Kražiai is an ancient town in central Žemaitija, ca. 55 km south-east of Telšiai and same distance south-west of Šiauliai. In World War One, when the German advance into Žemaitija and Courland started on April 27, 1915, Kražiai was passed through by Abteilung Pappritz two days later.
When the German army withdrew from Russia at the end of 1918, a vanguard of the Red Army was halted some 30 km to the north-east. Generally, Kražiai was spared any notable post-war military conflicts.
In czarist times, Kražiai had had a post office (Krozhe) but none during the German occupation, the nearest civilian postal facility within the Postgebiet Ob.-Ost being at Kelmė (Kielmy) , later at Skaudvilė (Skaudwile).
A mandate, as įgaliotinis, to set up a Lithuanian post office was issued to Vaclovas Sakalauskas, effective from April 25, 1919. He seems to have held a postal job at the czarist post office of Krekenava. The following year, as from March 16, 1920, an exchange of postmasters took place. Vaclovas Sakalauskas went to Kelm?, and Kostas Razminas of Kelmė came to Kražiai.
The earliest stamps available at Kražiai were values of Fourth Berlin Issue, followed by the Sėjėjas Issue etc. Having no formal postmarker, at first Kražiai employed a home-made one-liner cachet consisting of large letters “Kražiai” followed by the hyphenated year “19–19”, the middle of which was to be used for writing in the day and the month – following the tradition adopted in some older-type czarist cancellers.
Later, probably early in 1920, Kražiai acquired a second, smaller one-liner makeshift cachet which is unique in composition. In it the place-name spelled “Kraziai” is adapted from the cyrillic alphabet, and the date is composed as follows: numeral star numeral dot dot numeral 20. The uniqueness of this cachet allows its recognition even in small surviving fragments.
No other early provisional markings are known. A regular calendar-type postmarker was supplied to Kražiai in early (?) 1921. However, for reasons unknown, the first large provisional cachet has been seen employed as late as 1923.
As shown below, at least sometimes the two provisional cachets were used jointly.
Known provisional markings:
Cancelling by large cachet with hyphenated year:
No date singles, Berlin IV 20, 30, 40 [colln. Liesis]
No date singles, Berlin IV 10, 60 [formerly Matuzas]
No date singles, Berlin IV 10, 30, 60 [colln. Doniela]
No date single, Berlin IV 60 [colln. Brazdeikis]
Ca. 1923 single, 5ct/50sk [colln. Doniela]
Cancelling by small cachet:
…4..20 singles, Berlin IV 30 [colln. Doniela]
Cancelling jointly by large and small cachet:
2 * 5 .. 20 card to Kelmė, Berlin IV 20 [colln. Doniela]
22 * 2  card to Kaunas, Berlin IV 20 [colln. Bubnys]