Australian Cold War Passport
For me, as a German, this travel document is fascinating. Australian passport, issued in 1960 in Melbourne for a German born in Berlin in 1922. Many passports from the cold war area were not valid for communist countries, and so was the booklet of Herbert Leuschner, an aircraft engineer now living in Australia.
In 1963 he came to Berlin for some reason we don’t know. I tried to research him but didn’t find anything about him. In April 1963, the Australian Military Mission in Berlin permitted him to travel to East Germany (see the entry on page six). Page seven has a stamp from Berlin Tempelhof airport, dating May 8, 1963. Australian Cold War Passport
What did a German/Australian aircraft engineer do in East Germany? Was he on a private trip visiting relatives in (East) Berlin? A business trip? Or even on an undercover mission? For now, all remains a riddle. Australian Cold War Passport
Diplomatic relations with the Federal Republic of Germany established
January 28, 1952. The Minister for External Affairs, the Rt. Hon. R. G. Casey announced today that Australia had agreed to an exchange of Embassies with the Federal Republic of Germany. Mr. Casey said that, as distinct from the Australian Military Mission in
Berlin, there is already an Australian Mission in Bonn, the capital of the Federal Republic, which has been accredited to the Allied High Commission in Germany since 1949. The effect of the present decision was that its status would now be changed to that of an Embassy accredited to the President of the Federal Republic.
Mr. Casey said that the change in the status of our Mission at. Bonn reflected the extent to which Western Germany, in close association with the United Kingdom, the United States, and other free nations on the Continent, is cooperating in maintaining stability in Europe. Future developments in Germany would significantly influence world peace, and Australia should be adequately represented there. Twenty other countries have already entered into diplomatic relations with the Federal Republic.
The first German Ambassador in Australia will be Dr. Walther Hess, a career diplomat suspended by the Nazi Government before the War. He joined the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic in January. 1950. Mr. Casey said that for the time being, Mr. Noel Deschamps, who has been acting head of the Australian Military Mission at Berlin and head of the Australian Mission at Bonn, will be the Australian Charge d’Affaires.
Edward Gough Whitlam
served as Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany from 1956-1959 and concurrently as Head of the Australian Military Mission, Berlin before he became the 21st prime minister of Australia from 1972 to 1975. Many years ago I was asked to appraise his diplomatic passport collection for the University of Western Sidney – Whitlam Institute.
FAQ Passport History pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट
1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?
The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...
2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?
Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...
3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?
"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...
4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?
Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...
5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?
Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.
6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?
7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?
During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...
8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?
Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.
9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?
Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.
10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?
A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉
11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?
First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...
Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.
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