Today in Postal History


Bohemia and Moravia to Argentina
November 7, 1940

Today's cover reminds us of the events of early World War II.

Czechoslovakia was sacrificed at Munich in the futile attempt to appease Hitler.
Thereafter, Germany occupied the Sudetenland on the northwestern borders of Czechoslovakia.

The Sudetenland surrounded the Czech provinces of Bohemia and Moravia.

German-inspired civil unrest there gave Germany the excuse to occupy
Bohemia and Moravia on March 15, 1939.

Germany then established Böhmen and Mähren as a German Protectorate.
On July 15, 1939, Germany issued overprinted Czech stamps for use in the Protectorate.
This cover is franked with stamps from the first issue in 1939 specifically designed for Bohemia and Moravia.
The 1.5k rose carmine shows a view of Brno Cathedral in the capital of Moravia
(Scott 32).
The 20k yellow brown margin copy showed the skyline of Prague, the capital of Bohemia (Scott 39).

This cover was mailed from Prague where it received a single CDS.
It had a boxed handstamp Mit Luftpost | Näch Südamerika (Via Airmail |To South America).
There was also a trilingual margin airmail etiquette.

The cover's next stop was Frankfurt am Main where it received a CDS.
The date cannot be determined as most of the CDS is covered by the censor's tape on the rear.

The letter  was then censored and the cover was sealed with tape.
Censoring included an official stamp and boxed stamps of the individual who did the censoring.

There are other marks on the front.
The 550 was some form of serialization.
There is also an 8582(?) which has been obliterated.

Across the bottom of the front there is evidence of two VIA AEREA with a CDS dial
which are offsets due to overinking on a cancel on another letter in the bundle.
This machine cancel was the receiver in Buenos Aires and
can be seen faintly in two impressions on top of the censor tape.
The arrival date is illegible although it is probably November 23 or 24.
There is evidence of two strikes of another circular stamp although
there is not enough left to hazard a guess as to what it was.


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