CARPATHO-UKRAINIAN POSTAL STATIONERY, 1939 and 1945

by Ingert Kuzych and Jay Carrigan

[This article is scheduled to be published by the Ukrainian Philatelic and Numismatic Society sometime in 2003, in a revised edition of its Handbook of Classic Ukrainian Philately, Chapter 14All rights reserved.]

Introduction Available Cancellations in March of 1939

National Assembly Issue First Day Commemoratives

 
NRZU-Overprinted Stationery Uzhhorod Stationery
Overprinted Hungarian Postal Stationery Mukachiv Stationery
A Note on Valuations Berehove Stationery
Criteria for Listing Field Post Stationery

Introduction

Early in February of 1939, exciting announcements began to appear in the Czechoslovak daily press and in some philatelic publications about the issuance of a stamp to commemorate the opening of the First Carpatho-Ukrainian National Assembly in Khust the following month. This lead-time allowed for ample opportunity to produce suitable commemorative stationery upon which to affix this special regional stamp.

Originally, the National Assembly was to take place on Thursday, 2 March 1939 and this is the date shown on the stamp design. But the stamp did not appear on 2 March and the National Assembly was repeatedly rescheduled, first to the 9th, then the 14th, and there was even talk of the 21st. The reason for the postponements was that the Czechoslovak authorities feared – with some justification - that the Carpatho-Ukrainians would try to secede from the Czechoslovak Federation.

It was on the 14th, however, that Slovakia first broke away from Czechoslovakia and Carpatho-Ukraine found itself literally cut off from the rest of the country. That evening Carpatho-Ukraine first announced its independence by radio and plans were quickly made to hold a National Assembly the following day. On Wednesday the 15th, the Carpatho-Ukrainian stamps were put on sale late in the morning. No longer regional stamps, they now became the country’s first stamp issue. Later in the day, the deputies of the Assembly formally proclaimed independence and adopted a constitution.

These acts were, in essence, symbolic gestures. Even as the decrees were being passed, the Hungarian army was marching on Khust. Within a few days, all of Carpatho-Ukraine was occupied and the members of the government had fled abroad. Carpatho-Ukraine would remain part of Hungary until the fall of 1944.

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References

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