The Allied control of the Rhineland was an outcome of the First World War, in which the German Reich endured a military annihilation against the unified and related forces. As ahead of schedule as in the Compiègne peace negotiation of 11 November 1918, the temporary Reich government needed to concur that troops of the successful forces possessed the territories on the left bank of the Rhine and four “bridgeheads” on the right bank of the Rhine, each with a sweep of 30 kilometers around Cologne, Koblenz, Mainz and 10 kilometers around Kehl.
In addition, the left bank of the Rhine and a 50 km wide strip east of the Rhine was declared a demilitarized zone. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles repeated these provisions, but limited the presence of foreign troops to 15 years. The purpose of the occupation was, on the one hand, to provide France with security against a renewed German attack and, on the other hand, to have a guarantee for the German reparation obligations to be performed. After this was apparently achieved with the Young Plan, the Rhineland occupation was prematurely terminated on June 30,1930.
The administration of the occupied Rhineland was under the control of the inter allied Rheinland Commission, which is based at the head office of the Rheinprovinz in Koblenz.
United States forces
American forces originally provided around 240,000 men in nine veteran divisions, nearly a third of the total occupying force. General John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) on the Western Front, established the Third Army for the purpose, under the command of Major General Joseph T. Dickman.
Third Army was assigned to occupy the northern sector of the Coblenz bridgehead. By July 1919, Third Army was disbanded, having been reduced to about 8,400 men, and was renamed the American Forces in Germany. On 24 January 1923, the US Army withdrew from the occupation of the Rhine, vacating the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, which was promptly occupied by the French.
This German passport of the allied occupation of the Rhineland is a significant document of German passport history and I have to thank my fellow collector A.S., who bought this item to my attention with the possibility to acquire it.
The passport was issued in Kehl on 23 June 1923, has a 500MK revenue stamp of Baden and a large red stamp “BESETZTE GEBIETE (OCCUPIED TERRITORY).” The travel document was valid till 1925 and has one stamp on page six “H.C.I.T.R – CIRCULATION – CERCLE DE KEHL.”, which was the Haute Commission International des Territoires Rhenans (Internationale Rheinland-Oberkommission / International Rhineland Upper Commission).
The condition of the 94 years old document is just excellent! The document as displayed is very rare and I am happy to have it in my archive.
German Passport – Allied Occupation Of The Rhineland