Discussion:
Restrictions on Mailing Letters in Nazi-occupied Poland
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Carol Kirsh-Arshoff
2018-02-11 00:10:34 UTC
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Does anyone know if there were restrictions on writing letters when Poland was
occupied by the Nazis? If so, what were they? I have a translation of a
postcard/letter written in 1941 from Plonsk where my aunt has written that they
were limited to 1 page. In another postcard, written in 1940 from Plonsk the
stamped portion where one would write a return address is written in German.

Take care,
Carol Arshoff
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j***@lyris.jewishgen.org
2018-02-11 18:56:47 UTC
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Post by Carol Kirsh-Arshoff
Does anyone know if there were restrictions on writing letters when Poland was
occupied by the Nazis? If so, what were they? I have a translation of a
postcard/letter written in 1941 from Plonsk where my aunt has written that they
were limited to 1 page. In another postcard, written in 1940 from Plonsk the
stamped portion where one would write a return address is written in German.
Hi Carol:

When my aunt in the U.K. passed away several years ago, her son (my cousin)
found a cache of letters that she'd received from her parents (my grandparents)
while they were confined within the Warsaw ghetto (and before they were
transported and never heard from again).

The first restriction seems to have been that of paper: The letters are written
on both sides of a single sheet of thin airmail paper, with the text sometimes
continuing up the sides and even running upside down - covering every square
millimeter of available space.

With the multiple directions, the tiny handwriting and the bleed-through from
one side of the paper to the other, they are very difficult to read, let alone
translate. No letter is more than a single sheet. (There are postcards as well.)

It's also clear that the letters were censored: Several are rubber-stamped with
swastikas.

And, finally, yes, there appear to have been restrictions (implicit or explicit)
on what information could be shared: There is no mention of conditions within
the ghetto, there is no explanation when my grandparents changed return address
(having had to move out of their home when the ghetto started being shrunk), and
my grandmother seems to show an unusual concern that her three children - safe
outside Poland - have enough "socks". She mentions "socks" several times in
multiple letters, with the clear (to her grandchildren, at least) implication
that she's writing in code: "Socks" = money.

A great deal remains to be imagined.

Peter Lebensold
Toronto
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Don't miss the first IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy
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Mark your calendar for 5-10 August 2018 and visit iajgs2018.org for details.
Early registration is now open through 28 April 2018.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Krzysztof Witaszek
2018-02-12 05:33:18 UTC
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Post by Carol Kirsh-Arshoff
Does anyone know if there were restrictions on writing letters when Poland was
occupied by the Nazis?
In occupied by the Germans Poland, there was a German Post (Deutsche
Post Osten) so the letters had to be adressed in German.

The letters were censured, so it is very likely that there was a limit of size.
(I have a letter from that time, written on both sizes of A4 format)

Maybe now it sounds unthinkable, but also owning or listening to the
radio receiver by not-Germans was strictly forbidden and could couse
death penalty or deportation to the concentration camp.

Krzysztof Witaszek
Lublin Poland
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Don't miss the first IAJGS International Conference on Jewish Genealogy
to be held in Eastern Europe and our 38th overall! The Warsaw, Poland
Hilton Hotel & Conference Center will be the base for lectures, panels,
networking, and historic excursions and a unique Resource Village!

Mark your calendar for 5-10 August 2018 and visit iajgs2018.org for details.
Early registration is now open through 28 April 2018.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Watch JewishGen's video -- click here:
http://youtu.be/nASSn4rDXh4
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Planning to use Ancestry.com? Start by using the "Ancestry Search Box"
on the JewishGen homepage.
By doing this, any eventual subscription to Ancestry.com will result in
Jewishgen receiving a commission.
It's an easy way to help JewishGen!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Support JewishGen with a contribution to the JewishGen General Fund!
http://www.jewishgen.org/jewishgen-erosity/
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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http://www.jewishgen.org/jgff/jgff-faq.html#q3.7
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Join our mailing list at http://lyris.jewishgen.org/ListManager if you
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