East German passports were still valid after Germany’s reunification. Yes, you are reading correctly – East German (GDR) passports were still valid…

even when the German Democratic Republic of Germany became obsolete on 3 Oct 1990! That sounds strange, and I believe there was no other case like that when it comes to passports. But the reason was simple. These “extension” was based on the German reunification contract as it was impossible to issue for millions of new German citizens new documents in such a dynamic time. I am lucky to have two such examples in my archive. One has stamps from Tunisia (1994) and Malta (1995), and the other one has several Hungary stamps from 1993. I imagine how surprised the border control staff must have been.

GDR passport
GDR passport – the bearer taped the news article in the document

East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic, was a communist state in central-western Europe, during the Cold War period. It described itself as a socialist “workers’ and peasants’ state. From 1949 to 1990, it administered the portion of Germany that had been occupied by Soviet forces at the end of World War II—the Soviet Occupation Zone of the Potsdam Agreement, bounded on the east by the Oder–Neisse line. The Soviet zone surrounded West Berlin, but did not include it; as a result, West Berlin remained outside the jurisdiction of the GDR.

East German passports were still valid after Germany’s reunification

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