza Újlak to Ungvár, July 3rd, 1849. Simády collection.UNGVÀR, capital of Ung county, with 6224 inhabitants in 1835 (Uzhorod; УЖГОРОДЬ; УЖГОРОД).(a)The first type, struck in black or red 1815 to 1847. The item here [see fig. 33] has rate mark “4”(kr. ?) and [was] sent to Nagymihály (Michalovce in Slovakia). A. Cronin Colln. [Red strike see fig.34.]The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 8
  9. 9. Fig. 33: Private letter, Ungvár to Nagymihály (now Michalovce in Eastern Slovakia), July 26th, 1815. Cronin collection. Fig. 34: Official letter, Ungvár to Jarembina (now Jarabina in Eastern Slovakia), November 28th, 1814. Simády collection.(b)Second, framed, type, applied in black, green or red 1820 to 1842. Item here [see fig. 35] inblack, sent 24. 2. 1820 via Tokay & Nyíregyháza to Nagykálló. A. Cronin Colln.[Green strikes of this postmark usually have been identified as forgeries. Jan Rompes has shown inan article in SCM #003 that two varieties of this postmark exist. Postal use is now documentedfrom 1817 to 1842.]The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 9
  10. 10. Fig. 35: Official letter, Ungvár to Nagykálló, February 24th, 1820. Verleg collection.[From the Simády collection we can also show a red strike of this postmark – see fig. 36:] Fig. 36: Half-paid letter from Ungvár to Buda, October 31st, 1836. Simády collection.(c)Third, unframed, type applied in red 1843 to 1845. It is rare. The item here [fig. 37] sent in 1843to Eperjes (Prešov in Slovakia). Dr. Walter J. Rauch Colln.(d)Double-circle type struck in black or green from 1847. The item here [fig. 38] is an official letterin Russian from Ungvár to Dorog Cathedral. Note wt. “1 ¾ (L)” at bottom and also Russianequivalent of ‘ex officio’: ‘iz chinovstva’. Dr. Béla Simády Collection.The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 10
  11. 11. Fig. 37: Official letter, Ungvár to Eperjes, 1843. Rauch collection. Fig. 38: [Source: »ЯМЩИК – The POST-RIDER«, no. 11 (November 1982), page 50].(e)Another example of double-circle type, also in Russian and sent from Ungvár 25. 3. 1851, viaMunkács 25. 3. 1851 & Nyíregyháza 27/3 to the Cathedral of Nagykálló. Note the wt. “L ¾“ atbottom and Russian official designation. These last two letters written in Russian by clerks whoshowed their Ukrainian origin, especially when using the dative case. Lauson H. Stone Collection. Fig. 39: [Source: »ЯМЩИК – The POST-RIDER«, no. 11 (November 1982), page 50].The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 11
  12. 12. Franz HochleutnerFurther Examples of the „KÖRÖSMEZÖ – STANISLAU” T. P. O.In addition to the contributions in SCM #018 (pp. 17 – 21) and then SCM #020 (p. 17), we can showhere another piece with the (rare) strike of this Travelling Post Office crossing the border bet-ween Hungary and Galicia: Hungarian postal stationery envelope, to Stanislau, June 16th, 1909 (?), with strike of T. P. O. “KÖRÖSMEZÖ – STANISLAU | 523”.Since the year is rather unclear in both the T. P. O. cancellation and the arrival mark of Stanislau,we need to consider circumstantial evidence.The Hungarian Royal Mail issued such 10f envelope first on January 1st, 1900; this postal stationerywas valid until December 31st, 1922. The fee of 10f for a non-local letter was introduced at thesame date and was upgraded to 15f with January 1st, 1916. So these facts do not help much.The arrival postmark of Stanislau 1 with distinguishing letter “a” was introduced after 1900 andcannot be found therefore in the book »Die regulären Poststempel der stabilen Ortspostämter inder österreichischen Reichshälfte« of Wilhelm Klein (1967). So we cannot improve on the year.Bad luck.In the second volume of this reference book (on p. 625) we find the entry for T.P.O. number 527:The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 12
  13. 13. Hungarian postal stationery envelope, Tiszaborkut to Vienna, with strike of “KÖRÖSMEZÖ – STANISLAU | 527” of August 7th, 1909. The sender’s address on the reverse of the stationery.This item is a surprise because the railway line STRYI – STANISLAU – CZORTKOW was completelylocated within Galicia and did not touch the Hungarian border. It seems that in 1909 there was abranch leading to Körösmező that is not mentioned in W. Klein’s book(which basically ends in the year 1900 anyway).The post office worker in the train was obviously reluctant to cancelthe Hungarian postage stamp and put his postmark besides it.This postmark is 30 mm in diameter and therefore distinctively largerthan the postmark of T. P. O. 523. As the letter came from Tisza-borkut (a village between Rahó and Körösmező), we can consider thispiece to be a part of Carpatho Ukrainian postal history.The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 13
