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ROMAN SOBUS
POLISH PRISONER OF WAR CAMP POST
 

Woldenberg Officers Camp Post (IIC) 1942-1945

 
The purpose of this exhibit is to illustrate the progress of the internal camp post at Offizierlager ( Oflag ) IIC from its inception on April 5, 1942, to its final days in January, 1945, with a postscript on the evacuation march.

It is a unique event in postal history, where prisoners of war, overcame the restrictions imposed on them by their captors and fences of barbed wire. Maintaining relationships both old and new, became virtually impossible. The internal post, which carried out all the duties of any post helped make life more bearable under the most difficult circumstances.

Functions included:
Setting postal rates.
Selling stamps.
Provided drop off points for outgoing mail.
Delivering mail at various levels of speed.

There has been some debate in philatelic circles as to whether the stamps produced at the camp are postage stamps or merely labels. The same arguments could then be made to the local posts of various cities. While not accepted outside the borders of the camp, the post performed as any local post. Postage was paid, the item was sent, and the article was delivered with utmost efficiency. It would have functioned in the same way if the distance had been fifty kilometers instead of fifty meters. Officers that had served as postmasters in civilian life assured that all protocols were observed.

The Internal post functioned with full approval of the German authorities which exercised final right of approval of topic and design.

This exhibit covers:
Regular stamps
Postage due stamps
Post cards
Regular and occasional cancellers
Projects, proofs, essays, both accepted and those not approved by the German Authorities.
Items of a subversive nature (labels)
Illustrated Stationery Items

Reference materials used in compiling this exhibit are:

The Polish Prisoner of War Camp Posts by "Autolycus" Caldra House Limited Press, 1994 (English)

Katalog der Lagerpost um 1945, Manfred G. Heber, 1983 (German)

Katalog Specjalizowany Znakow Ziem Polskich, Ruch-Warsaw 1985, vol.2 (Polish)

Poczty Polskie w Niemieckich Obozach Jencow, Jozef Machowski, Ruch, 1963, vol.2 (Polish)

Katalog Znaczkow Poczty Obozowej w Dobiegniwie (Woldenberg IIC) Pionier- Krakow, 1945 (Polish)

Polish Post - Seven Years War, HM Smith, USA, 1945 (English)

Proceed to the exhibit gallery.