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Our Mail in the Changing World
(until November 1983)
By Anton Zollner © 1990
Translation by Brad Schwebler, 2004

    Already in ancient times people also different news transferred over great distances.  So already in the original communities messengers were sent out to bring different communications to the individual clans.  To be able to pass on information quicker, man in ancient times used fire.  On earth walls man passed on different signals with the help of fire after the fall of darkness up to the destination points.  According to legend the news of the siege of the Trojans reached Greece 500 kilometers away in one night.  In the year 450 B.C. the Greeks used Cleoxanes and Democlitos for the nightly transference of news burning torches with which they could pass on compatible signals.  Carrier pigeons also served the same purpose since ancient times.

   With the development of trade in antiquity the meaning of correspondence increased.  So from the need to exchange letters with the time of the post developed.  Already in the 5th century before Christ an always better organized “post” developed, but which could only be expressed by the state apparatus.

   The word “post” comes from the Latin “posita” which is derived from the verb “ponere” (give up).  Under this word one understood in antique Rome the postal places which arranged at the same distance the traffic routes and were regularly visited by express messengers.  The “postal services” bore the name of “circus publicus” by the Romans.  The imperial “post” transported the letter the quickest and the decrees with the help of the mounted express messengers.  The “post” developed more and more, but above all after the establishment of the national states and especially with the expansion of the construction of the road network.

   In the Romanian principalities the first princely messengers (curieri domnesti) were documented to be provided on the 11th of May 1399 during the rule of Mirceas the Elder.  These operated by appointments which were called the “olac”.  At the same time messengers were registered to horses which one called “calarsi”.

   The first public postal service came into being in France in 1464.  At the time post carriages transported only letters and packages between different villages.  The correspondence system was arranged for the first time in 1490 between Innsbruck (in today’s Austria) and Mechelen (in today’s Holland) by King Maximilian I.  That year is regarded as the official establishment year of the public post.  Franz von Taxis established the international post in 1501.  At the same time one complimented this service with personal transportation.

   In the region of present day Romania the public postal service was introduced on the 20th of April 1641 by Prince Georg Rákoczi I in Transylvania.  Besides the mail this service also transported officials and private people.  Since about the same time postal couriers called the “maziluri” also operated in the Romanian principality.

The first written report for the Moldau came from the years 1675-78 under the rule of Prince Antonie Ruset-Rosseti.  In Wallachia the first postal service was organized by Prince Alexandru Ipsilanti in 1775.  Outside the country the Romanian princes transported mail only to “southeast Europe”, so the Ottoman Empire.  A modern postal service was first organized in the ‘30’s of the 19th century as a consequence of the introduction of the “organic regulations” by Russian General Paul Kisseleff (Russia was the protecting power of the Romanian princes at the time).  At this time the Bucharest post office was also erected with the title “cutore de post.”  The mail coaches drove from here in two directions: to Galati and to Craiova.  The horse changing stations usually lay at a distance of 20 kilometers from each other, hence the expression “clae de o posta” (one post stretch width), which is still used very much by people.  The mail coaches were pulled by four horses and driven by a coachman (surugiu).  From the 12th of November 1857 the “postal captains” (leaders of the postal change stations) wore duty uniforms “which were recognized and respected by the people.”

Abb. 1.- The auroch’s head with the worth of 27 Parale Top

     In 1858 the first “Romanian” stamp was brought into circulation in the Moldau; it was the so-called “cap de bour” or “cap de zimbru” (aroch’s head) – Illustration 1.  These stamps had the values of 27, 54, 81 and 108 “parale” and bore the inscription “PORTO SCRISORI” in Cyrillic letters.  The stamps were in circulation for almost four years and today they are highly desired by philatelists.  Some years after the union of the Moldau and the Wallachia in 1862 the first stamp came into circulation for the “united principalities” – Illustration 2.  In the center was found the new coat of arms: the Moldavian auroch’s head next to the Wallachian eagle.  Underneath is found the post horn.  This time the inscription used Roman letters.

