Scandinavian Collectors Club


Censuren i Danmark 1940-1947 (Censorship in Denmark) by Anker Bloch Rudbeck and Otto Kjærgaard. 8 ½ by 8 ½ inches, hardbound, 180 pages, in Danish with English summary, Kjøbenhavns Philatelist Klub, Denmark, 2004. ISBN 87-983015-8-6, approximately $45 plus shipping from KPK, Box 3, 1001 Copenhagen K, Denmark.

German censorship of Danish mail during WW II took place in Denmark as well as in Germany. This book discusses the periods of censorship within Denmark and where it took place including immediately after the war. Outbound mail from Denmark was censored in Copenhagen beginning July 15, 1940. The handling of the mail there is described and examples of Danish handstamps and resealing tapes are shown.

Details are presented for export licenses required for parcels, and how registered and insured mail was censored. The special markings and labels used in censoring these classes of service are illustrated. Inbound and outbound printed matter had its own requirements. One chapter describes how censorship was avoided by smuggling, by using undercover addresses in Sweden for forwarding mail, and communicating through the Red Cross.

In 1944 the censorship office was moved from Copenhagen to Sønderborg in southern Denmark. Many of the Copenhagen censor devices were used there until new ones could be made. Censorship of telegrams is briefly described. The handling of censorship immediately following the end of the war is detailed, particularly for mail going to former axis nations.

The censor markings and sealing tapes used just after the war are also illustrated. Some mail was returned to the sender for various reasons and the markings and labels are shown. Examples are seen of double censored covers where senior censors were checking at random on their own employees.

Appendices show examples of censorship handstamps and resealing tapes with periods of use, dimensions, and varieties, as well as the German markings and tapes used in Sønderborg later in the war, and those employed in censorship after the war ended. Other appendices list the post-war censor numbers recorded to date, special instructions to censors, and a list of key dates and events related to handling the post-war mail.

An extensive bibliography offers sources for further study. This is an excellent treatment of censorship of mails in Denmark during and just after WW II, and pulls together information from a number of monographs by earlier researchers in this field. Illustrations are excellent and in color throughout.

Alan Warren