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last update 17.9.2015
MAIL FROM RUSSIA TO CENTRAL POWERS IN 1918
Alexander Epstein (Tallinn, Estonia)




[All dates in this paper are given according to the Gregorian calendar (New Style, NS). One should have in mind, however, that the Julian calendar (Old Style, OS) that in the XXth century was on 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar was used in Russia up to 1 February 1918. The Bolshevik Government decreed coming over to the New Style as of this date, so 1 February became 14 February. This is important when analyzing the Russian postmarks on the mail from that period.]


Introduction
The direct postal connections between Russia and Central Powers (Germany, Austro-Hungary) were broken at the beginning of August 1914 when they became enemies in the WW1 started at that time. The only exception was the correspondence of POWs which took place through the instrumentality of Red Cross via neutral countries. The regular connections were resumed only 3 months after the withdrawal of Russia from the WW1 when the Bolshevik's Government that had come to power on 7 November 1917 concluded the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on 3 March 1918.
This topic was raised first in the journal "ЯМЩИК"-"The Post Rider" in the article by A. Cronin [1] that was followed by some discussion [2-5] where a number of covers passed through the mail from Russia to Germany and some lands occupied by its troops were described. Some registered covers of this kind were illustrated also in [6]. It is less known, however, that there was exchange of mail between these countries still earlier, and just during the armistice signed in Brest-Litovsk on 17 December 1917 before the beginning of peace negotiations. This exchange was based on the article IV, § 2 of the armistice agreement which read as follows:

In the Russian version [7]:
“Примерно в двух ли трех пунктах боевого участка каждой русской дивизии организуется сношение, причем пункты эти устанавливаются соглашением штабов дивизий или их комитетов в нейтральной зоне между демаркационными линиями… Люди, принимающие участие в сношении, имеют право взаимно обмениваться газетами и журналами, а также открытыми письмами для доставки по назначению…”

In the German version [7]:
"In jeder Abschnitt einer russischen Division kann an etwa 2 bis 3 Stellen organizierter Verkehr stattfinden. Hierzu sind in Einvernehmen der sich gegenüberstehenden Divisionen Verkehrstellen in der neutralen Zone zwischen der Demakrationslinien einzurichten... Der Austausch von Nachrichten und Zeitungen ist gestattet. Offene Briefe können zur Beförderung übergeben werden..."

The term "открытое письмо" (in Russian) or "offene Brief" (in German) means in this case a postcard. Some information on the philatelic aspects of this period can be found in [7-10]. However, these articles or notes deal mainly with the mail to Russia. Only Heinz Lukaschewitz [10] showed three examples of mail in the reverse direction, although only one of them could be ascribed to this period. This paper is an attempt to summarize the information presently available; it deals with both periods of such mail exchange mentioned above and just with the mail from Russia to Germany with the lands occupied by it (Baltic and a part of the present Byelorussia united in the so-called "Postgebiet Ob. Ost", the former Russian Poland - Generalgouvernment Warschau) and Austro-Hungary. Ukraine which had its own postal system is out of the scope of this paper. The examples of mail described here are from the present author's collection if not stated otherwise.