 The first stamp of the “United Principalities”

   In that year 18 post offices functioned in the Moldau and 26 post offices in Wallachia.  On the 1st of January 1865 stamps were brought into circulation with new values and for the first time bore the inscription “POSTA ROMANA” – Illustration 3.  The postage stamps are printed in the national colors (red, yellow, blue, but in corresponding order!) and bore the portrait of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza.  Two printing presses were commissioned to print these stamps: Wannenberg and Socec.  When these were supplied one could not decide which issue should be placed in circulation.  The prime minister at the time decided on the postage stamps that came from the Socec press.  The ones made by the Wannenberg press were stored in the beginning and later they were auctioned off to the joy of the stamp collector.  In 1890 the postal goods promotion was introduced.  At this opportunity the first postal instruction forms are also to be used in Romania (postal mandate).

The first Romanian stamp with the inscription “POSTA ROMANA”

   Today there is only very sparse data about the history of the Banat postDr. N. Iliesiu had the intension to work on this topic in the second volume of his Temeschberg Monograph, but the edition of this book didn’t come.  It is assumed that he collected the necessary document materials for his purposes but today these could be missing.  As is well known the people of the Temeswar area today have no historical documents whatsoever for postal or telecommunications, which after some statements the Serbian occupation troops carried off all of the postal archives in 1919.

   From the official Romanian sources one can only gather that the postal service already existed in the Banat before 1850.  Geier on the other hand maintained that in the Banat right after the expulsion of the Turks “the setting up of a new, modern postal service (took place), that was essentially based on the new postal ordnance of the 26th of June 1722.”  After that already in 1728 “the postal traffic in Temeswar was ‘normalized’.”  In 1839 there were already 66 post offices in the Banat and (Cambiaturen?) with private postal leases given.  In the beginning they were underneath Vienna’s director of the head post office, but after that, according to Pompiliu Bârlan (a long time postal official) they were turned into private property up to the 1st of June 1850, when they were again nationalized.  In 1859 the Banat’s postal service was underneath Vienna’s commerce ministry, from 1859 to 1863 the finance ministry, and after that again under the commerce ministry.  Under national administration the number of post offices rose constantly.  So in 1851 a “postal expedition” was set up in Reschitz and a scant five years later, on the 1st of January 1856, one was also set up in Busiasch.

   However Anton Schulz supported the opinion of S. Mihalik (in “Resicza jelene és multja” -1892) that only a “Poststelle” (postal place) was set up in Reschitz on the 25th of September 1851.  As “postal transporter” the salesman Franz Klemens should have been active there.  A “post expedition” should have been set up in Reschitz, Deutsch-Bogschan, and Furlug (today: Fârliug) next on the 21st of April 1852.

   According to the author named, besides “German and Wallachian Reschitza” the villages of “Cserna, Domany, Franzdorf (today: Valiug), Garuja, Jabalcsa, Tirnova, Kelnik, Klokodics, Krassova, Kuptore, Nermed, and Szocsan have belonged to the “ordering district of the Reschitza imperial postal expedition.”  In 1856 the operator of the “postal expedition” should have been house and landowner Franz Stadelmann.

   In which buildings the Temeschberg post was set up until 1860-61 could not be established by Geier.  After the completion of the Dicasterial Palace “the imperial postal direction” under Director Karl Waniczek, knight of the St. Gregor Order and honorary citizen of Neusatz, and other offices moved in here in the above named years with the postal accounting department, the postal direction’s treasury, and one post office (administrator: Virgil Marinovich), one, as Luzian Geier maintained.  At the same time the “imperial telegraph inspector for the Banat, the Batschka, the Banat military border, and Transylvania” had its’ office here.

