The Samovar

A philatelic cover?

Gary - 5/22/2007 at 15:49

This cover is out of my area of collecting, but is pretty. Is it philatelic or other? The return address is mezhdynarodnaya kniga

polar.jpg - 109kB

jlechtanski - 5/22/2007 at 22:41

Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga is a publishing house. They used to sell tons of subsidized books in Russian and foreign languages. They had the Melodiya record label as well. Also they sold stamps and coins.

I wouldn't call a metered envelope philatelic. The envelope may have been from some leftover stock.

Mail to a "Filatelist" in Manchukuo - nice.

mvarfolo - 5/23/2007 at 01:29

With all respect, did I get it correct - 1944?! - the place was still occupied by japanese. Then this is a philatelic propagandist joke of sorts, NKVD-approved. Labor camps are coming to town...
Just $0.02

Lacplesis - 5/23/2007 at 02:10

I read 1941... deep peace

reverse of cover showing return address

Gary - 5/23/2007 at 05:13

polar-back.jpg - 31kB

Rasputin - 5/23/2007 at 09:24

This is early Rossika mail, addressed to member #449 (joined the society in or about 1934), Mikhail Fedorovich Shulyak (Shoolak), who lived in Manchukuo. The first membership list in the "Short History" carries him as M.T. Shulyak, but the T is just the anglicized version (Theodore) of the Russian "Fedor[ovich]."

mvarfolo - 5/23/2007 at 19:57

Japanese occupation was not a good time. The following Soviet occupation was even worse for Russians in the area. Do you know what was his fate? Did he manage to survive and immigrate?

Sorry about 1941 or 44 - need to remember to use glasses.
Same difference as far as under Japanese control. Obviously didn't know about it being a Rossica mail. And January 41 - explains that it was still possible to send mail there. Thanks!

jlechtanski - 5/23/2007 at 21:29

The Russo-Japanese Non-Aggression Pact was signed in April, 1941. The Russians didn't declare war on Japan until August, 1945.

Was there mail service to Manchukuo throughout WWII?

David Jay - 5/23/2007 at 23:07

As I understand it Rossica was a society of exiles, presumably not in good odor with the Stalinists in Moscow. It seems curious that we have correspondence between the two camps. Commerce makes strange bedfellows??

oldteddy - 5/23/2007 at 23:17

There are no signs (or am I missing something?) that it indeed arrived to Kharbin. So may be it didn't travel further than Moscow GLAVPOCHTAMT...

Gary - 5/24/2007 at 03:36

Originally posted by oldteddy
There are no signs (or am I missing something?) that it indeed arrived to Kharbin. So may be it didn't travel further than Moscow GLAVPOCHTAMT...

None that I can see either.

Lacplesis - 5/24/2007 at 03:55

The border was open, even for travellers of all kind, so why should a letter not have been transportet there?

A Postcard from the Manchurian Border, Oct. 1940

Lacplesis - 5/24/2007 at 04:17

The postcard shown is a standart german postcard form. The card is postmarked 19.11.40 at Tchita (Transbaikal), the red mark is from an OKW Censor. The writer is member of a business delegation.

It follows the text of the PC, first in German than my translation of it.

(Note the difference in date of the postmark and date of the message!!! I have not even a theory what happend, maybe just an error by the writter. I don't think that the NKVD needed a month to find someone who could read german...)

