The Censorship of World War II Danish Mail: A Primer by Charles J. LaBlonde. 166 Pages, 8 ½ by 11 inches, spiral bound, A&C Publishing, Colorado Springs, Col., 2012. ISBN 978-0-9742629-6-6, $20 postpaid to USA addresses, $23 to Canada, $35 rest of the world, from Charles J. LaBlonde, 15091 Ridgefield Lane, Colorado Springs CO 80921-3554.
This book is essentially a black and white reproduction of the author’s award-winning multiframe exhibit on the censorship of mail to and from Denmark in the period just before the Second World War and continuing into the years just following the war. The organization is geographical beginning with the Nordic countries of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark itself. Then follow Germany, the rest of Europe, the rest of the world, and concluding with Red Cross and Refugee mail.
Within each country group the arrangement is chronological. Finland began censorship in 1939 and covers are shown from that year and ending with a cover cancelled on V-E Day May 8, 1945. Both Finnish and Danish censor markings are identified and shown. Norwegian mail to Denmark was examined at the censorship office in Oslo established by Germany. Mail to Denmark that was opened and resealed in Oslo was accepted with a “pass” marking in Denmark and not reopened. Norway continued to examine mail well into 1945. As a neutral country, Sweden did not censor mail to Denmark. However, it was examined in Hamburg while in transit. In 1944 the Germans established another censor office in Sønderborg, Denmark, and inbound Swedish mail was frequently examined there.
Domestic mail within Denmark during the war was not censored although mail to the Faroes (occupied by the British) was often examined en route in Germany, Bermuda, the United States, and Great Britain. Denmark continued to censor mail inbound and outbound into late 1945.
Mail between Denmark and Germany was censored just before the invasion and continued through the war. Inspection was usually done in Hamburg although sometimes in Berlin. Danish mail immediately after the war going into the Allied sectors of Germany continued to be censored.
Mail between Denmark and other European countries was examined en route in Germany and often also by the country of origin or destination. Examples are shown for Great Britain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and elsewhere. The Danish censor office in Copenhagen examined only Scandinavian mail. Items sent between Denmark and other European, Asian, and western hemisphere countries were examined in Germany. Examples of these are shown in the exhibit.
Two final categories of the display describe Red Cross mail and refugee camp mail. The first group is largely between Denmark and the Geneva office of the International Red Cross. Censored examples shown include special stationery and forms. The refugee camp mail immediately following the war’s end includes examples from Camp Grove, Oksbøl, Kolding, Aalborg and elsewhere.
A variety of mail classes are seen in LaBlonde’s exhibit including registered, express, air mail, printed matter, newspaper wrappers and others. The author sold this exhibit and so it is now dispersed. Exhibitors should make it a point to record their creations in hard copy books or on CDs so that the write-up that reflects the research and analysis of the items is preserved.