FEPA Medal for Exceptional Study and Research 2020
Miroslav Bachratý (Slovakia)
for “Slovensko 1938-1945 / Poštová história” [Slovakia 1938-1945 / Postal History]
This two-volume monograph offers a thorough postal-historical study focused on the period of the World War II in Slovakia and its territories that were ceded to foreign powers in 1938. It is the first attempt for such a comprehensive processing of philatelic documentation of postal services within these territorially and temporally bounded areas. It came to life after more than twenty years of preparation. This included collecting extensive documentary material, researching of then limited philatelic literature, studying all available postal as well as archival sources and extensive information exchange with other fellow collectors. Through a complex elaboration of postal-historical material against the background of historical events of the extremely turbulent period of Slovak history, the publication represents a unique philatelic work in the context of Czech-Slovak philatelic literature.
The monograph starts with a short introductory part which brings explanatory mapping of events leading to the demise of Czechoslovakia in 1939.
The extensive first chapter deals with the establishment of the independent Slovak State in March 1939, in the context of German presence in Slovakia and its participation in military campaigns during the World War II. The philatelic documentation in this chapter focuses on a detailed elaboration of the activities of the Slovak Army units’ field posts in their individual military campaigns, including their cooperation with the German field post services and a detailed cataloguing of related philatelic materials.
The next chapter is mainly focused on the intensive study and complete cataloguing of collectable postal history materials. It covers the activities of the Slovak Postal Administration in all spheres of its responsibility (e.g. post offices and their (postage) stamps, meter-marks of franking machines, railway, mobile and airmail postal services, censorship of postal items, postal labels and stickers, postage fees, etc.).
The publication concludes with three individual chapters on the activities of the German, Hungarian and Polish postal administrations providing their services on the Slovak territories, which were resigned in 1938 after the Munich Agreement and the First Vienna Arbitration. These chapters also contain a comprehensive cataloguing of philatelic material specific to each of these territories.
Specification: 773 A4 pages, split into two volumes, with almost 2200 illustrations, 160 tables and 36 maps. Full colour offset print. Hardcover.