Sibirien?, den 16.10.40

Lieber Bruno!
Einen schönen Gruß von der russisch-manschurischen Grenze. Morgen früh werden wir Russland verlassen. Bis jetzt ging alles gut. Gestern eine herrliche Fahrt am Baikalsee vorbei. Alle ganz begeistert. Hier schon Frost und Schnee. Land (Schnee) See schneebedeckte Berge. Pardon! Der Zug fährt an. Warten bis zur nächsten Station! Nach dem Abendessen: Es wird schon alles gerüstet für den morgigen Abschied von der UdSSR. Ein halbes Brot für 3 Rubel! Das ist jedenfalls mehr als nichts! Der Wirt macht Bombengeschäfte. Lieber hier einige Rubel zahlen als in Manschuria Dollars. Die Rubel müssen wir in Russland ausgeben.
In den nächsten Tagen müssen wir uns auch schon von den „Japanern“ trennen. Viel Freude haben wir zusammen erlebt.
In den letzten Tagen sahen wir schon mehrere Mongolengesichter. Ich bin gespannt auf Manschuria. Bis jetzt hatten wir mit unserm Gepäck noch keine Last. Morgen geht die Schlepperei los. 110 kg!! Das ist keine Kleinigkeit. Die meisten haben die Fahrt sehr gut überstanden. Nur 3 haben sich den Magen verstaucht.
Alles Gute. Hezl. Grüße von uns allen bes. v. ....

Sibiria?, 16.10.40.

Dear Bruno!
Greatings from the russian-manchurian border. Tomorrow morning we will leave russia. Everything went well so far. Yesterday wonderful ride alonge lake Baikal. Everybody was exalted. Here already chill and snow. Land (Snow), Sea and snowcovered mountains. Pardon me! The train is moving again. Wainting for the next station! After dinner: Everything is made ready for tomorrows farwell to the USSR. A half bread is sold for 3 Rubel! That is more than nothing! The shopkeeper is making quite a deal. (But) Better to pay here some Ruble than Dollars in Manchuria. The Rubels must be spend in Russia.
In a few days it is time to say goodbye to the „Japanese“. We had much fun together. (1)
Within the last days we already saw several mongolian-faces. I’m anxious to see Manchuria. Until now we had no trouble with our baggage. From tomorrow we have to carry it all by ourselfs. 110 kg!! That is not a piece of cake. Most (of us) endured the trip well. Only 3 have catched stomach problems.
Greetings etc.

(1) The meaning of „japanese“ in this context is: The part of the traveling group bound for Japan while the writters part of the delegation is to stay in Manchuria.

tschita3.jpg - 107kB

Am I also missing something?

Fergana - 5/26/2007 at 16:46

"There are no signs (or am I missing something?) that it indeed arrived to Kharbin. So may be it didn't travel further than Moscow GLAVPOCHTAMT..." (Sorry, can't figure out how to put that quote in a quote-box.)

What sign of arrival should be there? Why does the absence of a back-stamp mean that the letter never reached Kharbin?

Gary - 5/26/2007 at 17:00

There are many items available on which there is no arrival or transit marks, even in the Empire Era. This can be possible for several reasons: the transit or arrival postal clerk was sloppy and did not apply a mark; the item traveled in a pouch and would not necssarily have received a mark; the item never actually made it to the addressee. The latter is hard to prove, but often leads to speculation that it did not arrive. Did it or did it not? I do not know from the evidence presented. It is easy to say "did not arrive," which is an easy way to say "who knows?"

Gary - 5/27/2007 at 13:37

Additional information from Adolph Ackerman.

The envelope apparently was issued to commemorate the establishment of the 1st polar drift station in 1937 (21 May) by Papanin and 3 others (Fedorv, Shirshov and Krenkel + their dog). The airplanes landed at the pole taking them there and then flew back to their base at FJL (Rudolph Isl). The envelope is relatively common and pretty. The 1941 postmark is later and kinda nice - I think the envelope came out in 1938 about the time the drift station group was picked off the ice remnant by the icebreakers (Feb 1938). It was a world newspaper event(s).

jlechtanski - 5/27/2007 at 14:34

The return is shown on the 1938 set – Scott 643-646, Zagorsky 515-518.

The envelope is illustrated in Zagorsky with the 1937 set – Scott 625-628, Zakorsky 483-486.

It is a registered cover from Petrograd to Yalta, 14 May 1938, with a single copy of the 40k stamp from the set, Zagorsky 485.