Early German passport 1952 issued in Pretoria

Meet Hildegard Kihn, nee Lessing, born 1906 in Koenigsberg, Prussia, Germany. Her Federal German passport was issued on 21 January 1952 at the Consulate General in Pretoria, South Africa. The passport booklet is the very first ever printed series in May 1950 with an edition of 50.000 copies. Hildegard renewed her travel document again in Pretoria in 1953 and a second time in 1957 but now in Luanda, Angola! Her passport expired in 1962, hence was valid for 10 years. Here, some sample pages… German passport Pretoria

German passport Pretoria
1952 German passport issued in Pretoria, South Africa

The document shows plenty of stamps/visas. Angola, with revenue stamps, Germany, Portugal, Belgium (B-Congo), France, Denmark, Spain, and the final stamp is from Switzerland (1961). For me as a German collector a most interesting early travel document with a rather very unusual place of issue. A great addition to my collection.

This green type was the first model of the newly founded Federal Republic of Germany. The first passports were issued on 1 February 1951 but I have an even earlier issue in my collection. Issued at the German consulate in New York in November 1950. This must be one of the very first passports of federal Germany at all.

Germany’s post-war diplomatic network started as early as 1949 with a mission in Paris to the newly formed Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The following year consulates-general was (re)opened in London, New York City, Paris, Istanbul, Amsterdam, Brussels, Rome, and Athens (until 1951 these were not embassies, as by virtue of the Occupation Statute the three allied powers had competence of foreign affairs; these consulates were intended to just manage commercial and consular affairs). West Germany’s Federal Foreign Office grew, and by the time of Germany’s reunification in 1990, there were 214 diplomatic missions abroad. Following German reunification, the Federal Republic inherited several diplomatic representations of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of former East Germany.

 

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