The first period: "Armistice mail"
According to the available information [8-11], the possibility of mail exchange with Soviet Russia was announced in the newspapers published in Latvia then occupied by German forces as early as January 1918. Thus, the first items of postcard mail known to be sent from this territory to Russia are dated by the same month. It is still unknown when this news became known to the public in Russia but the earliest postcards of this kind from Russia found up to now are postmarked in the same manner, i.e. end December 1917 according to the Old Style. Thus, one can consider January 1918 as the time of beginning of the "armistice mail" exchange. However, this opportunity should be ended theoretically on 18 February when the German side broke the armistice because of refusal of the Soviet side to sign the Peace Treaty on the conditions offered by the Central Powers. On this day, the German troops started their last offensive and occupied the remaining territories of the present Latvia and Estonia as well as new parts of Byelorussia and Ukraine including also the Russian town Pskov. This offensive was stopped only when the Soviet Government signed reluctantly on 3 March in Brest-Litovsk the Peace Treaty on much worse conditions as before. There is also a question as to what postal rates were applicable to this mail. As concerns the mail to Russia, it was the foreign rate 10 pfg as follows from newspaper information (initially it was reported as 15 pfg) [8]. However there are found also postcards franked on 7 ½ pfg, i.e. the inland rate. These were the cards handed over through the exchange points. There is still absolutely no information on this matter concerning the Russian side. However, the available examples also show no identical picture. The demands made to this mail included an obligatory indication of the sender's name and address written in Russian or German. The text of message could be written in any language. The exact directions as to the handling of such mail, incl. censorship, were received by the German side as late as between the 8th and 15th of February [12], i.e. only a few days before the end of armistice. Nothing is known on this matter as concerns the Russian side. It is known three points at the Russian North Front where the mail exchange and other operations took place: at Jakobstadt and Römershof, both at the banks of West Dvina (Düna) as well as the outpost Lübeck on the Riga-Valk highway. Nothing is known of such points at the West and Southwest Fronts. The examples of the "armistice" postcards known to me being sent from Russia in this period are very scanty and only few of them can be recognized with certainty as having passed just in this same time and order (figs. 1-5). Contrary to the mail in the reverse direction, the matter becomes complicated in this case, since the German post did not postmark then the ordinary mail on arrival to the destination, so it is impossible tracking the duration of passing the items through the mail.

Fig. 1:
The earliest known "armistice" postcard sent on 21 December 1917 OS, i.e. 3 January 1918 NS from Petrograd to Kovntal, Germany. This 5-kop postal stationery card is franked additionally with a 3-kop adhesive, on 8 kop in total, i.e. according to that time foreign rate, and censored in Petrograd.

Fig. 2:
A double 5+5-kop postal stationery card written at Smilten, Livland province (as evident from the sender's address on the reply half which remained attached) and addressed to the Riga orphanage court was handed over at the outpost Lübeck. The franking with additional 2 x 3-kop adhesives amounts to 11 kop which could be some local rate. The stamps are cancelled with a military cachet with the text meaning "Army-in-Field" and applied usually to confirm free postage of soldiers' mail. There is no date indicating the handing-over time. Evidently, this happened in mid-February 1918, since it was received on 21 February as evident from an inscription on the reverse of the message half. Smilten was already occupied by Germans by that time, so the card remained unanswered, at least, in such way. The postcard has also a marking of some troop censor.

Fig. 3:
A 4-kop postal stationery card with supplementary 2 x 3-kop adhesives sent on 3 February 1918 (according to the postmark) from Uzlyany to a village in the Plotsk province, former Russian Poland. The date looks impossible, since it should be actually 16 February. Evidently, the corresponding decree of the Soviet Government remained still unknown on the spot. Also its total franking on 10 kop exceeds the official foreign postcard rate too. Most probably, this card was handed over to the German side at an exchange point.

Fig. 4
(from [10]): This 5-kop postal stationery card to Riga without supplementary franking, i.e. prepaid according to the current inland rate, can also be attributed to the "armistice" mail. It has no postal cancel, so it looks to be handed over at a military exchange point. A rectangle marking was applied to the card by an Army Section (Abteilung) D censor. However, there is also a Riga censorship marking (R in a circle) and a cachet "Abgabe des Absenders erforderlich / Ausnahmsweise befördert" which are believed to be used much later, i.e. from July or August 1918 as far as known up to now [10]. Thus, the question when this postcard was actually delivered to the addressee remains still open.

