The Samovar

Help identifying a Amur Region postmark!

Lacplesis - 5/9/2007 at 09:54

This Poscard was censored in Blagowestshensk but the postmark is very blury. Can someone make out what it reads?

Complete postcard:

blago1.jpg - 239kB

Lacplesis - 5/9/2007 at 09:56


blago2.jpg - 292kB

jlechtanski - 5/9/2007 at 12:22

I looks like BLAGOV'SHCHEN. to me.

IvoSteijn - 5/9/2007 at 14:05

Elets, Orlovsk. Gub. The Blagoveshchensk censor mark was applied near the destination.

Lacplesis - 5/9/2007 at 14:22

Thanks a lot!

jlechtanski - 5/9/2007 at 15:32

The postcard appears to be addressed to Bogoroditsk, Tyla Gub.

The censor is from Blagoveshchensk, Amur Obl.

I see the reference to Elets, Orlovsk Gub. in the postcardís message but I donít think the postcard and postmark originated there.

If it were sent from Elets, Orlovsk Gub. to Bogoroditsk, Tyla Gub. (adjacent gubernias in European Russia), why would it be censored in Blagoveshchensk, Amur Obl., in Russian Asia?

It would make more sense if it were censored in and sent from Blagoveshcensk to Bogorditsk.

IvoSteijn - 5/9/2007 at 15:43

Well, the postmark is ELETS ORLOV. so at the very least the card was postmarked there. Not having a postal list to hand I have no way of knowing whether the Bogoroditsk in the address is the only town of that name. I agree that if it is and it's in Tula Gub then we have a mystery. A possible explanation would be that the POW to which it was addressed had been moved to Eastern Siberia, but then I would expect lots more scribbles. Explanation two is that the censor mark is a forgery.

A third possible explanation is given by the writer when he states "Ya eshchyo zdes" (I am still here): perhaps the card was written in Blagoveshchensk, censored there but not actually posted until the writer got to Elets?

Gary - 5/9/2007 at 17:38

Interesting that this could be a forged censor mark. Hmmmm. I am still here, but not for long states the sender...

achlenov - 5/9/2007 at 17:51

How well known is this censor mark? Why does it say "Prosmotreno v Blagoveschenskom OTRYADE"? Are there other censor marks of this type?

jlechtanski - 5/9/2007 at 18:36

Skipton & Michalove show an example on a POW formula to Vienna and state the dates of use as Feb-Mar 1917.

They also show another similar example with a "No. 2" added after the OTRYADE also on a POW card to Vienna.

This second version has dates of use as Apr-Jul 1917.

Lacplesis - 5/9/2007 at 18:45

Are you absolute positive about ELETS? I was thinking the word starts JAL...

jlechtanski - 5/9/2007 at 18:51

I just took a look at Speeckaert.

He shows the two types as POW guard unit censorship marks.

Does this imply that the mark was placed on mail in or at the POW camp at Blagoveshchensk?

Lacplesis - 5/9/2007 at 19:07

I checked the book by Taitl about Austro-Hungarian POW's, Vol. 2 Siberia:

He also lists the 2 censormarks mentioned above as camp censorship marks.

"No information on the Camp itself have been found.
1917 a train with nearly 1000 ill POW's reached Blagoveshchensk. They should be returned home in an exchange of POW's via Petrograd - Finland - Sweden.
The train was send west, than back east and again to the west and finaly back to the east. More than 50% of the passengers of this trainload died on this siberian odyssee."

achlenov - 5/9/2007 at 19:37

Were all censors sedentary (stationed at a given town) or where some of them traveling with, say, a military unit?

jlechtanski - 5/9/2007 at 20:23

I would say in the case of military censors, they usually moved with the troops.

Some exceptions would be the military districts and POW camps.

IvoSteijn - 5/9/2007 at 23:00

Originally posted by Lacplesis
Are you absolute positive about ELETS? I was thinking the word starts JAL...

Nothing is ever absolutely sure with two blurry strikes like this, but the "ts" is beyond doubt, the "L" is there, the "ORLOV." seems pretty clear...add to that the reference in the text and Occam's Razor says it's ELETS ORLOV.
I also absolutely can't make "AMUR(SK). out of that province designation.

achlenov - 5/10/2007 at 13:27

So if the censor moved with the troops he didn't have to be in Blagoveschensk; the military unit might have simply had that name, or maybe it was formed in Blagoveschensk and then moved West...

Lacplesis - 5/10/2007 at 14:29

Maybe that is what Taitl was intending to say: A travelling POW camp?

achlenov - 5/10/2007 at 16:08

A very interesting piece of postal history indeed!