Postal History from Finland 1889 - 1918

Russian Censorship in Finland during WW1

Censoring of mail to abroad began by reholding all mail from Finland and Russia from 8th of August 1914 at Tornio. Actual censorship began on 15th of August 1914. At this time the mail had piled up. Registered letters were not to be reheld for more than 24 hours, whereas censoring of the collected ordinary mail was not completed until 21st of August.

Registered cover sent from Helsinki 10th August 1914 via Tornio to London 24th August 1914.

Letter censored at Tornio on 18th August 1914. Handwritten "Öppnats af krigssensuren" and cover closed by waxseals

Censoring of domestic mail started by the opening of the Helsinki office on 5th of September 1914. In October and beginning of November further 8 offices for censoring domestic mail were opened.

Mail from abroad was untouched by censorers until 26th of September 1914, when orders were issued to deliver the forign mail to Helsinki for inspection. On 2nd of October 1914 the Wiborg office was opened. It was to handle mail for the Wiborg province and mail from the Empire. Domestic mail was censored at the censorship office in the province of the receiver of the mail. Mail to and from abroad was censored mainly at Helsinki, but also at Tornio especially in the wintertime when ice was giving problems for maritime traffic from the southern parts of Finland. Censoring of domestic mail began in early September 1914 and ceased in March 1917. The censorship offices closed gradually after this date leaving Tornio and Helsinki in function until final date: 28th of January 1918

Locations and periods
Censorship was carried out in the following cities (names in Finnish / Swedish / Russian):

Tornio Torneå Торнео 15th August 1914 28th January 1918
Helsinki Helsingfors Гельсингфорсъ 5th September 1914 28th January 1918
Tampere Tammerfors Таммерфорсъ 13th November 1914 26th April 1917
Nikolainkaupunki Nikolaistad Николайстадъ 13th October 1914 26th April 1917
Oulu Uleåborg Улеоборгъ 13th October 1914 20th March 1917
Raumo Rauma Раумо 24th October 1914 20th March 1917
Turku Åbo Або 13th October 1914 26th November 1917
Kuopio Kuopio Куопио 13th October 1914 20th March 1917
Viipuri Wiborg Выборгъ 2nd October 1914 26th November 1917
Pori Björneborg Бьернеборгъ 14th November 1914 19th March 1917

Censor marks
169 different main type censor marks were used, and 884 sub-types have been catalogized.

Censor labels
Two main types of labels were used; with or without name of the city
Here are three examples of censor tapes without city name: Green type A, used at most places in a number of colors and shades; brown type B tape, which is not found so often; and a white two line Tornio censortape, more than 10 subtypes found of this tape, all used in Aug. - Dec. 1914.

and three examples where city names are included in the text: Blue Helsinki censortape; white Viipuri censortape and a red Tornio censortape.

Die Postzensur in Finnland by Hans G. Moxter
In German language. The censor tapes and stamps in this book are orginized by type, not by location.
My copy is from 2nd issue July 1976, and very much out of date.

Postisensuuri Soumessa 1914 - 1918 Osa 1 by Teuvo Termonen and Jorma Keturi, 1997
Postisensuuri Soumessa 1914 - 1918 Osa 2 by Teuvo Termonen and Jorma Keturi, 1999
These books are based on the work of Juhani Olamo. They are written in Finnish language and the censor stamps are organized after locations.

Cd-issue: Postal Censoring in Finland 1914 - 1918
Compiled & Edited by Roger P Quinby (2017 edition)

The Finnish Study Group of the Scandinavian Collectors Club

In English. This CD is based on the above Termonen and Keturi books with additional information, including Juhani Olamo's introduction.

Please send me an email if you are interested in a copy of this CD.

29 Mar. 2022