Green post-WWII censor cancels

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An extremely small number of Viennese covers exist with GREEN Soviet Zone censorship cancels. Consult Majorg's 2005 book "Nachrichten-Zensur der Alliierten in Österreich 1945-1953" (ISBN 3-85407-061-6). On page 473, he says about the colour of Soviet Zone censorship cancels "As a rule, the letter post used the colour violet. For telegrams, green was the rule and other colours have not been seen so far. Green censorship markings on the letter post can be found on Rohrpost and in part on express letters from the Vienna area; they were censored in Zensurstelle 6. Green censorship markings on normal mail are known from the censorship locations Eggenburg and Urfahr, but they are very rare. Red markings are extremely rare, the colour red-violet less so. The red-violet markings are themselves also rare, but not uncommon from the censorship location St. Pölten."

Specimen one.

This pneumatic letter has the bridge cancel 4 Wien 50 / 6.VIII.46.17 / 7b (Stohl R0024j) and is addressed to Wien XVII, Bergsteiggasse 5. Green 1140 Soviet Zone censorship marking (shown by the S.Z. at the bottom), red crayon 107. The franking is 18 groschen, 8 for a local letter, and 10 for Rohrpost. The "Rohrpost" label is pink, not the red it appears here; the censor marking is on top of the sealing tape and the label.

On the back is another green 1140 Soviet Zone censor mark (again on top of the sealing tape) and the bridge arrival cancel 17 Wien 107 / 6 VIII.46.19- / 7a (Stohl R0052d). If the cancel times are correct, it took only 2 hours for censoring and delivery. Station 107 was at Hernals in Wien XVII, as is the delivery address, so itís a sensible routing. The stamps had been issued by Aug 1946 and were still valid.

[Aside: The senderís address of "Stalinplatz" was a post-WWII innovation; it has now reverted to its previous name of Schwarzenbergplatz. The back is stamped "Bundesministerium / für Handel u. Wiederaufbau / Wien IV, Stalinplatz" which is the building in which the negotiations for the State Treaty were conducted! The building exists today (June 2000) as No.4 Schwarzenbergplatz; the inscription on the pediment is "Österreich Industrie Gewidmet" while the nameplate on the door says "Haus der Industrie". See here for (relatively) recent photos.]

Specimen two.

This was mailed from 7 WIEN xx / 23.VIII.46.11 / 7b [this is probably 7 Wien 60 (Stohl R0030e; open in 1946 according to Turner) or possibly 62 (Stohl R0031f; 1946-status unclear)]. It is addressed to Wien XX, Donaueschingenstrasse 30. Green 1851 Soviet Zone censorship marking; red crayon 129. The franking is 48 groschen. The censor marking is on top of the sealing tape and the label. On the front is "per Eilbote" in the same hand as the address on the front and the senderís name (& address in Durnstein!) on the back.

On the back is another green 1851 censor mark, also on top of the sealing strip, and two cancellations: a ring cancel WIEN 20 / 23.8.46.-16 / h (this is Stohlís A2625h) and a bridge 20 WIEN xx / 23.VIII.46.16 / b. Given the delivery address, WIEN 129 in Webergasse is a sensible pneumatic office to send it to, and it is listed as being open in August 1946. The bridge cancel would then be 20 WIEN 129 (which is Stohlís R0059g although he records its first usage in 1947)

The franking is 48 groschen, which is correct for 8 for a local letter plus 40 for Express delivery; the Post Office could, and here did, decide to expedite it by Rohrpost. Strictly, if it was the sender who had applied the Rohrpost / und Eilbote label, they should have affixed 10 groschen more for the pneumatic transport.

The stamps had been issued by Aug 1946 and were still valid. The leftmost 10g appears sharper and brighter than the other two, and has a plate flaw (Gindl 3/I - there is a "tree" growing on top of the castle!), and isnít cancelled. On the front, the red 129 does not appear to be in "Austrian handwriting", especially the 1; and the blue Rohrpost also looks unusual (although the address does have rather florid capitals).

Specimen two: front above; reverse below

Both these items have Majorg type SZS13 green censor marks.

A censored telegram

See Majorg pp 465 & 473; this is his type SZS20.

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