East German Passport with rare DPRK Visas

Here is an outstanding GDR/DDR passport from 1960 with a visa to North Korea and a visa from the GDR Embassy in North Korea back to Berlin, East Germany! east german passport DPRK

east german passport DPRK

In 1989 the GDR maintained diplomatic relations with 139 states. With DPRK from November 7, 1949, on. USSR, Poland, Romania, CSSR, and Hungary became the first countries in October 1949 with diplomatic relations with East Germany.

east german passport DPRK

However, the accreditation of ambassadors did not take place until after the Korean War in 1954. Until the arrival of Ambassador Richard Fischer in Pyongyang, communication difficulties arose at first because of both the North Korean and German embassies in Beijing and the embassies in Moscow communicated with each other. Both felt responsible for German-Korean affairs. The ambassador in Beijing, Johannes König, was therefore appointed as the official contact person. This was communicated to the North Korean foreign minister in a letter dated July 13, 1951, which he confirmed on August 18. Nevertheless, North Korea instructed its embassy in Warsaw to take bilateral affairs between the two states.

Otto Grotewohl, then Prime Minister of the GDR, visited the DPRK for the first time on a trip to Asia in December 1955. In the following year, the then ruler Kim Il-sung visited the GDR for the first time during an almost six-week trip through the Soviet Union and other Eastern European states and asked for support in money and goods. Differences between the two states arose with the emerging personality cult around Kim Il-sung and the beginning of de-Stalinization in the GDR. east german passport DPRK

On January 27, 1955, the two states agreed on scientific and technical cooperation and defined the objectives in this regard at a meeting in 1956. In this agreement, the GDR promised technical support for reconstructing mining and metallurgical plants and re-commissioning chemical plants in North Korea and awarded internships in Germany. By 1963, a total of 125 agreements on technical and scientific cooperation had been concluded. Of these, 110 were in the interest of North Korea and 15 in the GDR’s interest. It’s well possible that Herta Baldauf, the bearer of this passport with a service visa, was somehow involved in this technical cooperation. east german passport DPRK

Kim named Erich Honecker as “brother and best friend.” During Honecker’s first state visit to North Korea from December 8 to 11, 1977, Kim pretended to welcome the two German states’ existence. The GDR and the DPRK, however, had different views on the reunification of their respective countries. While Kim Il-sung regarded Korean reunification as one of his most important goals and the DPRK as the only Korean state, the GDR leadership emphasized recognition as a separate and independent state. During another state visit by Honecker in 1984, the two statesmen signed a friendship treaty to “strengthen the socialist states’ unity. In late May 1984, Kim Il-sung visited the GDR for the second and last time. Honecker paid a third state visit to the DPRK from October 18 to 21, 1986. Besides, several agreements were signed between the Ministry of National Defense and North Korea between 1984 and 1989.

In November 1960 (around the time when this passport was issued), Otto Grotewohl announced in a letter to Kim Il-sung that he would have to limit aid efforts due to economic difficulties, which met with an understanding of North Korea. A protocol was signed on September 18, 1962, when a GDR delegation was at Hamhŭng for a bridge inauguration. This marked the end of the material aid granted by the GDR since 1952. east german passport DPRK

The Passport east german passport DPRK

Issued to Herta Baldauf, age 50, in Berlin on 7 July 1960. Herta’s occupation is mentioned as a seamstress. The visa to DPRK was issued on the same day. Her return-visa to Berlin issued by the GDR-Embassy in Pyongyang was made on 22 December 1960. Furthermore, we can see visas/stamps from China, DPRK, and USSR. The GDR visa issued at their embassy in Pyongyang is, of course, the rarest find and never seen before! east german passport DPRK

The first GDR ambassador in the DPRK was Janohnes Koenig (1951-1954), his Biography is fascinating – Jewish wife, persecution by the Nazis, escape to Shanghai (!). The last was Klaus Zorn (1990). When the GDR consular visa for this passport was issued in 1960, Kurt Schneidewind (1960-1963) was ambassador.

east german passport DPRK