   A. Schulz knows to report that the first Reschitza postal building was erected in the city center at the time in 1912 and was expanded in 1930 – illustration 4.  Up to then the “postal expedition” or rather the post office was put up in the Orthmayer house and from about 1889 on in the lower half of the Evangelical church.   In 1965, as the new automatic telephone central was installed, a new postal building had to be built in today’s city center because of room shortage.  Besides the post and the telecommunications the newly established Kavasch-Severiner area direction for post and telecommunications was also set up.

 Illustration 4 – The first Reschitza postal building from a postcard (from the “Banater Berglanddeutscher” (Banat Mountain Land Germans) – following 72/1997) Top

The postal shipments were also transported in the Banat with mail coaches in which people could also ride along.  The mail coaches traveled between Temeschburg and Ofen (Buda) until 1857, when there purpose was turned over to the Temeschburg-Szegedin train route.  The mail coach trip on this stretch lasted two days including rest stops.  In rainy weather in some circumstances the trip even lasted a few weeks.  From Arad in those times every Thursday the coach pulled by four horses drove with six travelers to Ofen.  Colonial goods merchant Josef Schweffer had the concession inside the coach.    According to Anton Schulz a mail coach already drove the stretch in 1871: Temeschberg – Lugosch – Bogschan – Dognatschka – Reschitz, where Dognatschka was the “last post” for Reschitz.  A second stretch drove from Temeschberg to Reschitz by going over to Werschetz – Kudritz – Kakowa (today: Gradinari) – Orawitz – Sekasch – Dognatschka.  From 1863 on a mail coach drove daily from Reschitz to Detta.  With the bringing into service the stretch of railroad “Vojtek – Bogschan” the mail came to Bokschan with the train.

   The Banat post and especially the postal transportation from 1860 to the end of World War I was to my knowledge only researched by Geier.  After his research there were from 1863 on two “Post-Course” (mail runs) with the train every week between Temeschburg and Vienna (by way of Basiasch).  Another “Post-Course” (mail run) with the mail coach connected Temeschburg with Semlin (today: Zemun) – by way of Werschetz, Orschowa, Alt-Arad, Hermannstadt, Lippa, Groß-Sankt-Nikolaus, Groß-Betschkerek, Dognatschka – by way of Lugosch and Busiasch.

   In the beginning there were 11 public “mail collection boxes” in Temeschburg, but according to Geier their number already climbed to 18 in 1864, 12 of them in the fortress and three in each of the suburbs, Fabrik and Josefstadt.  They were emptied in the evening about 6 or 7 PM and the letters had to be brought to the city post office in the Dicasterial Palace.    From “Temesvár’s charitable, amused, informed people” and the house calendar for the Banat for the school year 1864 Geier could establish that in 1863 Karl Waniczek was still postal director and Virgil Marinovich was still the “post office administrator”.  At the same time the calendar cited Karl Hradeczky as “Post Directions Adjunct”, Alois Gubatta as “Post Commissar”, Eduard Edler von Gamsberg as “Post Directions secretary”, and Anton Kräuter as Post Directions office servant.  It is noted that there were also two post offices in Temeschburg, the city post office and the post office at the train station which was first “looked after” by the personnel.  The city post office (in the fortress) also employed six mail carriers; Georg Mayer, Anton Hild, Johann Geistlinger, Franz Zimmer, Ignaz Buller, and Muchim Freiberg, as well as 12 “Packer” (mail sorters?).

   According to the same calendar three “large post offices” (Post Expedition Belgrade, Groß-Kikinda train station, and Semlin) and three “imperial post stations” (Temesvár with postmaster Johann Anheuer and Semlin with postmaster Georg Trutheimer – both as post stations with stable offices – and Székás as “postal relay station”).  There were also 92 rural post offices and 54 “Post Expeditions” noted as belonging to the “Post Direction” in the calendar.  From the present day “Romanian” Banat the following post offices (with the name of the postmaster) are cited:  

Alliosch (Adolph Kafga)

 Alt-Orschowa (Paul Krziwon)

Banat-Komlosch (Franz Vogl)

 Bruckenau (vacant)

Csatád = Lenauheim (Johann Kafga)

