Today in Postal History



Austria to Germany
July 23, 1940

This prisoner of war card was sent from Stalag XVII A near Kaisersteinbruch.
Kaisersteinbruch is southeast of Vienna.

Stalag XVII A was opened in October, 1939, and operated until February, 1945.
It was part of a large complex with two elements (Stalag XVII A
and Stalag XVII B) having over 80.000 prisoners each.
It was a prison for enlisted men.

The prisoner who wrote this card, No. 40614, dated his message on July 16.
It was not sent until July 23.
It is interesting to note that the CDS has no indication of a town.
I think that the k probably refers to its use by the military (kreig).

As prisoner of war mail it was sent free.

The boxed STALAG | III   XVII A | GEPRÜFT was the censor's seal.
The censor initialed the mark.
The handwriting, language (?), and the prisoner's name suggest someone of Slavic heritage.*

The destination was Braunschweig.
Braunschweig is some 50 km east southeast of Hannover.
It is interesting that a prisoner in a German P.O.W. camp would be writing to a German address.*
I have seen some similar things from P.O.W.s held in American camps, however.

*Knud-Erik Andersen suggests that the message is in Russian
and addressed to someone in a slave camp in Germany.
I have searched google to find more specifics for the address but found none.

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