Census of Mexico WW2 Internment Camp covers

A place to discuss censored mail from World War II

Census of Mexico WW2 Internment Camp covers

Postby LudemanM » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:32 am

Assistance Requested

During WW2, Mexico established two internment camps which housed both "political" prisoners and a group of German and Italian sailors who were stranded in Mexico when their ships were blockaded in Mexican ports after the war began.

These camps were known as Estacion Migratoria - located in the Prison San Carlos at Perote, Veracruz, and Hacienda San Antonio located at Irapuato, Guanatuano. After Mexico entered the war in late May 1942, these internees could only communicate with their families in Europe through the International Red Cross in Geneva, and the most reliable way of identifying the covers with their messages is by their return address.

These covers typically travelled from Mexico City to New York City to Lisbon Portugal to Paris, France, then sometimes to Berlin, and finally back to Paris and then Geneva. In early 1943, Mexico established their own censorship operation, modelled after those used by the US and Great Britian (Bermuda), with paper labels and numbered handstamps for their Examiners. These covers could be censored in various combinations by Mexico, United States, Bermuda, and Germany (either in Paris or Berlin). A variety of combinations of the censor labels and markings are encountered.

Here is an example of a cover from each of these two Internment Camps.

Cover#1 Estacion Migratoria

MX_CEN_VER_Perote(1944-03-23)(Est Migratoria)(MX Label 505 NY Tape xx023)(Helmut Carstens)both.jpg

Cover#2 Hacienda San Antonio

MX_CEN_GTO_Irapuato(1943-04-20)[MX NoLabel US Label 410]GTO_Irapuato(1943-04-20)(Gabriello Gabrelli)both.jpg

Several years ago, I acquired my first cover from these camps, and shortly thereafter I began recording data about the covers in a organized Census, which now includes over 100 covers from the two camps. I'm hoping other Forum viewers might have additional covers which they will contribute to this Census. If you have one or more of these, please either post a scan of your cover here, or contact me through the Forum, and we'll work out a way for you to send high resolution scans.

Thanking all the Forum readers in advance.

Mike L.
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