 Detta (Karl Arizy)

Deutsch-Sankt-Peter (Josef Jánossy)

 Dognatschka (vacant)

Fatschet (Alexander Szokoly)

 Groß-Sankt-Nikolaus (Georg Jánossy)

Jebel (vacant)

 Karansebesch (Franz Salbek)

Kiszetó =Chizatau (Johann Brendusch)

 Kleinbetschkerek (Maria Kafga)

Lippa (Josef von Nagy)

 Lowrin (Nikolaus von Nagy)

Lugosch (Georg Schmidt)

 Mehadia (Casimir Pinker)

Morawitza (Johann Lukits)

 Neudorf (Johann Ioanovics)

Neupetsch (Johann Anheuer)

 Orawitza (Emmerich Trinopel)

Perjamosch (Johann Petko)

 Saska (Josef Ziegler)

Slatina (Carl Schulz)

 Teregova (Iconie Beseriu)

  Of the Banat “Post Expeditions”
(with post expedients) the following are found in the region of present-day Romania:

Alt-Beschenowa (Johann Marsch)

Basiasch (vacant)

Bersaska (Franz Havel)

Billed (Jakob Gilde)

Busiasch (Basil Brendusch)

Tschakowa (Demeter Zamphir)

Tschanad (Johann Adelshauser)

Tschene (Sigmund von Cäsar)

Deutsch-Bogschan (Nikolaus Panajoth)

Großscham (Josef Platt)

Gertjanosch (Nikolaus Krizanits)

Hatzfeld (Johann Telbisch)

Knes (Peter Bingert)

Liebling (vacant)

Moritzfeld (Josef Fritsch)

Neu-Arad (Karl Foicek)

Nitzkydorf (Eugen Tereba)

Reschitza (Franz Stadlmann)

Remetea (Josef Löb)

Rittberg =Tormak (Blasius Molitorits)

Schag (Georg Hirsch)

Steierdorf (Demeter Milletics)

Temesvár-Fabrik (Max Krayer)

Ujvar =Neuburg (August Reichelt)

Vinga (Nikolaus Klemann)

 

   These data established by Luzian Geier are of special importance, which represent the first listing of all posts from the Banat set up, which could also serve as importance sources for the construction of or supplements to the homeland books.

   It is not explained that this list also does not contain the Rekasch “post station, where the horse change took place.”  Dr. Stitzl lists its existence at the beginning of the 19th century and also gave its fees: one guilder and 30 kreuzer per horse for 24 hours.  Perhaps the enterprise for “private express wagon” quoted below should be dealt with here?

   In the middle of September 1864 some changes took place, as reported in the same calendar (for the year 1865).  The personnel of the “post direction” expanded to three “Postdirections-Concipisten” and a Concepts-Practikanten”.  The number of post offices rose about 5 to 97 (among others probably Busiasch, Deutsch-Bogschan, which until now were post expeditions, and Königsgnad = Tirol) and about 2 of the 56 were “post expeditions”.  At the same time there were according to Geier in each year 21 post offices with “postal administrators”, but most were called postmasters in these places.  In 50 post offices the postmaster was placed under the control of the “Post-Expeditore”, under them in the “RomanianBanat were:

Stefan Lükö in Bruckenau

 Wilhelm Rusz in Busiasch

Ladislaus Seeler in Detta

 Michael Panajot in Deutsch-Bogschan

Moise Buda in Fatschet

 Josef Blum in Groß-Sankt-Nikolaus

Georg Wagner in Kleinbetschkerek

 Andreas Mahler in Königsgnad

Johann Herzog in Lippa

 Gaspar Vegh in Lowrin

Johann Hussarek & Josef Hundt
in Lugosch

 Karl Knoblauch in Orawitza and Johann  Barbulovits in Jebel. According to the author specified above Temeswar, the village Cerneteaz belonged to the" order range of the post office

Freidorf

 Giroda

Girok

 Kischoda

Kowatschi

 Medves

Moschnitza

 Sankt-Andres

Deutsch-Sankt-Michael

 Utvin

     From the same calendar from the years 1864 to 1871 it is derived that the above named personnel of the Lugosch “imperial and royal post offices” in this time span remained unchanged.  First in the “observer” calendar  of the year 1890 the postmaster of the post and telegraph office of Lugosch was F. Rajkovits and as “officials” K. Gregor and J. Jäger are stated.  In those years no more “postal routes” are listed as the post coaches were replaced by railroads.

