LITHUANIA : INDEPENDENCE 1918-1940 : POLISH ADMINISTRATION
From 25 august there is another second Lithuanian government period till the third Polish occupation by troops of
the Lithuanian-White-Russian front.
The Polish leader, Josef Pilsudski, had send the army to Lithuania. He regarded Vilnius as a part of the old -and now rised again- Poland, but it was also his native region. At 9 oktober 1920 general Lucjan Zeligowski occupied the south-east of Lithuania -aboud one-third of the country -with the capital Vilnius (for Poland: Wilna).
Poland couldn't approve official this occupation, but by way of a "coup d'état'' Zeligowski founded a new state. Officially Zeligowski was a 'rebel' for the Poles, but later he became even Minister of defence of Poland. This new state get the name Srodkowa Litwa (Central Lithuania) and has gone issue stamp itself.
When the Lithuanian period finished, the Lithuanians had no opportunity to take with them the supply of stamps. The Poles used this stamps for overprints, and even they were sold on the counter before the appearance of the first regular stamps of Central Lithuania. In the catalog of Pachonski from 1930 the overprints are numbered as 1-10 (Michel 4-13).
In the short time that this state existed, are stamp printed to the value of about 2 milliard Mark. So the most stamps were for sale to collectors for to fill up the treasury of Central Lithuania. Really by mail are not used so much stamps.
At 20 oktober the postnet has been established, with post offices and the first stamps.
This was something for form's sake: Polish stamps were tolerated. Also Polish postal stationaries remained in use: the printed value indication was counted for franking, in conformity with a post-treaty with Warsaw.
In general these stamps are not really expensive, with the exception of the before mentioned overprints of Lithuanian stamps (Mi.4-13). The 10 Mk on 3 Auks had a printing of 283, and the 10 Mk 0n 5 Auks a printing of 360. These overprintings were thus worth the trouble to forge them.
By the war-circumstances it was indeed hard to get paper and ink and alsothe printing-facilities were not optimal. This led to a lot of varieties in paper and colors.
As so many issues of Central Lithuania, the first stamps are been issued toothed and non-toothed. These stamps show the arms of the new state with the Polish eagle and the Lithuanian rider.
This picture and all pictures below on this page, if not mentioned otherwise: scanned about 300 dpi. Then set right and cut out - noted the actual print size-, resized 25 % of this image.
Postage stamp, Resized 50%.
Often topics of the stamps have relations with great past of the Polish-Lithuanian Empire, and also General Zeligowski is to find on a stamp, Mi. 19, (also resized 50 %).
Part of a letter with stamps - Mi. 14-18- of Central Lithuania, postmark WILNO, original print size of this image: 19,466 x 5,927 cm (is something more as the postal item)
After the elections of 8 January 1922 the new parliament decide 20 February 1922 on joining Poland. At 16 April 1922 the whole area becomes Polish.
Of course Lithuania did not recognize the annexation of the Vilnius-area. On Mi. 324-325 we see marked the Vilnius-area (resized 50 %).
In the Lithuanian constitution remains: "art.5 The capital of Lithuania is vilnius. By law she can removed provisional elsewhere". Also there was no postal traffic between Vilnius and Lithuania and regularly in the course of years there were skirmishes by the border.
Only after a Polish ultimatum (17 Mrch 1938) and the threat of a great concentration of Polish troops near the border, the diplomatic representations in Kainas and Warsaw were opened. Also the railway-, post- and telegraph-communications were restored.
The cover here is a nice cover - postmark of Saločiai and on the back of Rietavas-, but here we are more interested in the tekst on the cover:
"Polish force in Vilnius must give way to Lithuanian right".
Original print size of this image: 16,027 x 13,013 cm (is something more as the postal item)
Letter with Polish stamps and postmark WILNA to New York (1922)
Original print size of this image: 13,343 x 11,591 cm (is something more as the postal item).
The postmark, resized 50 %.
This period in Poland the inflation begins really to rise. This letter is franked with 50 Mark. Letters up to 20 gramm to a foreign country had to be franked from 15 September 1921 with 25 Mark. From 1 May 1922 already 50 Mark was needed, 15 September 1922: 100 Mark, 15 December 1922: 200 Mark, 20 February 1923: 500 Mark, and finally 16 februari 1924 550.000 Mark. After the money-reform, 1 Mei 1924, the postal rate becomes 0,30 zl. (=30 groszy), registering 0,30 zl. and express 0,60 zl.
Original print size of this image: 14,486 x 9,254 cm (is something more as the postal item)
The postmark, resized 50 %.
The picture: as you can read -in polish- on the card: the cathedral.