Fig. 5:
At last, a postcard of especial interest. A 3-kop postal stationery card with a supplementary 5-kop adhesive giving a total franking of 8 kop in conformity with the current foreign rate was addressed to Leipzig, Germany from the Finnish town Nikolaistad (Vasa) on 1 January 1918 according to the Gregorian calendar adopted in Finland contrary to the other parts of Russian Empire. By this date, Finland had already proclaimed itself independent but this was recognized yet neither by Russia nor by any other country. Russian troops still quartered there and the postal system remained incorporated in the all-Russian one. There is on the card a hardly legible strike of Russian censorship at the FPO No. 129 with the date 31.I.(191)8 written in by pencil. This date is evidently in OS still used by the Russian censorship, i.e. 13 February in NS. However, the FPO No. 129 attached to the 6th Army HQ and located in Vyborg (Viipuri; at that time in the Finland territory) till December 1916 was transferred afterwards to the Romanian Front. One can suppose that the particular censor having this cachet remained in Vyborg (supposedly at the FPO No. 46 at the 42nd Army Corps) where continued his activities. In any case, this place of censorship indicates to that the card was following to the territory of Russia proper and then handed over to the German side at either mail exchange point. There are also items which could probably be delivered to the German side still as the "armistice" mail, although without certainty in it (figs. 6, 7).

Fig. 6:
This 3-kop postal stationery card was cancelled in Moscow on 16 February and addressed to Riga. Its total franking on 20 kop with additional adhesives (a 5-kop, 2 x 3-kop, 2 x 2-kop, and a 1-kop) corresponds to a foreign letter rather than postcard. Two days to the end of armistice seems a too short term for this card being handed over to the German side in good time. Nevertheless, such possibility cannot be excluded the more so that there are on the card no signs peculiar to the items delayed in delivery till the establishment of the regular exchange of mail (see below).

Fig. 7
A half of 7-kop Imperial postal stationery letter-card sent to Riga as a postcard from Akhtyrka, Kharkov province on 25 February, i.e. a week after the official end of armistice. A blue pencil note "Riga" evidences that this item was delivered to the German side but no signs of delivery in the later period of the regular mail exchange. Therefore, it remains a chance that also this card from Ukraine could be handed over still in the frame of armistice, since a separate Peace Treaty was signed also in Brest-Litovsk with the Ukrainian Central Rada Government (which did not recognize the Soviet Government in Petrograd and proclaimed the Independency of Ukraine on 22 January) as early as on 9 February, i.e. over 3 weeks before the treaty with Soviet Russia. However, the destiny of these cards could be another. For instance, they could be delivered first to a Russian postal establishment near the front line, found afterwards there by Germans who occupied this place during their last offensive and only afterwards delivered to the addressees. In any case, such items can be ascribed to the category of "armistice mail". On the other hand, there are postcards sent and franked as inland mail and addressed to the localities which at the instant of mailing the card were or considered by the sender to be still on Russian side. Actually, however, these localities were by the day of posting them or soon afterwards already occupied by Germans. It happened also delays by occasional reasons. Although these cards were, at last, delivered to the addressees, this happened a few months later after resumption of the postal communications between Russia and Germany, i.e. during the period of regular mail exchange. These postcards have all signs peculiar to the second period, incl. the German censorship markings of Riga that is not characteristic to the "armistice" mail, and can in no way regarded as such. Examples of such postcards are shown in figs 8 to 11.

Fig. 8 (the Ruud van Wijnen collection)
A 5-kop postal stationery card without supplementary franking cancelled in Petrograd on 19 February and addressed to Yur'ev (Dorpat in German, presently Tartu in Estonia). However, Yur'ev was occupied by Germans a few days later, so the card was delayed and delivered to the addressee much later after having been examined by censors: Russian in Petrograd and German in Riga.

Fig. 9 (the Ruud van Wijnen collection)
This picture postcard franked according to the inland rate with 2 x 3-kop adhesives (overfranked on 1 kop) had been posted in Kharkov on 22 February to Wenden, Livland province (presently Cesis in Latvia) when the latter was already under the German occupation for 2 or 3 days. Naturally, it was delayed, stored in Petrograd and mailed from there as late as 1 August.


Fig. 10
Also a picture postcard franked as the previous one but mailed a few days earlier, i.e. on 16 February, to Walk, Livland province (now Valga/Valka divided between Estonia and Latvia) from the distant Siberia (Atamanskaya Stanitsa, a suburb of Omsk). However, while the card was on its way to Petrograd, Valk was occupied as well, and it could reach the addressee only a few months later. The sender's data are not indicated but there is on the card a corresponding pencil note instead of the cachet.


