Thursday, July 14, 2011

Incoming mail during WWI censored in Brünn


1.  Unusual WWI Dual Censorship



We sometimes see dual censorship of incoming mail to Luxembourg from other European countries during World War I.  But I’ve never before seen dual censorship of incoming mail from the United States.

This letter, which was sent from San Francisco, California, January 6, 1915, to Schieren, shows two censor marks:  one from the  Czechoslovak Moravian town of Brünn [Brno],  as well as the usual German censorship mark applied in Trier.


Perhaps a postal clerk distracted by the nice franking – the 1c and a pair of the 2c Pan-Pacific Exposition commemoratives paying the 5c UPU 20g letter rate – deposited the letter into the wrong mail sack!  There are no marks on the back to provide clues.


2.  Typical WWI Dual Censorship




Picture postcard incoming to Mondorf-les-Bains from Fixheim in the then-German Lorraine.  The card is dated November 24, 1915, and was censored at Diedenhofen [today:  Thionville] in the Lorraine and Trier, Germany. 

Censoring Luxembourg’s mail during World War I must have provided full employment for many German functionaries. The same probably could be said today for Rupert Murdock’s functionaries, who recently were found to have snooped through many 21st century electronic communications, but without the excuse of an ongoing war to justify the intrusions.


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