   Geier found interesting data about the postal business in the “Temesvar charitable, amusing, informative folk and house calendar for the year 1868”.  As office hours for “mailing and delivering letters” at the main and train station post offices was 8 to 12 AM and 3 to 6 PM.  “Letter collection boxes and stamp sales” were at the following places in Temeschburg: 1. – in the fortress – by merchant Friedrich Rosengold (Piaristen Street, today: part of E. Ungareanu Str.), by the small retailer Georg Gerstl (Theater Street, today: part of Gh. Lazar Str.), by the merchant P.C. Ioanovits (Ball Street, today: part of E. Ungureanu Str.), by the merchant Johann Nikolits (Cathedral Square, today: Unirii Square), by the detail dealer S. Naschits (Peterwardein Street, today: Alba-Iulia Str.), by the large tobacco dealer Hermann Weiß (Präsident Street, today: F. Engels Str.), by the book and art dealer Ignatz Palotsek (Rössel Street, today: Caruso Str.), by the merchant H. Glück (Theater Street), by Franziska Rosenthal (Bischof Street), today: Rodnei Str.), and by the paper and writing material merchant Jos. D. Magyar (Hauptwach Street, today 9. Mai Str.); 2. in the suburb Josefstadt – by the tobacco dealer Valentin Barth (Dreikönigs Street (Three King Street)), by the merchant Michael Dravits (Wildenmann Street) and by the train station; - in the suburb Fabrik – by the merchant G.D. Maßner (Drei-Hasen Street (Three Hare Street)), by the merchant Johann Tedesky (Hauptgasse (Main Street)), and by the merchant Georg Stojanovich (Dreikönig Street).

   The Temeschburg journalist also established from old calendars the fees, which the post in 1864 collected for their services.  The postage was paid according to weight (in Loth) and the distance of the designated villages (in miles) and amounted to between 10 new kreuzers and one and a half guilders.  The passenger fees stretched according to the type of trip and routes from 20 to 74 new kreuzers.  Further fees which the post still collected were: “admittance money” (35 Nkr (new kreuzers) per horse and mile), “postillions tip” per horse and post at the usual extra posts (35 Nkr), “circular (Aviso)” (42 Nkr), “refreshment of the post horse by the crossing of a station” (35 Nkr), among others and at the same time he learned that in Temeschburg next to the national post there was also an enterprise for a “private express wagon” which carried out express trips and also transported postal shipments with it.  The express wagon drove on the following stretches: Temeschburg Alt AradHermannstadtKronstadt Bukarest (Bucharest) and Temeschburg Lugosch, in the bathing season also TemeschburgBusiasch and Lugosch Busiasch.  In Temeschburg the departure place was by the inn “Zum Trompeter” (To the Trumpeter) (on the corner of Bischof Street and Trompeter Street, today: Rodnei-Str. And Ceahlau-Str.)

   In 1868 according to Geier the Banat post direction sheltered 150 post offices and stations.  For the villages in those times which did not have their own post office:

Albrechtsflor
(= Kleintermin)

 Alexanderhausen

 Bakowa

 Beba

Bentschek

 Blumenthal

 Bogarosch

 Butin

Ciclova

 Darowa

 Dolatz

 Dugoszello (= Nero)

Ebendorf

 Eibenthal

 Engelsbrunn

 Fakert (=Baumgarten)

Franzdorf

 Freidorf

 Glogowatz

 Gottlob

Grabatz

 Großjetscha

 Giorok

 Haulik
(today some of Perjamosch)

