East German Passport issued in 1989 with visa from 1995

East German Passport issued in 1989 with visa from 1995

The German Democratic Republic (GDR) is already history for 28 years but one still can find most interesting documents from this time. Here is one. A GDR passport with a visa from 1995! You might ask yourself how is this possible, as the reunification was already in 1990. Well, let me explain this to you a bit later. Let’s have a look at the document first.

The passport was issued in the city of Erfurt on 26 Oct 1989, just two weeks before the fall of the wall on 9 November

  • Page 9 shows a visa for a single trip to West Germany, issued 30 Oct and valid from 31 Oct to 10 Nov 1989
  • 14th Nov the passport holder applied for a visa (for West Germany) valid till 13th May 1990, see page 11
  • Page 26 shows an Egypt entry and revenues from 1990
  • Page 48 some Egypt stamp from 1992
  • Page 13 for Cyprus, issued on 3 March 1995 for entry and 10 March 1995 for the exit


East German Passport issued in 1989 with visa from 1995

I always wonder how Immigration officers must have been looked at such a passport. The reunification was in October 1990 and this man shows up in Larnaca, Cyprus with his East German (GDR) passport 4,5 years later. That’s awesome!

Why he still could travel on a passport of a state which did not longer exist? The answer is in the unification treaty which had a clause saying that GDR passports remain valid latest till 31 December 1995. This fact is commonly rather unknown. I would love to see an official document where Federal Germany informed the world about this rule, as it must have been communicated of course. However, this document is a fantastic piece of German passport history.


East German Passport issued in 1989 with visa from 1995


East German Diplomatic Passport Of Schalck-Golodkowski

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  1. It would be interesting to ask this man and the many others who held on to their DDR passports post-reunification, why did they do so ? Surely getting a new reunified passport was free and didn’t take multiple years as this 1995 visa could have us believe ? I wonder how much of it was because some people simply didn’t want to “let go…” ??

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