Fig. 11
A picture postcard mailed by an Army-in-Field soldier post-free at Kuokkala, Finland on 2? January 1918 OS or, in any case, after 3 February NS. Evidently, this one was delayed in delivery to Pernov (Pernau, presently Pärnu in Estonia) too. Actually, it was readdressed afterwards to Fabrik Zintenhof (Sindi in Estonia), near Pernov. At last, two postcards mailed quite early for being delivered to the destination without any obstacles but it happened otherwise by reasons unknown to us (figs. 12, 13).

Fig. 12
A picture postcard franked on 5 kop in conformity with the current inland rate and mailed from Moscow on 27 December 1917 when it could still be delivered to Revel (Reval, now Tallinn) without any obstacles. We do not know, what the reason of delay was, but also this card reached the addressee in the town already occupied by Germans, i.e. in the period of regular mail exchange.

Fig. 13 (from [10])
A 3-kop postal stationery card franked also on 5 kop by adding a 2-kop adhesive was mailed from Kanavino, a suburb of Nizhniy Novgorod still earlier, on 11 October 1917 and addressed to Kreslavl', Vitebsk province (presently Kraslava in Latvia). This place remained under the Russian authority, at least, to 19 February 1918. Nevertheless, it was delayed too and after being censored in Moscow forwarded to the German side only during the period of regular mail exchange. Moreover, the card was taxed, since both the inland and foreign rates of Russia had been raised essentially by that time, although this was hardly a legal step as the card had been franked quite correctly at the instant of mailing it. Nevertheless, the German side determined the postage due at 15 pfg, i.e. the double inland postcard rate in Germany and the Ob. Ost area. Although the armistice was concluded, besides Germany, also with the other Central Powers, i.e. Austro-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey, almost no mail to or from those countries from this period was found up to the present. True, there exists a cover to Austria shown in [3]. It was mailed from Petrograd on 7 December 1917 OS (20 December NS) and addressed to Vienna being franked on 15 kop as an ordinary inland letter. However, there was added an inscription by hand in Russian meaning "via Brest-Litovsk). As this item was posted not in accordance with the announced regulations, it cannot be considered as a typical "armistice" mail.



The second period: Regular mail exchange


The resumption of mail exchange between the Soviet Russia and Germany with the lands occupied by its troops (except Ukraine which had its own postal administration and with which the postal communications were restored over a month later) was announced in Russia officially as from 8 June 1918 [13]. Such mail was prescribed to direct via Moscow or Petrograd. There were allowed for mailing postcards and letters, both ordinary and registered, but no other kinds of mail. The items of mail should be franked in accordance with the current foreign rates: it was from Russia 12 kop for postcards, 30 kop for letters and 30 kop for registration. The former requirement as to the obligatory indication of sender's information was retained as well. Actually, however, the German post usually neglected this requirement and let such postcards or letters pass through applying to the cover either the abovementioned cachet allowing delivery "as exception" (in Riga) or nothing at all. The language of message should be only German or Russian. The practice shows, however, that the German side let through also postcards with messages written in other languages. This was legalized as from 1 November when Estonian, Latvian and Polish were allowed as well. In practice, every item of mail was subject for censorship of both the Russian and German side. The place of censorship depended on the way along which the item from Russia passed. It was usually Moscow or Petrograd in Russia, Königsberg and Breslau (presently Wrozlav in Poland) for Germany, Warsaw for the former Russian Poland, Riga and Vil'no for the Baltic and a part of Byelorussia. Mail to and from the part of Byelorussia under the military authority of the German 11th Army was impossible. The mail exchange with Ukraine occupied by German and Austrian troops was regulated by a separate agreement between Soviet Russia and Ukraine. Let us consider below several examples of such mail from Russia franked in full conformity with the announced tariffs. Mail to Germany proper (figs. 14-19).

Fig. 14
A 3-kop postal stationary card franked additionally with a 10-kop adhesive (a slight overfranking on 1 kop) and mailed as ordinary on ? June from Petrograd to Hamburg. Censored in Petrograd and Königsberg.

