Lot #: 143678

Asking Price: $3,000.00

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VERY LAST mail from Nazi Germany on eve of WWII - by sea: 31 AUG 1939 (17:00) postmarked [detached] German postal reply card with long message in German dated the same day, air mailed from MAGDEBURG to addressee in NAHARIYA (via VIENNA per penciled routing instruction), uprated from 15pf to 25pf for overseas usage (15pf postcard rate + 10pf for air mail) & tied by German air mail ettiquette: World War II broke out just after midnight (1 Sept. 1939), and all postal services from Germany to Palestine (and vice versa) were suspended on 6 Sept. - nevertheless this postcard reached Palestine, where is was checked by T5 censor in TEL AVIV (Sach-Q21a), possibly routed in error to NATHANYA where front-stamped on 4 Oct 1939 (Dorf-2) and then re-routed to Nahariya per red crayon notation. This may explain the censoring in Tel Aviv, as a censor station also existed in Haifa, and would have been more appropriate for mail destined to Nahariya.
Very rare mail + valuable routing information: per Boyle "all civilian air mail services were suspended in Germany from 1 September 1939 through 5 October 1939" (p.188). Given the relatively long transit time (an identical air mailed postcard from the same sender, to Jerusalem, deposited also at 17:00 on the 31st, reached Palestine on the 18th), here this postcard was likely transmitted by surface routing - an odd occurence as the sister postcard was handled apparently as air mail, and possibly explained by misrouting already at the point of origin in Germany, where the destination was misread and the postcard subsequently sent to Tel Aviv Port rather than to Lydda Airport. Also of note, the postcard was not censored in Germany: wartime censorship there began roughly on 4 Sept. and only in Berlin & Konigsberg; although even mail in transit was to be censored, the postcard - even if in transit - likely missed being transferred to either censor office as the censor system was still being established at this time.