  14. 14. Helmut KobelbauerFurther Austro-Hungarian Military Cachets from WWIThe Kárpátalja from September 1914 until May 1915 was the location of many bloody fights bet-ween Austro-Hungarian (and German) and Russian forces. Therefore (with some patience) we canfind field post from that time with military cachets indicating presence in this area. Field post card, written April 26th, 1915, to Vienna. Sender’s address given as FPO 201, with three-line cachet “EXPOSITUR | des K. u. K. 2. ARMEE-ETAPPENKOMMANDO | NAGYBEREZNA“.The 2nd Army was basically located in Eastern Slovakia but for a short period it extended its reachinto the upper Ung valley.The railway Csap – Máramarossziget – Körösmező was a very important lifeline in this time: Registered field post letter, (H)FPO 116 to Vienna, March 22nd, 1915, with violet two-line cachet “K. u. k. Bahnhofkommando | in HUSZT”.The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 14
  15. 15. Helmut KobelbauerCzechoslovak Field Post 1938 in the Podkarpatská Rus – Part I75 years ago the First Czechoslovak Republic, the last of democracies in Central Europe, foughtfor its survival. The German “Führer” Adolf Hitler and his fanatic followers, in the Third Reich andelsewhere, were determined to wipe this state from the political map.On September 23rd, 1938, the Czechoslovak government ordered the general mobilization of itsarmed forces. With this mobilization came the organization of a Field Post service which startedOctober 1st, 1938, and whose last offices closed on December 6th, 1938.The Carpatho Ukraine was then – as Podkarpatská Rus – part of the Czechoslovak Republic and be-longed to the operational area of the Third Army (“Štefánik”): “The Third Army’s main task was to defend Slovakia and delay the advancing Hungarian troops for as long time as possible. Its secondary task was to secure Eastern Slovakia and Carpatho-Ruthenia long enough for the Soviet reinforcement to arrive by train coming either through Poland or Romania. It consisted of two infantry divisions, one fast [i. e., motorized] division and four border defence areas under Army General Josef Votruba.” [ČSR Army Order of Battle – September 30, 1938 (Fall Grün). From the Internet under the URL “”]Border defence area 42 (“Karol”) was under the command of Brigadier General Oleg Svátek andwas located in Užhorod.Miroslav Vostatek has written a number of articles (in Czech) on the organization of this FieldPost; the German “Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Tschechoslowakei” has translated and published anadapted version in 1985. The closing of the Field Post Offices has been treated in »The Czecho-slovak Specialist« (USA) in its volume of April 1982. An overview in English can be found in theNewsletter 197 (Autumn 1988) of »The Forces Postal History Society« or, of course, in Jan Ver-leg’s »Carpatho Ukraine« monograph (pages 100a to 102).In this first part we will deal with Field Post Office 12 (in Czech: Polní Pošta 12) which was defini-tely operational in Podkarpatská Rus. Miroslav Vostatek has it in Užhorod from October 1st to 20thand then in Perečín from October 21st to December 6th, 1938. Jan Verleg in his monograph (p. 101)cites some indication that it may have been in Užhorod still on October 30th, 1938. In the SCM#011 (June 2010, p. 16) we have shown a registered letter from the “Ústředná polních pošt”[Head office of field post] to the Field Post Office 12 at Perečín, sent October 28th, 1938. Untilfurther data come to light, we will use the location as indicated by Mr. Vostatek.As most Field Post Offices from this period, PP 12 had two steel cancellers, one without differen-tiating character and one with character “b”. As we will see in a moment, the first one datedback to the Field Post immediately after World War I and was already in use in the years 1919 and1920. Strip of paper with all official stamps of Polní Pošta 12.The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 15
  16. 16. Card, sent from Polní Pošta 12, September 27th, 1919.Please see for yourself that there is a slight indentation inthe outer circle immediately before the character “Š” andthen there are two black dots in the space between “A”and the number “12”.These individual marks appear again in all strikes of thefirst canceller of Polní Pošta 12 in the year 1938, so thatwe can be quite sure that it is the same canceller, reusednearly 20 years later. Letter from Polní Pošta 12, military cachet “POLNÍ PEKÁRNA 42” (Field Bakery 42), October 19th, 1938. The strike of the CDS shows the same marks as the enlargened strike from September 1919.The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 16