Fig. 15
A 5-kop postal stationery card franked additionally with a 7-kop adhesive and sent as ordinary on 9 July from Petrograd to Berlin. Censored in Petrograd but no German censorship.

Fig. 16
A 3-kop postal stationery card franked additionally with a 5-kop and 4 x 1-kop adhesives and mailed as ordinary on 23 July from Krivoe Ozero, Saratov province to Halle. Censored in Moscow and Königsberg.

Fig. 17a front - 17b revers
An ordinary letter franked with a 20-kop and 10-kop adhesives and mailed on 20 May from Peschanka, Transbaikal province to Berlin. Censored in Petrograd and Königsberg. The letter was handed in still before the official opening of postal communications with Germany. Probably, it was already known about the forthcoming event.

Fig. 18a front - 18b revers
A registered letter franked with a 50-kop and 10-kop adhesives and mailed on 20 June from Moscow to München where received on 7 July. Censored in Moscow and Königsberg.

Fig. 19a front - 19b revers
A registered letter franked with 4 x 15-kop adhesives and sent on 30 September from Nizhnyi Novgorod to Leipzig. The date of reception is illegible. Censored in Moscow and Königsberg.

Mail to Generalgouvernment Warsaw (figs. 20, 21):

Fig. 20a front - 20b revers
A registered letter franked with 6 x 10-kop adhesives and mailed in end-September from Petrograd to Ozorkow, then readdressed to Hammerstein where arrived on 13 October. Censored in Moscow and an unidentified place.

Fig. 21a front - 21b revers
A registered letter franked with 6 x 10-kop adhesives and mailed in end-September from Petrograd to Zambrow, Osowiec district where received on 7 October. Censored in Petrograd and Lublin.

Mail to Postgebiet Ob. Ost (figs 22-27):

Fig. 22
A double 5+5-kop postal stationery card with the reply part attached but not answered having additional franking with a 5-kop and 2-kop adhesives and mailed as ordinary on 14 June from Moscow to Kobrin, Grodno province. Censored in Moscow and Vil'no.

Fig. 23
A double 3+3-kop postal stationery card with the reply part attached but not answered having additional franking with a 5-kop and 4-kop adhesives and mailed as ordinary on 15 June from Petrograd to Brest-Litovsk. Censored in Petrograd and Vil'no.

Fig. 24
A picture postcard franked with a 10-kop and 2-kop adhesives and sent on 21 September from Saratov Rlw. Station to Pernov, Livland province (Pernau, presently Pärnu in Estonia). Censored in Moscow and Riga. Also the cachet "Abgabe des Absenders erforderlich / Ausnahmsweise befördert", since no sender's address was indicated.

Fig. 25
A 5-kop postal stationery card franked additionally with a 2-kop, 15-kop and 2 x 10-kop adhesives and sent registered on 25 June from Kazan' to Revel (now Tallinn in Estonia) where received on 20 July. Censored in Moscow and Riga. Also the cachet "Abgabe des Absenders erforderlich / Ausnahmsweise befördert", since no sender's address was indicated.

Fig. 26
A 5-kop postal stationery card franked additionally with a 35-kop, 10-kop, 1-kop and 3 x 3-kop adhesives (i.e. erroneously on 60 kop as for a registered letter) and mailed registered on 31(?) August from Moscow Riga Rlw. St. to Walk (now divided into Valga in Estonia and Valka in Latvia) where arrived on 24 September. Censored in Moscow and Riga.

Fig. 27a front - 27b revers
A 14-kop postal stationery envelope franked additionally with 4 x 4-kop adhesives and sent as an ordinary letter on 8 July from Moscow to Pernov, Livland province (Pernau, now Pärnu in Estonia). Censored in Moscow and Riga.

It is a paradox that in the period under consideration (till 15 September) the inland postal rates were higher than the foreign ones, i.e. 20 kop for postcards, 35 kop for letters and 70 kop for registration. Therefore, there exist items franked just in conformity with the inland rates because of ignorance either the public or postal officials. Some examples of such ordinary postcards are described below (figs 28-30). No similar cases with letters are known to me.

