Saga of Hans Wessely

 

General

    Hans Wessely, born in 1910, was a resident of Vienna and was employed by a large book publisher whom he represented at the 1937 Zionist Congress in Vienna.  After the German takeover of Austria, he worked at the Isralitsche Kultusgemiende Vienna Emigration Department.  He was hopeful of emigrating to America.  On September 25, 1942, he was deported from Vienna to Theresienstadt.  On September 29, 1944, he was deported from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz, where he perished.  During the course of his travails, Hans maintained a correspondence with a friend in Zurich, Switzerland, Greth Papernizki.  Below are philatelic materials from this correspondence.

Philatelic Materials

    Vienna--  Below are thumbnails of the front and back of a cover from Hans to his friend in Zurich postmarked May 4, 1940.  The return address is that of the Isralitsche Kultusgemiende, without revealing the organization's name.  Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Vienna" in the left frame to return.

 

    Theresienstadt--  Below are thumbnails of the front and back of three parcel acknowledgement card sent by Hans from Theresienstadt to his friend in Zurich.  The first is a pre-printed white parcel acknowledgement card.  White cards were used only for a three month period.  The card is dated October 14, 1943 and postmarked October 16 in Bauschowitz, bearing four censor marks.  The second is a parcel acknowledgement card on gray stock dated June 8, 1944, and postmarked in Prague at two different stations on June 21, 1944.  Besides a blue chemical smear (censor) diagonally across the message portion of the card, it bears three German censor marks on the front.  The third is a parcel acknowledgement card on brown stock dated June 6, 1944, and postmarked in Prague on July 17, 1944.  It is interesting to note that in the space to indicate the date of shipment, it shows instead "Lissabon, 1944."  Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Theresienstadt" in the left frame to return.

   

    Post War--  Below are thumbnails of the front and back of a registered postcard written by Greth Papernizki on July 30, 1945, postmarked Zurich  July 30, 1945, addressed to Hans at Theresienstadt.  The message longs for a sign of life from him.  The card was returned to sender with a pencil notation "is nicht mehr hier" (is no longer here).  The card was first routed to Lyon, France (August 5), then to Prague (August 20), then to Bohusovice n. Ohri (August 22), which was the facility handling Theresienstadt mail.  The card was received back in Zurich on August 28, 1945.  The card also bears a Russian censor mark "CCPI".  Please click on the thumbnail to see the full image, and then click your back key or "Post War" in the left frame to return.

 

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