On the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising, Muzeum Poczty i Telekomunikacji (Post and Telecommunication Museum) in Wrocław is holding an exhibition of letters written by Warsaw inhabitants during the two months of fighting in the city.

The Warsaw Uprising took place between August 1st and October 3rd, 1944, and has become a historical phenomenon in both Poland and throughout the world.  Although it only lasted two months, its events necessitated the creation of unofficial public services.  One of those was the insurgent mail service.  The service was initiated by young scouts from the Szare Szeregi resistance organization.  Several branches existed to fulfill this responsibility throughout the city. 

Letters of this time period are extraordinary documents not only chronicling the fate of civilians, their emotions and fears for loved ones, but also exemplify the strict demands placed on Warsaw’s inhabitants during the time of the Uprising.  The letters had to be 25 words or less, even though occasionally this rule was overlooked by the censors, especially when they were written by women.  Shortage of necessary writing materials was among the reasons for this restriction.  Senders most often wrote in pencil on pieces of cardboard, bank statements, medical formularies, cards, packing paper, or even toilet paper.  Between August 1st and September 17th, about 50,000 letters were sent out.  Roughly 6,000 pieces of correspondence per day were delivered during the Uprising. (source)

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