  17. 17. Official field post card, sent from 45th Infantry Regiment (“Rumunský”), 12th company, through Polní Pošta 12, October 24th, 1938, to Bohemia.The above card proves that also the 45th Infantry Regiment (see previous articles in SCM #002,#003, and #005) was served by this Field Post Office.Most of the correspondance that went through Field Post Office 12 was from the “Intendančnípark 42” whose administrator, Jaroslav Křižan, wrote regularly to his wife and to some friends(and collectors of postal history). The number 42, of course, referred to the number of the borderdefence area (and, by the way, is the answer to the question “What is the sense of life?”). Another official field post card, November 1st, 1938, to Bohemia.The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 17
  18. 18. By good luck, we have also found an official field post card from the Field Post Office 12 itself: Field post card, Polní Pošta 12, November 13th, 1938, to Prague.The enlargened insert is the handstamp of the commanding officer, first lieutenant Josef Kasal, ofthe Field Post Office 12. The text on the reverse of the card indicates a philatelic kindness.(Everyday life of the mobilized troops seems to have been rather boring.)The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 18
  19. 19. Official field post card from the wife of Jaroslav Křižan, Beroun near Prague, November 19th, 1938, to Polní Pošta 12, arrival cancellation November 22nd, 1938.From the first day of field post service (October 1st, 1938) we have the following letter from Jaro-slav Křižan (censored by himself) to his wife with the second canceller of the Field Post Office 12:This letter indicates that the “Intendanční park 42” and the Field Post Office 12 were in Užhorodfrom the early days of the general mobilization. Such a structure for replacements and spares wasprobably prepared some time in advance.The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 19
  20. 20. The above form (reduced to 70 per cent in size) is from the second day of mobilization and carriesthe serial number 2 of such an internal administrative list from the Field Post Office 12.The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 20
  21. 21. The above letter is addressed to Field Post Office 14 and carries the handwritten censorship markof some (second) lieutenant Jaroš, also in the Intendanční park 42.And finally we have a letter from Field Post Office 51 to Field Post Office 12, cancelled on arrivalon December 6th, 1938, the last day of the service:Basically we have documented the full period (67 days) of service of the Field Post Office 12 inUžhorod and later in Perečín. After the Field Post Office had been closed down, all equipment (in-cluding the two cancellers) was given back to some Communications Unit of the Czech Army.For completeness we show two enlargened strikes of these cancellers:The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 21
  22. 22. Helmut KobelbauerPicture of a Post Office in UzhgorodIn a small booklet from the Soviet time that friend Gábor Nagy gave to me after our common tripto the Sub-Carpathians in September 2012, I have found the following picture of a post office inUzhgorod. All such detailed pictures of locations in the “Zakarpatskaja Oblast” are rather rare –possibly because military security was not in favour of showing too many details of this delicatezone.Later I found a picture of the same post office on a picture postcard from Czechoslovak times: Picture postcard, written in Čop, July 14th, 1935, to Olomouc. With picture of “Nová pošta” in lower left corner.Can anybody of our esteemed readers identify this post office and give the exact address ?The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 22
  23. 23. Helmut KobelbauerFrom the Salzkammergut to Németmokra (and back)On November 9th, 1775, a group of about 220 men and women from the Austrian Salzkammergutarrived in Tisza Ujlak, most of them experienced woodworkers and craftsmen. They had beencalled by Empress Maria Theresia to improve forest handling for the important salt mines nearAkna Szlatina. In the valleys of the Taraczka and Mokranka rivers they founded new or expandedexisting settlements. For nearly 200 years they and their children lived in Deutsch-Mokra and inKönigsfeld.After 1945 those that had not fled to the “West” were mostly deported to Sibiria. Only few re-turned, finally to leave in the years after the Soviet Union had broken apart. Some even cameback to the very Salzkammergut that had said goodbye to their ancestors. Hans Zepezauer with a youth picture of himself.The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 23
  24. 24. Helmut KobelbauerLast Letter from Otto HornungOn January 2nd, 2013, I received this letter from our Honorary Member of the first hour, just a fewdays before he passed away:Of course, our Study Circle had and has no president (and – in my not very humble opinion – needsnone). If it had and needed one, Otto would have been the obvious choice to fill that post. Notme.Dear Otto: Farewell and rest in peace.The Sub-Carpathian Messenger – Number 25 (March 2013) Page: 24