Another Nazi Service Passport

After grabbing the Captain Loewe DIENSTPASS (Service passport) documents I got offered another outstanding DIENSTPASS issued 1938 in BERLIN by the FOREIGN OFFICE (!) and that is very unusual as basically they were ALWAYS issued by the local police office. I have seen maybe two dozen such service passport types but NEVER issued by the FOREIGN OFFICE. This lady, a steno-typist, firstly at the embassy in Warsaw then in Paris must have been somebody special or was maybe staff of some special.

It might be even possible that she was embassy staff in Paris at that time when German Ambassador ERNST VOM RATH was shot by a Jewish teenager, Herschel Grynszpan, which touched off Kristallnacht, “The Night of Broken Glass.” Her SERVICE PASSPORT was renewed till 1943.

On the morning of 7 November 1938, Polish-German Jew Herschel Grynszpan, 17, went to the German embassy in Paris and asked to speak with an embassy official. He shot the 29-year-old vom Rath five times, mortally wounding him with bullets to the spleen, stomach and pancreas.

Adolf Hitler himself sent his two best doctors, personal physician Karl Brandt and surgeon Georg Magnus, to Paris to try to save vom Rath’s life. Hitler promoted vom Rath, who had been a junior officer at the embassy, to the rank of Legal Consul, First Class (Gesandtschaftsrat I. Klasse) hours before vom Rath’s death on 9 November at 17:30 (5:30 p.m.). Kristallnacht was launched within hours.

Vom Rath was given a state funeral on 17 November in Düsseldorf, with Hitler and Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop among those in attendance. Germany used the incident to publicize that the Jews had “fired the first shot” in a war on Germany; in his funeral oration, Ribbentrop declared, “We understand the challenge, and we accept it.”


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