From 5 October 1938, German Jews needed to have a so-called “unique identifier” in the form of a 3 cm large red J in their passports. The following German passport was issued in Vienna on 27 September 1938 in the name of Dr. Friedrich Kropf, a merchant from Lemberg. German travel missing J-stamp
The first unusual thing is the passport’s validity, the countries where the document is valid for travel. Here we can see a very detailed mentioning of countries. France, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia, Italy, “Nordic States,” Portugal, China, North- and South America, English-, French- and Italian Colonies. German travel missing J-stamp
The passport issuer was very detailed, and I never saw a selection of such wording before. But when we turn to page six, the travel document becomes even more interesting because of the following entry made during passport control at the main train station in the city of Saarbruecken.
“Rejected, because of the missing red stamp – 11 October 1938” German travel missing J-stamp
The red J-stamp was then added on 17 October 1938, and he could travel finally, almost a year later and just before WWII, to safe-haven to Chile and Argentina. With the beginning of the war, it was for Jews almost impossible to leave Germany.
The following document is because of this handwritten remark, pretty rare and clear evidence of the repressions against Jews.
Timeline of suppressions against Jews (extract)
02.07.37 Jews now receive foreign passports only in special cases.
26.04.38 Jews must give up their assets.
06.07.38 Jews are banned from certain trades (e.g. estate agents, marriage brokers, tourist guides).
27.07.38 All >Jewish< street names are removed.
30.09.38 Jewish physicians are now only considered to be >physicians-to-be >.
05.10.38 Jewish passports are marked with a >J<.
28.10.38 Around 15,000 >stateless< Jews are deported to Poland.
07.11.38 Assassination attempt by the Jew Herschel Grynszpan on the German legation council of the Council in Paris.
08.11.38 First riots against Jews.
09.11.38 v. Rath dies. Beginning of the pogrom.
10.11.38 Pogrom night (of Nov. 9/10 >Reichskristallnacht<).
11.11.38 Jews are not allowed to possess or carry weapons.
12.11.38 An atonement of 1 billion Reichsmark is imposed on all German Jews. Jews must immediately repair all damage caused by the pogrom at their own expense. Jews are no longer allowed to run stores and craft enterprises. Jews are no longer allowed to attend theaters, cinemas, concerts, and exhibitions.
15.11.38 All Jewish children are removed from German schools.
23.11.38 All Jewish businesses are liquidated.
28.11.38 From now on, Jews are no longer allowed to move at certain times and in certain areas.
03.12.38 Driving licenses and registration papers for motor vehicles are withdrawn from Jews. Jews must sell their businesses and deliver their securities and jewelry.
08.12.38 Jews are no longer allowed to attend universities.
01.01.39 Jews must carry identification cards. Jews may only have Jewish first names. If they have German names, they must also accept the name >Israel< or >Sara<.
30.04.39 The protection of tenants for Jews is restricted.
17.05.39 Around 215,000 Jews still live in the German Reich
04.07.39 The Jews must unite in a >Reichsvereinigung der Juden< (Reich Association of Jews).
01.09.39 Start of the 2nd World War.