The Holocaust through
the Letters and Cards of the Victims
My hope for this website is that both philatelists and people who are interested in the Holocaust
will learn something from the information presented here.
This website will take you on a journey through the Holocaust, using the objects of stamp collectors: cards and letters written by the victims of this tragic event. This area of stamp collecting is called postal history, a specialty in which the collector keeps the cover (card or envelope), letter, stamp, and all markings intact.
These covers are actual pieces of history we can hold in our hands, and postal historians study their origins, destinations, and routes. We also examine the markings and contents of the cover. Sometimes there is a written message to include. All of these things tell us a story. We use these clues to place the philatelic item in history and relay the fascinating, tragic, and unique stories about events surrounding the cover—stories about the journey of the covers and about the people who sent and received them.
About This Site
This website is based on a slide presentation that I give to schools and other interested groups. I’ve also added a lot of extra details, explanations, and background information that doesn’t normally fit into a 45-minute talk, so this site can be used as a reference tool, both historically and philatelically.
Let me take a moment and define some terms. In philatelic parlance a cover refers to a postcard or envelope with a stamp on it that has been sent through the mail. A cancellation is a mark, placed either by hand or machine, that shows a stamp has been used and is no longer valid postage. A philatelic cancellation is a special cancellation mark that commemorates a certain event. A post card is a card that the user has to put a stamp on to send through the mail. A postal card refers to a card that has a stamp preprinted on it. Philatelic covers are prepared and sent through the mail, often from one collector to another, to create a collectible item. These covers are usually saved whole and unopened. We will use these terms and several others throughout this website.