Fig. 28
A 5-kop postal stationery card franked additionally with a 15-kop adhesive and mailed on 11 June from Orel to Riga. Censored in Petrograd and Riga.

Fig. 29
A 3-kop postal stationery card franked additionally with a 15-kop and 2-kop adhesives and sent on 22 August from Käppeselga, Olonets province to Revel (presently Tallinn, Estonia). Censored in Petrograd and Riga. There is a pencil note: "Deutsche, Russisch schreiben", since those were the only languages allowed for the correspondence, while the message was written in Estonian. Nevertheless, the card passed through similarly to the mail without sender's data.

Fig. 30
A 3-kop postal stationery card without additional franking mailed on 8 May, i.e. almost a month before the official opening of mail exchange, from Uryupinsk, a part of the Don province under the Soviets to Flensburg, Germany. Censored in Petrograd. The card was taxed by a local postal clerk on 34 kop, i.e. a double deficiency to the current inland rate.

There are still disagreements as to the date when these postal communications were stopped. For instance, H. Lukaschewitz [10] considers it 12 November when Soviet Russia denounced officially the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, while V. Marcigler names 1 December. The latter date looks more correct, since there are covers mailed later than 12 November [3]. By the way, one fixes some strangeness with the franking of mail to Germany in October and November (figs 31, 32).

Fig. 31
A 3-kop postal stationery card franked additionally with a 2-kop and 10-kop/7-kop adhesives and mailed as ordinary on 8 October from Tsarskoe Selo to Görlitz. Censored in Petrograd.

Fig. 32
A 3-kop postal stationery card franked additionally with a 10-kop and 3 x 1-kop adhesives and mailed as ordinary on 5 November from Kursk to Dresden. Censored in Petrograd and Königsberg. As evident, both cards are overfranked on 3 kop against the 12-kop rate. Of course, one can treat this as an occasion what can be quite possible. However, there exist other examples of mail to Germany from this period and just registered letters also overfranked which are depicted and described in [3]. Both these letters were mailed from Petrograd to Hamburg on 19 October and 11 November, respectively, and franked on 70 kop, i.e. overfranked on 10 kop. Were there actually some changes in the rates in the latter period? Unfortunately, this question cannot be answered definitely without more appropriate examples of mail and, of course, documents.

Finally, one more curious and unusual postcard reflecting the complicated situation in the southern part of Russia.

Fig. 33
A 5-kop postal stationery card franked additionally with a 5-kop and 10-kop/7-kop adhesives, postmarked in Novorossiisk on 27 August and addressed to Fellin (presently Viljandi in Estonia) via Rostov-on-Don which it passed on 31 August. Censored in Breslau. The matter is that just a day before, i.e. on 26 August, Novorossiisk was taken by the White forces under General Denikin. Thus the usual way through Soviet Russia became impossible and the card was directed to Rostov, the capital of Don Cossack republic under General Krasnov allied at that time with Germany which troops occupied the neighboring Ukraine and even small parts of the Don republic. Thus, one may suppose that this card was routed farther via Ukraine with the help of German field post to Germany (Breslau) and from there delivered to the addressee in the Baltic. There remains still some unclearness concerning the POW's mail. It looks as their mail from Russia lost its 'free' status after signing the Brest-Litovsk Treaty. The following example points probably to this circumstance.

Fig. 34
A postcard using a special blank for the POW's mail franked on 12 kop according to the new foreign tariff and mailed on 22 March from Kamyshlov, Perm' province to Freiburg in Baden. No censorship markings on this postcard. As follows from the message, this card was sent by a German POW waiting for a forthcoming departure to his homeland. Naturally, it is unknown for us when and how this card was actually forwarded to Germany, since it remained still about two and a half months to the official opening of mail exchange. The cover in fig. 17 belongs probably to the same category, as there also was a POW camp at Peschanka, the place of dispatching that cover. The regular postal communications with Austro-Hungary were restored considerably later. The corresponding information from the Soviet Russia postal administration was dated 19 September [13], so one can suppose that it happened in the first half of September. Also only ordinary and registered postcards or letters were allowed. Items of mail from Russia to Austria known to me are very scarce, all they being ordinary postcards posted much earlier prior to official opening of mail exchange. The only item normally franked, although posted quite prematurely, was shown by A. Cronin.

