Another precious document came into my East German (GDR) collection. A diplomatic passport issued 1959! This is not only the earliest used diplomatic passport in my collection, but it was also issued to the wife and daughter of the official East German deputy delegate to the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon) or in German “Rat für gegenseitige Wirtschaftshilfe, RGW” (only East Germany was a member which joined 1950) which was an economic organization from 1949 to 1991 under the leadership of the Soviet Union that comprised the countries of the Eastern Bloc along with several socialist states elsewhere in the world. Comecon was the Eastern Bloc’s reply to the Organization for European Economic Co-Operation in Western Europe. GDR Diplomatic Passport COMECON
According to some historians, Moscow was concerned about the Marshall Plan. Comecon was then meant to prevent countries in the Soviets’ sphere of influence from moving towards Americans and South-East Asia.GDR Diplomatic Passport COMECON
As this organization fell apart in 1991, it’s pretty amazing to find this document related to this socialist collaboration construct.GDR Diplomatic Passport COMECON
The passport itself is in excellent condition, issued to Johanna Opitz, the wife of the official deputy delegate of the GDR. It bears several early diplomatic visas of the GDR, CCCP, and Poland. Other normal visas from CSSR and Bulgaria. Her document was valid, after one renewal, till 1963. Daughter Veronika is also included in the passport. also very unusual to spot, especially for a GDR diplomatic passport.GDR Diplomatic Passport COMECON
Kurt Opitz (born January 30, 1918, in Halle (Saale), † May 23, 2008, in Leipzig ) was a German politician ( SED ). He was Minister of the State Government of Saxony-Anhalt and Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Commission of the GDR. In 1950 he received the National Prize of East Germany I Class.
From November 24, 1950, to July 31, 1952, he acted as Minister for Industry, Transport, Construction, and Labor for Saxony-Anhalt. On August 1, 1952, he was appointed deputy chairman of the State Planning Commission (SPK). He was then also the deputy of the representative of the GDR in the Comecon, Bruno Leuschner, as well as head of the international economic relations department in the SPK. He was part of the GDR government delegation that negotiated in December 1960 in East Berlin with the Cuban business delegation under Che Guevara about expanding economic relations. Later he was employed as plant director at VEB pumps and blowers in Leipzig. As such, he was awarded the Bronze Patriotic Order of Merit in 1978.
I like to thank my German fellow collector who made it possible to get such a treasure for my collection!