Austrian passport issued in Shanghai

Spread the love

Austrian passport issued in Shanghai – Return from escape to Europe/USA

The Austrian passport is quite interesting as it was issued in 1948 in Shanghai. Its Jewish bearer was most likely fleeing from the Nazis. Shanghai was during the Nazi area, a safe harbor for Jews, at least for some time. But Shanghai also had a Jewish Ghetto from 1941-1945 during the Japanese occupation. His passport also shows a visa from Dec 1948 for the just founded State of Israel (May 1948).

Further we see border stamps from Switzerland, Greece, and Italy. Finally, a US immigration visa from 1954 and the US stamp from Dec 1954 proved he made it indeed to the USA. The passport was renewed and valid until 1958. Consular passports are always exciting, but this early post-war Austrian travel document issued in Shanghai, China is an extraordinary document of individual personal history and passport history.

Another interesting fact: The stamp on the inner cover page “SS TETI, 3rd class”.
The ship TETI was the first ship that arrived in the State of Israel, at the Tel Aviv anchorage, on the day of the Declaration of Independence. The overseas recruits & volunteers who were on board had been supplied with false visas produced by the “laboratory” of Ha’Mossad Le’Aliya Bet in France (this type of entry into Palestine was known as Aliya Daled). They did not need these visas now and entered the country legally.

At more in-depth research, I also found these documents the passport holder.

Austrian passport issued in Shanghai - Return from escape to Europe/USA

Boy Scout lot of seven items including identification papers for a scout in the Austrian Boy Scout Association. Advancement dates of 1929 through 1934. Includes patches, belt buckle, should board, stick pin, and badge. This Austrian Scout identity card is for Erwin Sachsenhaus, born on May 27, 1913, in Vienna, Austria. The inside of the card lists his Cub Scout Test having been passed on April 21, 1929, Second Class Scout Rank on April 33, 1933, and First Class rank on April 23, 1934, The Information on the card is certified and confirmed for the year 1937. According to his Boy Scout Shanghai Branch card (not displayed), he was a Rover Scout by 1933 and still living in Vienna. The Shanghai card further lists him as a founding member of the 13th Shanghai Group in October 1939.

Austrian passport issued in Shanghai - Return from escape to Europe/USA

A rare evidence of Jewish early post-war return from a refugee abroad due to the Nationalism and Holocaust into the Holy Land and in this case with final destination USA.


Austrian passport issued in Shanghai

Austrian passport issued in Shanghai

Austrian passport issued in Shanghai


More about the Shanghai Ghetto here…

Austrian passport issued in Shanghai – Return from escape to Europe/USA



FAQ Passport History
Passport collection, passport renewal, old passports for sale, vintage passport, emergency passport renewal, same day passport, passport application, 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?

A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

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 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

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.

Question? Contact me...