Soviet Occupation of Poland, 1939-1941



The secret German-Russian non-aggression pact of August 23, 1939 opened the way for Russian advancement into Poland.

On September 22, 1939, Russian occupied Lwów, Poland, as Germany withdrew to the previously agreed to Brest Litvosk Line.

Occupation and annexation of these areas by the Soviets lasted only a brief time; 21 months.

The occupation of Poland was chaotic and disruptive, resulting in very interesting and relevant material.

This exhibit documents the introduction of the Soviet postal system into the annexed Polish territories and illustrates the use of postage stamps, markings, rates and languages in a time where there were, in several cases, different rates for the same service, acceptance of both Polish and Russian postage and the chaos created by the use of two different alphabets – Latin and Cyrillic.


Background Material – Relating to the time period

Time of Chaos – The short 3-month period between occupation and stabilization 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, altered cancellers and Polish cancellations on Russian stamps

Registered Markings – showing differences 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

Key items are outlined in maroon