Passport Hans Georg von Mackensen
The diplomatic passport is adorned with a blue linen cover featuring a slightly worn gold-embossed eagle. It was issued on March 5, 1943, and remained valid until March 4, 1948. This passport includes a photograph and bears the original signature of Ambassador v. Mackensen, along with the official seal.
Additionally, there is the diplomatic passport of Winifred von Mackensen, formerly known as Winifred von Neurath. Her passport was issued on March 5, 1943, with an expiration date of March 4, 1948. It also contains a photograph, her original signature as Frau v. Mackensen Freiin v. Neurath, and an official seal.
Among the accompanying items are several identity cards belonging to Ambassador v. Mackensen. These include his driving license, a Carte d’Identité issued in the French occupation zone, an identity card from Überlingen (Lake Constance), various documents issued by French occupation authorities, his personal visiting card as the German ambassador in Italy, a prayer booklet, and an obituary dated 1947. Passport Hans Georg von Mackensen
Furthermore, the collection comprises identity cards, including one for Winifred v. Mackensen during the occupation period and another for her father, Reich Minister of Foreign Affairs Constantin v. Neurath, dated December 25, 1934, from the German Hunting Museum in Munich.
Hans Georg von Mackensen (January 26, 1883 – September 28, 1947) was a German diplomat who held various significant positions, including serving as the “State Secretary” at the Foreign Ministry, representing Germany as an ambassador in Rome, and holding the rank of SS senior Group Leader (“Gruppenführer”).
Hans Georg von Mackensen, born into a renowned military family, was the son of Field Marshal August von Mackensen, a staunch monarchist. His mother, Dorothea von Horn, also hailed from a minor aristocratic lineage. His younger brother, Eberhard von Mackensen, pursued a career as an army general. During his upbringing, Hans Georg formed a lifelong friendship with Prince August Wilhelm of Prussia. In 1902, he commenced his military journey in the 1st Foot Guards regiment and remained in service after completing his training in 1907. However, in 1911, he transitioned to a reserve officer role to pursue studies in Jurisprudence and subsequently entered the Prussian legal service. Passport Hans Georg von Mackensen
Entry to the diplomatic service
During World War I, von Mackensen served as an adjutant to his friend Prince August Wilhelm of Prussia, achieving the rank of Captain. After the war, he worked at the Prussian Ministry of Justice before transitioning to the Foreign Ministry in May 1919. He served in Rome (1923-1926) and Brussels (1926-1931). In Rome, he worked under his future father-in-law, Baron Konstantin von Neurath, who was the German ambassador to Italy from 1921 to 1930.
On August 10, 1926, Hans Georg von Mackensen married Winifred Christine Helene Baroness of Neurath, making him the son-in-law of Konstantin von Neurath, a rising star in the diplomatic service and future German Foreign Minister.
Their connection dated back to 1916 when an eleven-year-old Winifred had presented flowers to Hans Georg, hinting at a potential political or dynastic dimension to their union, evidenced by the grand celebrations and the presence of pre-1918 traditionalist-monarchist elite members.
Diplomatic Service Career Passport Hans Georg von Mackensen
Hans Georg von Mackensen’s career in the German diplomatic service benefited from close family ties to the aristocratic-military elite. Despite changes after the November 1918 revolution, the aristocratic network still dominated the Foreign Ministry, leading to noblemen’s continued overrepresentation in the diplomatic corps until 1945.
In 1929, despite his youth and limited experience, Mackensen temporarily led the German mission to Tirana during a crucial period for Albania’s relations with Europe. In July 1931, he was appointed “first diplomat councillor” at the Madrid embassy as Spain transitioned from a monarchy to a republic.
In January 1933, as Hitler’s government solidified power, Hans Georg von Mackensen, previously uninvolved in politics, joined the Nazi Party. He was transferred to Budapest in September 1933 and became Germany’s top permanent diplomatic representative there, as full ambassadorial relations were not yet established with former Austro-Hungarian states.
State Secretary Passport Hans Georg von Mackensen
In April 1937, Hans Georg von Mackensen assumed the role of State Secretary at the German Foreign Ministry, becoming the senior non-political figure there. His father-in-law, Konstantin von Neurath, served as the German Foreign Minister. Tensions arose due to the Sino-Japanese War in 1937, pitting Neurath and Mackensen against Joachim von Ribbentrop, who favored Japan. Ribbentrop’s advocacy for Japan, rooted in his anti-Chinese and anti-British sentiments, led to a growing rift. Ultimately, Ribbentrop’s influence prevailed, and in February 1938, he replaced Neurath as Foreign Minister, prompting Mackensen’s departure from the State Secretary role.
Ambassador in Rome
Hans Georg von Mackensen became the German Ambassador to Rome in 1938, succeeding Ulrich von Hassell, who had been recalled amidst the Blomberg-Fritsch affair. Mackensen’s appointment was influenced by his alignment with Konstantin von Neurath’s pro-Chinese foreign policy. In Rome, he established a strong rapport with Italian Foreign Minister Count Galeazzo Ciano. Despite strained relations with Benito Mussolini, his ties to Ciano facilitated cooperation in strengthening the Axis alliance. Mackensen played a crucial role in negotiations and discussions, particularly during the Anschluss in Austria. He continued to support Nazi policies and even requested Italian cooperation in the deportation of Jews from the Italian-occupied zone of France to death camps during 1943. Mackensen’s close association with the Nazi regime was further cemented when he was appointed an SS Group Leader in January 1942. Passport Hans Georg von Mackensen
Military Crisis and Consequences
The Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943 led to a crisis in Benito Mussolini’s leadership, culminating in his dismissal by King Victor Emmanuel III. Hitler and his advisors were concerned about Italy’s failing military performance. The German ambassador in Italy, Hans Georg von Mackensen, proposed Field Marshal Rommel for military command in Italy. A meeting between Hitler and Mussolini on July 19, 1943, was contentious, resulting in uncertainty. Ultimately, on August 2, 1943, following a discussion with Hitler, von Mackensen was relieved of his post as the German ambassador in Italy.
Hans Georg von Mackensen retained his SS general position after being relieved of his post in Italy. He attended the Group Leaders’ congress in Posen in October 1943, where he heard one of Heinrich Himmler’s infamous speeches. In May 1945, he was captured by French forces and held as a prisoner of war until April 1946. His efforts to have Italy hand over Jews from the occupied zone of France raised concerns of war crimes, but he escaped indictment due to Italy’s refusal to comply. He died of lung cancer on September 28, 1947, before testifying at a trial concerning German-Italian negotiations during the Czechoslovakia invasion.
The Diplomatic Passports Passport Hans Georg von Mackensen
Konstantin Alexander Freiherr von Neurath extended a passport as Consul General in Lugano, which I had in my passport collection. Collectors always seek passports of such prominent NS figures, and they quickly acquire them. Passport Hans Georg von Mackensen
The two diplomatic passports sold at the date of this article for 2125 Euros (incl premium).
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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