This Romanian postcard is a visual metaphor for post-World War Two Europe. Especially for the newly formed Communist block countries, of which Romania was one. Understanding the complexities of the geopolitical world is simplified by the sixteen rubber stamps that were pounded on the face of the card, each almost intentionally trying to obscure the addressee as the card was censored and rerouted numerous times. Each imprint and scribble acted as a road-block or detour slowing the card’s message from reaching the West. The first postmark, July 15 1945, was issued in Bucharest. Almost three months later, on October 5, the last was stamped in Brooklyn – the card finally making it to it’s desired destination.
The predominate feature of the card is the postage. Each stamp depicts the likeness of Romania’s King Michael. Here too, politics had its sway. In early 1945 he was forced by the USSR to appoint a pro-Soviet government that used him as their puppet. Using him as the face of Romania, his image was printed on stamps and patriotic banners. When his usefulness was over, and his services no longer wanted, he was forced to abdicate in 1947.
King Michael I of Romania will be celebrating this 93th birthday on October 25. Long live the king.