What is Bermuda "Condemned" Marking?

A place to discuss censored mail from World War II

What is Bermuda "Condemned" Marking?

Postby kaerophil » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:18 pm

This is a commercial cover from Sweden, postmarked Stockholm 9 Nov. 1944, addressed to New York.

On the back it has markings "CONDEMNED" and "RELEASED", and on the front it has a cachet "HELD BY BRITISH CENSOR/RELEASED JAN. 6, 1946.

Why would it be condemned?

Any opinions appreciated.
kaerophil
 
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Re: What is Bermuda "Condemned" Marking?

Postby Ray Murphy » Sat Jan 20, 2018 7:03 pm

Hi,
Could be many reasons depending on what the contents were. For example, it may have enclosed a letter being forwarded from Germany. Another could be it had Nazi propaganda. Hard to say unless you have the contents. There was a good article by Augustinovic about 10 years ago discussing some of this. Believe it was in the Postal History mag.
Regards,
Ray
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Re: What is Bermuda "Condemned" Marking?

Postby kaerophil » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:23 pm

Dear Ray,

Do you have a copy of that article? I would love to see it.

I have written an article about this cover for "Air Mail News", journal of the British Air Mail Society, and the following is what I wrote about why the cover was condemned:

"I don’t know what business the company was in that sent the cover, C.A. Wallemborg & Son, but I did find out from the Internet that in the late 1940s, they were an agent for the U.S. Pyrex glass company. And in the 1950s, they were involved in prefabricated housing and the oil trade.
The company to which the letter was addressed, Strohmeyer & Arpe Company, Inc. supplies montan wax and natural waxes for use in adhesives, carbon papers, shoe polish, and waterproofing treatments. It offers bulk honey for use in foods and beverages. The company provides canned fruits, vegetables, and seafood products to food chains.

So, why the letter would be condemned, is a mystery. The only reason I can think of was that one of the companies was on a list of companies that the British censors thought were trading with Germany."
kaerophil
 
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Re: What is Bermuda "Condemned" Marking?

Postby kaerophil » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:59 pm

I also asked a Swedish collector Gunnar Zetterman and this is his reply: “C. A. Wallenborg & Son could have been on a ‘black list. Wallenberg (note difference in spelling) was a famous Swedish Bank and Industrial Family. They had trade relations with Germany as well as the Allies during WWII.

The following is text from an unpublished ‘Letter to the Editor’ after a documentary program shown on Swedish TV:

‘The Dutch researchers Gerard Aalders and Cees Mr Wibe's shows in this book that Jacob and Marcus Wallenberg had really paid off I.G. Farben, Bosch and other German companies to conceal ownership of German subsidiaries in the United States. This was to protect them from seizure by United States's Enemy Property Custodian, a federal organization with powers to take action against companies owned by companies in countries with which the United States was at the war. The brothers ' actions were downright criminal. The settlement with Farben and Bosch in 1939 took place and meant that the companies had the right to buy back the shares at a predetermined price within two years after the end of the coming war."

So, in my opinion, the British censors confused C. A. Wallenborg & Son with the Wallenberg companies, which were probably on their blacklist, and therefore condemned the letter.
kaerophil
 
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Re: What is Bermuda "Condemned" Marking?

Postby Ray Murphy » Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:49 am

Hi,
I found an even better definition of what was going on in Bermuda, an article "Terminal Censorship in Bermuda: WWII A Few Sidelights". by Michel Forand, Postal History Journal, No 133, February 2006. See pages 30 and 31. Even though this is terminal censorship, the same criteria applied. Hope this helps.

Terminal Censorship in Bermuda.pdf

Regards,
Ray
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