Johannisfeld

 Kleinjetscha

 Klein-Sankt-Peter

 Königshof

Kreuzstätten

 Lupac

 Marienfeld

 Mercydorf

Moneasa

 Neudorf

 Neuhof (=Bogda)

 Neupanat

Deutsch-Sankt-Martin

 Deutsch-Sankt-Michael

 Offsenitza

 Omor

Orczydorf

 Ostern

 Odvos

 Perkossova

Ravnik

 Serbisch-Sankt-Peter

 Schöndorf

 Savârsin (=Soborschin)

Segenthau

 Sankt-Andres

 Schiria (=Hellburg)

 Traunau

Triebswetter

 Tschawosch

 Wetschehausen

 Weidenthal

Weizenried

 Wiesenhaid

   

But some of these villages had post expeditions.  But up to 1890 the postal networks was so expanded that in those years post offices were set up in all of the community villages.  According to Thomas Breier at the time the post offices had a small annual income:

Temeschburg and Arad 196,000 florints (guilders) each, Werschetz 82,000, Groß-Betschkerek 72,000, Lugosch 44,000 and Kikinda only 38,000 florints (guilders). 

   Hardly any details can be given about the issue of stamps in the Banat.  According to Pompiliu Bârlan (the deputy director of the present Temeschburg area direction for post and telecommunications) the first stamps were given out in limited edition here on the 1st of October 1850.  It should be documentary evidence that some issues were brought into the Banat before the 31st of May 1853.  After 1858 even some Banat stamp series were issued.

   Already in 1888 through the merger of the post with the telegraph the “Postal and Telegraph Directions District of Temesvar” was established.  It’s first director was Johann von Patheö.  The new Direction had it’s seat in the Dicasterial building until 1912.  In that year it moved to the newly built postal palace.  The structure of the Banat post changed quickly after the expansion of the railroad network.  In 1857 the Temeschburg – Szegedin stretch of railroad was built and soon more was also added; in 1868 Arad – Karlsburg (today: Alba Iulia), in 1870 Arad – Temeschburg – Werschetz – Weißkirchen – Valcani – Perjamosch – Herkulesbad – Orschowa.  As a result the postal coaches by the main stretches of the Banat post were gradually displaced.

   According to Geier the Postal and Telegraph Directions District had 1.910,113 employees.  In those years the post offices and post expeditions under them “sent out 7,236,500 letters and 8,612,188 delivered, 420,363 packages or to be precise 972,389, and 26,676 money orders or to be precise 17,836.

   In 1912 the Association of the Temeschburg Subordinate Civil Servants was established, whose flag was dedicated in June 1914.  What has happened to this flag is probably still not known today.  In March 1914 Eugen Demko de Belanszky was appointed as the new director of the “Temesvar Post and Telegraph Directions District.”  His deputy was Dr. Géza von Kovâts and “Post and Telegraph Secretary” was Dr. Heinrich Heller.  

