Artifact 3: Triangle Fold Letter

Letter transcript

Dear Natasha:

I hope all is well with you and MaMa, I would’ve visited this Christmas, but I was occupied with matters at work. Please tell MaMa that I miss her so much and that I will be back next holiday. I have moved from my place in Warsaw [city center] to the outskirts of the city. My new landlady lived in Moscow before [she came here]. She said she had seen the December revolutions, and that her elder brother had been killed in front of the Kremlin. Recently we have been short of bread. and with MaMa’s health conditions, I am quite worried. [Yet], my greatest worry is that she will not make it through next year’s spring. Do not tell her I said so. The doctor told me when I last visited Moscow. Replying to your concerns, my new work is quite fabulous. Unfortunately, it is still far from my living place, and I have to take the bus to get there. Warsaw’s outskirts are actually better than the heart of the city, where I often found rats in my washing room.

I am running out of ink, so I shall end here.

Best wishes,

Dmitri Radonovsky

Дмитрий Радоновский

Artifact Introduction

The triangle-fold letter was quite popular during the Soviet era, especially during World War Two. This was due to the fact that the letter paper could also act as the envelope. It meant that less paper could be used, and it could be made quite easily. The triangle-fold letter provided here is a letter from a worker working in the suburban areas of Warsaw, sent to his sister living in Moscow, describing an average day in his life. Even though this form of letter writing was predominantly popular during World War II, some veterans still folded their letters in this way.

Letter writing was also significant activity in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. It was encouraged by the government, and people would often write to their friends, family, and even to the Soviet government itself. However, letters were strictly checked, and any letters containing sensitive information were confiscated, while their senders would be tracked down by their local authorities.


Andonovska, Aleksandra. “During WWII Soviet Soldiers Were Sending Triangular Folded Letters.” The Vintage News, March 14, 2016.

Fürst, Juliane. “In Search of Soviet Salvation: Young People Write to the Stalinist Authorities.” Contemporary European History 15, no. 3 (2006): 327–45.