Fig. 35 (from [1])
A 5-kop postal stationery card franked additionally with a 5-kop and 2-kop adhesives, sent as ordinary on 14 June from Ryazan' to Nesseldorf and censored in Moscow and Vienna.

Two other postcards (figs. 36, 37) fall somewhat out of the 'normal' mail.

Fig. 36
A 5-kop postal stationery card franked additionally with 3 x 5-kop adhesives, i.e. on 20-kop according to the inland rate, and mailed as ordinary on 20 April from Chita Rlw. St. to Prague (then a part of Austria). Censored only in Vienna. As the letter in fig. 17 from East Siberia too, it was posted much earlier before the restoration of mail exchange with Austria.

Fig. 37
A 3-kop postal stationery card franked additionally with a 5-kop and 10-kop adhesives, i.e. on 18 kop in total. Such franking lies between the current inland and foreign rates and is some kind of mystery. The card was postmarked on 8 September at Osa, Perm' province and addressed to Vienna being written in Ukrainian. The small town Osa found itself at that time in the area of fighting between the Reds and Whites. Therefore, it was censored first at the 3rd Red Army HQ quartered in this area. It looks as the usual way via Moscow or Petrograd became impossible and the card turned out in the hands of Whites after occupying this area who routed it to Europa round the world via Siberia, the Far East, Japan and the USA. The latter is evidenced by a circular violet marking used by the American censorship. Not a single item of mail to Hungary from this period is known to me. As to the two other countries belonging to the Central Powers, namely Bulgaria and Turkey, Soviet Russia did not restore postal communications with them in 1918.

I express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Ruud van Wijnen for scans of some appropriate items from his collection.



References
1. Andrew Cronin. Brest-Litovsk Treaty Mail. "ЯМЩИК - the Post Rider" No. 36, June 1995, 15-19.
2. G.G. Werbizky. Brest-Litovsk Treaty Mail: an early cover. "ЯМЩИК - the Post Rider" No. 37, December 1995, 65.
3. Robert Taylor. Post Brest-Litovsk Mail. "ЯМЩИК - the Post Rider" No. 37, December 1995, 67-69.
4. Alexander Epstein. Something more about the Brest-Litovsk Treaty Mail. "ЯМЩИК - the Post Rider" No. 37, December 1995, 69-73.
5. Andrew Cronin. An Overview of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty Mail. "ЯМЩИК - the Post Rider" No. 37, December 1995, 73-75.
6. Harry von Hofmann. ЗАКАЗНОЕ - Recommandiert. Hamburg, 1993.
7. Джон Уиллер-Беннет. Победы и поражения советской дипломатии. Москва. «Центрполиграф» 2009.
8. W.-D. Rötger. Postverkehr zwischen dem Ob.Ost-Gebiet und Rußland während des Waffenstillstandes 1917/18. "Postgebiet Ob. Ost. Forschungsbericht 1979:1.
9. A. Leppä. The beginning of mail exchange between Russia and Germany in 1918. "Rossica Journal of Russia Philately" No. 106, 1985, 55-56.
10. V. Marcigler. Riga Postgeschichte bis 1919. 1987.
11. Heinz Lukaschewitz. Die Post über die Waffenstillstandslinien nach und aus Russland im Bereich von Livland und Kurland 1917 und 1918. "2. Symposium zur Postgeschichte Lettlands, Tuckum 9. August 2003".
12. Stoltz. Der Waffenstillvertrag zwischen den Mittelmachten und Russland vom 15.12.1917 und sene Auswirkungen auf die deutsche Postüberwachung. AGZ Rundbrief 1983:38.
13. Почтово-телеграфный журнал . 1918, No. 18-21.
14. Ditto. No. 40-42.