Page Eight

Holocaust Aftermath: Delayed Delivery of Mail

An April 27, 1940, letter from Edinburgh, Scotland, to a Royal Air Force man, forwarded from Uxbridge on May 8, and received at British Field Post Office No. 45 in France on May 23. When France fell and British forces evacuated the continent, the letter had not been delivered. French postal workers hid it for the duration of the war. After the German defeat, it received a boxed purple backstamp, “DETAINED IN FRANCE DURING THE GERMAN OCCUPATION,” and was returned to Britain. Lacking a sender’s return address, it was opened, resealed, and returned.

Pictured Below: A March 3, 1945, letter from the French Red Cross at Geneva, Switzerland, to an honored internee at the Neuengamme internment camp (a Vichy official who had fled with the retreating German army) was censored by Germany at Munich, but then was overtaken by Germany’s collapse and surrender. After U.S. military censorship, attempted delivery failed at two Neuengamme camp locations, so it was returned to the sender.

The German term ├╝berroller denotes cards and letters mailed before but delivered after World War II ended.

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