Envelope addressed to Naik Haider Khan in Zossen

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Description

The envelope is addressed to an Indian prisoner of war who served in the 129th Duke of Connaught's Own Baluchis infantry regiment. It is stamped with censorship marks for both Britain and Germany. It was posted at the Post Office in Mount Pleasant, London.

Context

Every German camp had its own board of censors, the 'Postprüfstelle'. Each letter, postcard, and parcel had to be inspected. In Zossen and Wünsdorf, the letters were not only in English and French, but also in Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, and other non-European languages. For the most part it fell to members of the Information Service for the Near East (Nachrichtenstelle für den Orient) and the Institute for Oriental Languages to take responsibility for censoring these letters.
The purpose of censorship was not only to prevent unpleasant information from reaching the addressee, but also to seek out any information that might be useful for the German propaganda campaign. In particular, knowledge of prisoner appreciation for their special treatment, such as being provided with halal food or the building of a mosque in Wünsdorf, could be exploited in official publications.