Holocaust: Kovno, Lithuania – 1941

October 4, 1941 (13th of Tishrei, 5702): Fifteen hundred Jews from Kovno, Lithuania, are transported to the Ninth Fort and murdered. In Kovno proper, Nazis lock the Jewish hospital and set it ablaze, incinerating all inside.

Prior to World War II, Lithuania had driven out the German Army by November 11, 1918 during the hostilities of World War I.  The capital of Vilnius would then change hands many times over the next couple of years.

On December 26, 1918 the Lithuanian Post Office Administration took control over the postal service in Vilnius, Kaunas (Kovno) and 8 other towns.

On January 5, 1919, the seat of Lithuania’s government moved from Vilnius to Kovno.  As with many Lithuanian places, Kaunas has a Lithuanian form of the name (Kaunas), a Russian form (КОВНО [KOWNO or KOVNO]), a German form (Kowno or Kauen), and a Polish form (Kowno).

The stamp shown here was one of the first issues of the Vilnius post office later modifed for use with mail originating out of the Kovno post office.  Note the postmark which reads “KAUNAS”.

Also displayed here is a postcard from the pre-1940 era showing a street scene in Kovno.

kovno postage stamp-postmark

kovno postcard

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