Diplomatic Passport Austria 1935 – Voting Stamps Anschluss

Diplomatic Passport Austria 1935 – Voting Stamps Anschluss

This Austrian diplomatic passport 1935 of Josef Rheinberger is itself a very rare passport type (Austrian federation) and comes with very interesting stamps and visas. But the highlights are two stamps which decided the fate of Austria, stamps of the ANSCHLUSS, which are extremely rare to find in passports.

Rheinberger was a secretary of the Austrian embassy in Belgrade, his diplomatic passport was issued on 23rd August 1935 and was after one extension valid until 25th August 1939. The first visa in his passport is a diplomatic visa of Yugoslavia. Page ten has a handwritten entry which states he is traveling with diplomatic documents to the Austrian embassy in Belgrade, stamp Federal Chancellery – foreign affairs – courier service, issued in Vienna 31st August 1936. Several other stamps and visas on the following pages.

Significant is the stamp on page 32 stating “Ballot paper received for the voting on 10th April 1938”, stamp & signature Austrian embassy Belgrade. Another stamp on page 14 is then saying “Electoral duty fulfilled on 10th April 1938”, stamp NSDAP Graz. Which means he went to the voting for the Anschluss.

The ballot paper for Greater Germany 10 April 1938

A handwritten entry on the same page says “Josef Rheinberger is a secretary at the Austrian embassy in Belgrade, from April 28th, 1938 he is temporarily on duty at the consulate in Zagreb”.

I couldn’t find any details about Josef Rheinberger. If some reader has more information then please let me know. THIS is a fantastic collectible due to its passport type and due to the Anschluss stamps also a German/Austrian historical significant document.

Diplomatic Passport Austria 1935 - Voting Stamps AnschlussDiplomatic Passport Austria 1935 - Voting Stamps Anschluss

Diplomatic Passport Austria 1935 – Voting Stamps Anschluss

FAQ Passport History
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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...