Suvalkai is a town in ethnographic south Lithuania or north Poland, which at various times has been claimed by Lithuanians, Poles and even Germans. In World War One it was taken by 76. Reserve-Division on ca. February 14, 1915. After the German withdrawal from Russia at the end of 1918, Suvalkai was guarded by Grenzschutz troops, esp. Freikorps Diebitsch. Although in 1919 the town and its environs were claimed by Lithuanians, the Allied Demarcation Lines left the district on the Polish side.
During the Russo-Polish war of 1920, Suvalkai was entered by Lithuanians on July 30, 1920 but re-taken by Polish troops on August 31.
In czarist times, Suvalkai had a post office Suvalki. During German occupation, a branch Suwalki within Postgebiet Ob.-Ost was opened on January 15, 1916 and closed down on December 26, 1918. In the first half of 1919, Grenzschutz troops were serviced by Frw. Feldpost 3007 and 737.
In 1919, expecting that Suvalkai will be allotted to Lithuania, Pašto Valdyba appointed Vincas Aksomaitis postmaster as from May 11, 1919. As the Lithuanian take-over did not eventuate, Vincas Aksomaitis was sent on as įgaliotinis to Jeznas on May 20.
In 1920, when Suvalkai was entered by Lithuanian troops on July 30, Pašto Valdyba appointed as postmaster, effective August 1, 1920, Stasys Kaupas who had been postmaster at Pasvalys. As a result of a Polish counter-offensive, the Lithuanian post office had to close down shortly before August 31.
During its brief existence in August 1920, Suvalkai had a stock of Fourth Berlin values. Having no postmarker, cancelling was done in MS, showing place and date.
Later in August 1920 the Suvalkai P.O. was supplied with a regular dated canceller “SUVALKAI” which was in use until shortly before Suvalkai was re-taken by Polish forces on August 31, 1920. This regular Suvalkai cancel can also be seen on singles and sets of the National Assembly Issue (released in Kaunas on August 25, 1920) but it is not clear whether the Suvalkai cancel showing the date 27. VIII. 1920 was applied to a quantity of these commemoratives still at the Suvalkai P.O. or later possibly in Kaunas, after the evacuation of Suvalkai.
Recently, total forgeries have appeared on forged Vilnius Issues struck with a forged “SUWALKI” postmarker of the Postgebiet Ob.-Ost period. The dates and circumstances are impossible. Similar forged cancels, on early Lithuanian stamps, have also appeared for GRODNO, VILNIUS, MAŽEIKIAI, TELŠIAI and possibly more. (See below a comparison of a genuine (left) and a forged SUWALKI cancel (right)).
Known provisional markings:
Cancelling in MS with place and date
…..20 single Berlin IV 50 [colln. Doniela]