Contact from "the heart of darkness", wartime WWII/Holocaust 2-way mail via Red Cross: stampless British Red Cross/Order of St. John "Postal Message Scheme" contact form with German message of under 25 words, dated 8-12-1941, from HAIFA to TARNOW "Occupied Poland", inquiring about condition of sender's parents; passed HAIFA censor H17 (Sach-Q23, 1 month before his earliest known date of use) on way to overseas dispatch through Red Cross office JERUSALEM; front-stamped 31 DEC 1941 transit at IRC in GENEVA & forwarded to Polish Red Cross where received in WARSAW on 13 MARZ 1942 (front-stamped): here address altered in pencil by removing reference to "occupied Poland" with "GG" (Generalgouvernment - an annexed zone of 'former' Poland in which the term 'Poland' was not used) & "District Krakow" (one of 4 such in the GG); additional Polish date-stamp at base 25 MARZ 1942 may be dispatch date to TARNOW (2 week delay); reply in German manuscript on back "We are all healthy, Gross Arie" dated 27 IV 1942 (1 month since local transit); received back by IRC GENEVA on 24 JUIN 1942 (backstamped) who forwarded it back to the British Red Cross in JERUSALEM, front-stamped 21 AU 42 transit using 3m Postage Paid date-cancel - unusual usage but observed on reply-returned Red Cross correspondence originating from Palestine; here passed J18 censor (Sach-Q21b handstamp 3 months after his last known date of use) & arrived same day in HAIFA, where passed KK/26 censor (Sach-Q29, 4 months before his earliest known date of use).
8 month round-trip transit time, reasonable for surface mail. The first major act of extermination in Tarnow began June 1942; locale was "Jew free" by late 1943. Rare two-way wartime correspondence between Palestine & Poland, however the terseness of the reply from Poland raises suspicions about its authenticity (as the Nazis were known to forge fake reply correspondence to Jews abroad).
Product Tags: Mandatory Palestinian, Polish, Swiss, German, Philately - Postal Covers, Red Cross Mail and Postal History from Palestine Mandate, Poland, Switzerland, Germany, and from World War II, Holocaust, 20th Century, 1940s, which are Philately - Censored Mail, Philately - significant cachets & postal markings, Philately - Stampless Mail, Philately - Significant Route, Philately - Unusual Origin, Destination or Postal Link, Philately - unusual postal procedures/fines/taxes, Philately - Earliest/Latest, First/Last & Proving dates or places, Object Related Specifically to a Personality or Key Event