From September 1915 until November 1916 a town post office
operated in the capital of occupied Poland. During its relatively short period
of existance a number of local stamps were issued.
Poland had been partitioned by Russia, Prussia and Austria. Russian occupied Poland became a Russian province. Until World War I the delivery and the censorship of mail in Poland was in Russian hands. In 1914, Germany and Austria-Hungary conquered Russian Poland and in the course of 1915 the entire area was taken from the Russians. In German occupied Poland, German stamps overprinted "Russisch-Polen" were used. In Austrian occupied Poland, Austro-Hungarian fieldpost stamps were issued. Warsaw, the capital of Poland, was taken from the Russians by Germany on 5 August 1915. In the turbulent times at the beginning of World War I it was quite difficult to run and to maintain a regular post office.
The Polish initiative to establish a local post office came from the Citizens Committee of the capital Warsaw. The German postal authorities allowed Warsaw's Citizens Committee to establish a town post office for the delivery of regular mail that arrived from outside the city's boundaries and had to be delivered in the city. The Poles continued running the old Russian post office. The new Polish postal employees had very little experience since the former Russian postal authorities had left the city with the Russian troops. The post office was established in September 1915. From October 1915, the German authorities allowed them to also deliver internal mail within Warsaw. Initially, letters sent within Warsaw first had to be sent to a German post office with German occupation stamps ("Russisch-Polen" or "Gen.-Gouv. Warschau" overprints) from where they were transferred to Warsaw's town post office for internal delivery with local stamps added. Two stamps (5 groszy and 10 groszy) were produced and these stamps were overprinted several times.
Registered mail and money orders were kept at the German post
office and were reported with message cards, delivered by Warsaw's town post
office, paid by the recipient. The registered mail and money orders had to be
collected personally from the German post office.
5 groszy stamps could be bought at the counter of Warsaw's town post office. Initially, the stamps that were bought at the office were attached to the mail and then cancelled by the post office employees. Later though, the stamps were sold directly to the customers allowing the people to attach their stamps to the mail themselves.
To stop the endless production of new town post stamps or overprints, the German postal authorities forced Warsaw to discontinue the use of local stamps. As of 27 October 1916, the production, issue and selling of town post stamps was prohibited. Although a new series of stamps was produced at the end of October 1916 with images of monuments and symbols, these stamps were not approved by the Germans and the stamps were not brought into postal circulation. In November 1918, these stamps were overprinted "Poczta Polska" and were issued as national Polish postage stamps.
From 20 October 1916 until November 1918, the Citizens Committee used postmarks instead of stamps. On 16 November 1918, Warsaw's town post was abandoned. The national Polish post took over its duties and postal rates for local delivery were no longer used.