To my cover-exchanging friends, please try as much as possible to
as these give a more personal touch to the cover
the Philippine postal service damages the cover with scribbling that highly devalues the aesthetic value of the cover, which is what I am after
or at least same themes when sending covers, but it is okay if this is not possible or if this would be expensive, and
not too small, but maybe around 4"x6" or something like that; big envelopes are not very attractive unless they have many stamps.
Thank you!


Polska - A Case of Mistaken Identity

Here we have an issue with an interesting story. First, about the issue:

The two stamps on this FDC are part of a 4v set issued 30 Jan 09 to pay hommage to four Polish personalities who survived the horrors of the Nazi Concentration camps in WWII Poland. (Why they didn't include all 4 on one FDC is beyond me.) The special postmark bears the motto "Ocaleli z zagłady," or "Survived the destrucion."

The story I was talking about here is that this issue was withdrawn from circulation on 24 Feb 09, with an apology from Poczta Polska. Why? Because the name on one of the stamps (on my cover, it is the one on the right) is incorrect! Well, at least it is partially incorrect.

The name on the stamps reads "Władysław Wolski," which has caused confusion as Władysław Wolski (1901-1976) was a minister in the 1950s and had close ties with the Soviet Union's security service.

The correct name should be "Władysław Józef Wolski." This person, Władysław Józef Wolski (1910-2008), the correct person to pay hommage to in this case, was an historian and professor at the universities of Krakow, Wroclaw and Lodz. He was arrested in November 1939 during a Nazi operation against the Polish intellectual circles. 183 people were deported to the concentration camps of Sachsenhausen and Dachau. Władysław Józef Wolski was released in 1941 and worked again in 1946.

Cases similar to this happen in the Philippines. Oftentimes, first and last names tend to be the same and so it necessary to include the middle name or initial. For example, there are many people named "Juan Santos," here for example, so it is necessary to indicate if you are referring to "Juan A. Santos" or "Juan B. Santos." Sometimes, even the middle initials are the same so you need to have the full middle name! And sometimes, the full middle name is the same, meaning the two persons' names are exactly the same.

This is true in the case of one of my far relatives. Her name is Zenaida "Santos" Dizon (sorry, I forget her middle name, but let us pretend it is Santos just to prove my point). She lives in the United States, where she has been since the 1960s. When she came here for a vacation a few years back, she was detained at the airport because the officials there were led to believe that she was a criminal! This is because they were on the lookout for a criminal who had the same name! Thankfully, she was able to prove that it was not her by providing her personal information and by the mere fact that she lives in the US and therefore most likely didn't commit the crime, which I believe was something like embezzlement. Now, whenever she returns to the country, she must present a special document of identification to prove that she is not the Zenaida "Santos" Dizon they are looking for!

I think this problem with same names is being solved by the recent practice of giving Filipino children two first names, a middle name, and a last name, so most Filipinos of this generation have four names, like me!

By the way, thanks to Eric Contesse once again for some of the information Ion the Polish issue that I included in this "report."

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