   After an almost one year occupation of Temeschburg by Serbian troops in the fall of 1919 all state offices and authorities of the Romanian administration were placed under control.  Vasile Cornea was appointed as the first Romanian director of “PTT Regional Direction”.  He was relieved by Constantin Buznea on the 1st of December 1925.  Characteristic of the Romanian time between wars is the frequent change of directors.  In the last 15 years of this period eleven directors had this position: Constantin Buznea (12/1/1925 – 12/31/1926), Lazar Antoneschu (6/1/1926 – 9/21/1926), Gheorghe Vasilescu (1/9/1927 – 6/27/1928 and 10/26/1928 – 2/24/1930), Vasile Ionescu (6/27/1928 – 10/26/1928), Dumitru Ilies (2/25/1930 – 12/31/1930), Alexandru Galfiun (1/1/1931 – 6/30/1931), Zaharia Antoniu (7/1/1931 – 3/2/1933), Ioan Bolchis (3/3/1933 – 11/26/1933), Victor Golumbovici (11/27/1933 – 5/20/1938), Nicolae Cojocaru (8/23/1938 – 9/22/1939).  Gh. Gr. Ionescu, who is about 90 years old today, as the last director of the time between wars had his office taken over on 9/28/1939 and carried on for about one to one and a half years.  He was the first Romanian director at the Temeschburg Post Direction who had an education degree in engineering.  He was followed by Sedan and Daniel Rosca in 1949.  After the nationalization of the telephones and its merger with the post and telegraph, Octav Radelescu was appointed as the director of the PTT-Direction.  Then they were followed by Emilian Milos (1950-51) and Atanase (1951-52).  Then after them followed the Jew Oskar David, the only non-Romanian under the directors of the Temeschburg post after the connection of the Banat to Romania.  But he remained in office only a few months and then for a short time he alternated with Ilie Matei (1952-1954).  A true record nominated the first diploma engineer Traian Bränzea, led the Temeschburg Post and Television for 22 years, from August 1954 to the 6th of February 1977.  From the 6th of February 1977 to the 9th of August Pompiliu Bârlan acted as Director of the Temeschburg Area Direction for Post and Telecommunications but without receiving any due appointment.   For cadre political reasons the appointment to the Director of the Banat Post Direction was already refused someone once (in 1951).  From the 10th of August 1978 to shortly after the “December Revolution” of 1989 engineer Traian Vese held this office.  He was “chased” from his office by the work force during the events, but soon he was appointed to the responsible Ministry to the Director of the Postal Bank.  Noteworthy is the fact that under the Romanian administration (whether capitalist or communist) the leadership positions could only be occupied by members of the nation’s people.  The nation’s minorities could at the most be department leaders.

   In 1968 the Ceausescu regime divided the regional direction responsible for the whole Romanian Banat into four area directorates.  The one, the Temeschburg Area Directorate for Post and Telecommunications, stretched over central Banat and kept its seat in Temeschburg.  The northern part of this land was included in the Arad area (also the Kreisch region), so the Arad Area Directorate was formed with its seat in Arad.  In the Banat’s mountain land the Karasch-Severin Area Directorate was established which had its seat in Reschitz.  A small part of the southeastern Banat mountain land – around Orschowa – was included in the Mehedinti Area Directorate with its seat in Turnu-Severin (from Oltienen).

   In 1982 the whole Banat postal network consisted of 321 service units of which 154 were in the Temeschburg area.  The 321 units consist of 7 transit offices, 3 “mechanized” post offices, which distribute shipments in the land by auto), 46 city and 157 rural post offices, as well as 5 “independent” post offices and 103 rural postal agents.  The postal network is not known by the author at this time because of the plan to raze the villages to the ground all post offices of the rural villages which were not community seats had to be closed.  In addition to that the competent ministries understood that all unprofitable post offices were not justified to exist.

   The postal administration also insisted that there was hardly anything to serve there.  The shipments were always manually processed and only to the respective area directorates.  The only automatic letter distribution machine was put into use in Bucharest on the 1st of September 1979, but its performance only doubled the very expensive manual distribution.

   The Romanian postal code system was not constructed according to the land or postal administration structure as was expected but according to the railroad stretches which the postal transportation mainly followed with the passenger train (a long stretch train, which stopped at all train stations and stops).  As a rule the postal shipments reached the recipients this way in 2 or 3 days.  The letters were bound  mainly by hand, the Soviet binding machines with which only the transit offices were equipped were mostly out of use.  In the country letter bags were still always transported between the post office and the train station with the hand mail cart or with the bicycle.  The cancellation machine is the only thing that could be considered as technical equipment in the transit office.

   From the facts shown one can realize that of all the regions already always took a roll to lead the way, like the Banat, were now also finished for good in the area of the post in the years of socialism for a backward region of Europe.

Above Article from: © Anton Zollner 1990 (original German version) 


[Published at DVHH.org 2004, by Jody McKim Pharr]


 

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