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