GDR passport of Josef Brueck – Kindertransport 1939

Josef Brueck Kindertransport 1939

This is the East German passport of Josef Brueck

He was married to German writer, translator, and journalist Eva Brück, née Morgenstern. Eva and Josef have fled Vienna from the Nazis. Eva’s family immigrated to the UK after the Anschluss of Austria to The Reich in 1938. Her grandmother and aunt were killed in Theresienstadt Concentration camp.


In 1947, she married Joseph Brück, who had been rescued in 1939 by the Kindertransport from Vienna. She wanted to enter the Soviet Union in 1949 with Joseph, the Lemberger Jew, who was considered a Soviet citizen by the British. They were detained in East Berlin and remained there out of political conviction. In 1958, she became a citizen of the GDR, and so did he.


In 1993 her book “Im Schatten des Hakenreuzes” (In the shadow of the Swastika) was published. A childhood and youth biography from 1926-1949. I could not find any more information on Josef Brück, but his wife Eva gave a video testimony of her life in Nazi Germany, where she also describes when she was caught by GESTAPO and tortured. Remember, she was a child then! Watch her video testimony here (German language). Josef Brueck Kindertransport 1939

Update 12 Sep 2023: In the meantime, I could also secure two passports of Eva Brueck. You can see them online, one has a visa to the Republic of Mali in 1962, which is most unusual. Eva worked as an interpreter.

Passport Details

Joseph’s GDR passport was issued on 31 Mai 1961, just 2 1/2 months before the wall was built on 13 August 1961. His passport pages include visas for CSSR, Hungary, USSR, Romania, Bulgaria, and Poland. Some border crossings were made only 11 days after the iron curtain was established (Border checkpoint Zinnwald). The passport has 24 pages and is in very good condition with some taping at the inner spine. Josef Brueck Kindertransport 1939


Once again, it turns out that a collectible which seems to be nothing special at the first look turns into a window into a very personal and vivid past; here related to Nazi Germany, Jews, the wall, and the Holocaust. Always do some background research on the documents you get into your collection.

passport GDR 1961
Josef’s wife, Eva Brück, née Morgenstern, was a Holocaust survivor.
Exit from GDR briefly before and after the iron curtain was built.

The passport, which was issued the closest before building the wall in my collection, was issued on 29 May 1961, with a GDR exit visa to Switzerland – but not an entry visa for Switzerland.