Lithuania – Prussia Border Cities: Naumiestis and Širvinta Post Offices 1823–1940

Three Frame Exhibit


The exhibit aims to showcase the connections and differences within the postal systems of Naumiestis (Vladislavovo / Neustadt / Kudirka Naumiestis) and Širvinta, referred to as twin border towns. This three-frame exhibit presents a chronological display from 1825 to 1940 (beginning of the Second World War), divided into four periods. It explores local and cross-border events and personalities associated with these periods. The connections are rooted in geographical location, with both cities situated on both sides of the Širvinta and Šešupė rivers since 1422, marking state borders by the Treaty of Melno. Historical events, such as the establishment of the World Postal Union, changes initiated by it, the ban on printing in Latin (Polish) characters, and movements of resistance like book smuggling, war, occupations, economic crises, and the creation of the State of Lithuania, are also highlighted. Economic and social relations between residents living in different countries encompass trade, smuggling, work, official positions, earnings, and marriage. The postal service played a significant role, particularly during the German rule from 1795 to 1807, showing positive influences like the connection of towns by post roads, introduction of passports, and economic upswing. Conversely, during the First World War from 1915 to 1918, negative influences such as restrictions on civil mail, residents’ rights, property expropriation, and obligations are examined. In the interwar period until the Third Reich, the exhibit explores intensive trade, smuggling, labor relations, mutual aid, and increasingly restricted communication leading to the eventual closure of the border crossing.

The first frame displays envelopes sent before the establishment of the Universal Postal Union.

The second frame presents existing and unused mail material from the First World War.

The third frame showcases interwar correspondence.

First Frame

Second Frame

Third Frame