Israeli Passport Invalid For Germany

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Early Israeli Passport Germany
Over the years, I collected several Israeli passports, including the old British Palestine passports, but not often find such early types with a stamp “Not valid for Germany “in Hebrew and French.

Early Israeli Passport Germany
Stamp “not valid for Germany.”
Early Israeli Passport Germany
Issued 1953

Israeli passports began to be issued in 1948, after the Israeli Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948 and used Hebrew and French texts. At first, they were not defined as a passport but as a Laissez-passer (definition: a document allowing the holder to pass; a permit). This changed in 1952 when Israel introduced the first travel document like a passport, which began to be issued late that year. The first Laissez-passer was issued to Golda Meir, who worked for the Jewish Agency and was soon to become Israel’s ambassador to the USSR. The first Israeli passports bore the limitation: “Valid to any country except Germany.” An Israeli citizen who wished to visit Germany had to ask that the words “except Germany” be deleted from their passport. This was done manually by drawing a line through these words.

After signing the Reparations Agreement between Israel and West Germany in 1952, the limitation was withdrawn, and passports became “valid to all countries.”



On March 30, 1980, new regulations issued by the Minister of the Interior required Israeli passports to use Hebrew and English instead of Hebrew and French. Subsequently, French texts were replaced by English texts. Early

The passport number is 22033 – indeed an early issue considering that travel documents as passports were issued in 1952. Mr. Silberstein’s passport got an extension from the Israeli embassy in London in Sep 1953, allowing him to travel to Germany. You can also see the visa for Germany issued in London on October 4, 1953. There is also a stamp “Leaflet supplied.” The shown document was issued on July 7, 1953, and it’s even more surprising that this stamp was still there after the above-given statement. I wonder what that looked like?

Another attractive stamp in the passport is from the British airfield Schwechat which became Vienna airport in 1954. There were two other British airfields – Schönbrunn and Küniglberg. Both became obsolete after the British occupation in 1955.

Early Israeli Passport Germany
British Airfield Schwechat

There were Israeli Diplomatic passports before 1952, as I once had one issued to Ehud Avriel, a Knesset member. I swapped the document with an Israeli fellow collector against a German collectible as this is my core collection focus.

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...