The Polish period endures to 19-22 september 1939, when Vilnius became occupied by Sowjet-troops.
There are also Polish postal stationeries -postcards - with an image of Vilnius.
Original print size of this image: 15,020 x 10,626 cm (is something more as the postal item)
On this postcard the image of the church St. Anne in Vilnius. The card is issued August 5, 1935.
In the Michel Ganzsachen-Katalog Europe East (2004/2005) it can be found as P 67. The imprinted stamp. value 15 groszy, is a picture of the motorship 'Marshal Pilsudski'. In Michel is the information that there are 32 different numbered pictures.
In the Polish catalog Fischer (2001, part II) there is given more information.
The first set 'Bildpostkarte' - postcards with imprinted stamp and a picture -P 50 - is issued on August 29, 1931.
As imprinted stamp is used the picture of Henryk Sienkiewics, a Polish writer, and the value is 15 groszy.
There are more print runs:
- I Print run (VIII-1931), picture olivegreen
- IIa Print run (XI-1931), picture olivegreen
- IIb Print run (XI-1931), picture green
- P50 I: M.P.i.T. (VIII-1931 3000000)
- P50 II: M.P.i.T. (XI-1931 6400000)
The print indications:
The length of the print indications on P 50 II:
IIa: 37,5-38,5 mm and IIb: 40-41,5 mm.
In the Polish catalog we finf the list of numbered pictures:
Nr. 6 Wilno Katedra
Nr. 8 Wilno Sw. Anny
The postcards were valid unto June 1, 1936.
The second set is issued on August 5 1935, P 67 in Michel (in Fischer 68). The imprinted stamp is a picture of the motorship 'Marshal Pilsudski. The size is 148 x 105 mm, the value indication is 15 groszy, valid unto November 15, 1937, and again with 32 different numbered pictures.
The pictures from Vilnius:
Nr. 12 Wilno St. Anny (this card above)
Nr. 22 Wilno Katedra
The print indication (on thr card above in the right corner below: M.P.i.T. (III-1935 9.600.000 Ser. III.-12.
The third set with the same 32 numbered pictures is according Michel issued on August 6, 1937. As imprinted stamps are used the picture of the university of Lemberg (in Michel P 75, 15 groszy) and castle Mir (in Michel P 76, 30 groszy), size 148 x 105 mm.
The print indications: P75: P.P.T.T. (III-1937) - 6.200.000 Ser. III, 1. (do 32)
P76: P.P.T.T. (III-1937) - 200.000 Ser. III, 1. (do 32)
In the Polish catalog the numbering is 76 and 77
A new set cards is issued on November 11, 1938., also one card with a picture from Vilnius.
The imprinted stamp is a picture of king Kasimir Jagiellonczyk in coronation robe.One set has as value indication 15 groszy (P85) and one set has 30 groszy (P86). In the Polish catalog the numbers are 86 and 87.
Both sets consist of 64 cards, and number 50 is: 'Barok: WILNO'.
Original print size of this image: 14,334 x 9,279 cm (is something more as the postal item)
The postmark, resized 50 %.
In the postmark is indicated Druskieniki, the Polish name. This is the postmark with serial letter 'a'. There is one other postmark of Druskieniki: without serial letter.
On the other side of the card with a view on Druskininkai.
Resized 50 %
Original print size of this image: 3,158 x 3,852 cm (is something more as the postal item)
The postmark of Troki, the Lithuanian Trakai, on Mi. 15b.
MAP ABOUT 1930
Detail of a Lithuanian Railway map -resized 40 %- about 1930 with Central Lithuania as 'Occupied by Poland'. There is no border between Lithuania and the Vilnius area, but a 'Demarcation line'.
Legenda of the map:
"Hauptstadt' ( capital) : Vilnius
"Provisorische Hauptstadt"(provisional capital): Kaunas
"Demarkationslinie zwischen dem unbesetzten und dem von Polen besetzten Litauen" (Demarcation-line between the not-occupied and the by Poland occupied Lithuania)
"Staatsgrenze" (State-border): this border around the not-occupied and occupied Lithuania is something very spacious, inclusive the area around Gardinas (in Lithuanian Grodno).
- Die Inflation der Markwährungen und das postalische Geschehen im litauisch-polnischen Raum / Gerhard Hahne Wuppertal : Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Polen e. V. im BdPh e. V., 1996. - 306 p.
- De postzegels van Midden-Litouwen (Litwa Srodkowa) / A. Laszkiewics, samenst.. - In. HBG 1991 ; 19. - p. 54-75. - [Overview of the stamps of Central Lithuania]