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K.u.K. Censor Station Voitersreuth – Scarcity or Forgery ?

by Mr. Horst Thielk of Kiel, Germany

 

Originally published in the Czech language in journal TERRA

( published by Society for Territorial Philately of Union of Czech Philatelists )

and

in English language in the journal The Czechoslovak Specialist

( published by the Society for Czechoslovak Philately, Inc. )

 

English Translation by a Mr. Thielk´s Friend of Great Britain

 

Cesky obsah

Tento clanek se zabyva padelanymi celistvostmi s vymyslenym cenzurnim razitkem Vojtanov (Voitersreuth) z doby první svetove války.

 

 

Quite a lot of correspondence of Austro-Hungarian soldiers, and especially of officers in Russian Prisoners Of War Camps, is preserved and it is very popular amongst philatelists. The following, about such a correspondence, is reported so that collectors can be aware of possible problem.

Hauptmann (Captain) Wilhem von Helmfeld, held in Siberian Prisoners of War Camp at Tomsk, wrote very often to his spouse in Vienna (to address Ungargasse 24-9, Wien III). From numbering of his cards we know that he was a very diligent writer. So far nine cards are known to me from the years 1916 – 1917. In most cases they show different military censorship hand stamps and all have received, before delivery, the red triangle censor hand stamp of the ”Gemeinsames Zentrales Nachweis-Büro Wien” (type 2.12 as per Thilek´s catalogue) .

None of the items known to me could be delivered to the addressee in Vienna, so they received the large hand stamp “Abgereist / Parti” (= departed) and the postal hand stamp “Nachsenden” (= forward) . The new address was added in manuscript “Schloss Altenteich, Post Voitersreuth – Böhmen” (= Castle Starý rybník, post office Vojtanov – Bohemia) . Some of the cards could not be delivered at Vojtanov and received another forwarding address : per Adr. Liessen in Cöln a/Rhein, Mauritiuswall 67. So far all the postal and censorship markings should be correct as some of the cards received the arrival post marks of Voitersreuth and Cöln (= Colonia).

However, I believe that some manipulations have been made to increase the value of these items. The cards show hand stamp, made of loose letters “K.u.K. ZENSURSTELLE / VOITERSREUTH and additionally the single line “ZENSURIERT . The cards forwarded to Cöln show yet another hand stamp “ Zensuriert / GZ.B. Zensurabt. CÖLN a.Rh. “ . Four of the cards carry a further hand stamp “TOMSK” in exactly the same type of loose letters. All these hand stamps are, to my thinking, from the same source, added later and are forgeries.

To support my assumption I offer the following fact :

 

It has to be pointed out again, that all the hand stamps mentioned are made of single letter types. Some of the letters found in each of the hand stamps show the same characteristics. To make the whole thing complete, I know of one card addressed direct to Altenteich / Voitersreuth and forwarded to Colonia that doesn’t show any of these doubtful marks.

To conclude, I think these are indubitable forged censor marks.

I would be very grateful to receive photocopies of any items with these hand stamps. Please send them to my address … . Thank you in advance.

 

Black Note

Unfortunately, I have to inform you, that Mr. Thielk died in December 2000, so it is no more possible to send the photocopies of Voitersreuth items to him.  When you find any such item in your collection, please don’t hesitate to let me know by bellow mentioned e-mail and I will be pleased to inform about the discovery the philatelic public.  Lubor Kunc

 

This article is published to honour the excelent man and collector and to remember him to other philatelists.

 

 

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