German Diplomatic Passport Africa
Here, a fascinating huge German Empire passport was issued to Nobleman Baron Schrenck von Notzing (German East Africa Schutztruppen / Protection Forces) issued by the Reich Chancellery on special order of King Wilhelm II.
A beautiful example of a travel document for German East Africa, which is not often to spot. I have a similar document in my collection, also issued to a member of the Schutztruppen in 1895. German Diplomatic Passport Africa
ALBERT PHILIBERT FRANZ DR. MED. VON SCHRENCK VON NOTZING was a Lieutenant and company commander in the German Imperial East African Army. Since December 10th, 1891, in the Schutztruppe (Leutnant PL), he resigned August 24th, 1896, back in DOA from July 30th, 1905. He served in the Feldartillerie-Regiment Nr. 34 until 10th. December 1891 until 24th. August 1896, took part in the battle of Moschi/ Kilimandjaro (12th. August 1893). He served in the 4th company of the imperial Schutztruppe for German-East Africa. In 1913 he was living in Leipzig as a Dr. med. He disappears after 1896- presumably, he left the army and went to medical school. He was born 04.07.1860 in Oldenburg.
Schutztruppe (literally “protection force”) was the official name of the colonial troops in the African territories of the German colonial empire from the late 19th century to 1918. Like other colonial armies, the Schutztruppe consisted of volunteer European commissioned and non-commissioned medical and veterinary officers. Most enlisted ranks were generally recruited locally. German Diplomatic Passport Africa
Military contingents were formed in German East Africa, where they became famous as Askari, in the Kamerun colony of German West Africa, and German South-West Africa. Small local police detachments performed control of the German colonies of New Guinea, Samoa, and Togoland. Kiautschou in China under the Imperial Navy administration was a notable exception. As part of the East Asian Station, the navy garrisoned at Tsingtao, the marines of the 3rd Sea Battalion, the only all-German unit with permanent status in an overseas protectorate. German Diplomatic Passport Africa
FAQ Passport History
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1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?
The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...
2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?
Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...
3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?
"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...
4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?
Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...
5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?
Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.
6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?
7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?
During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...
8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?
Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.
9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?
Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.
10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?
A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉
11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?
First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...
Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.
Question? Contact me...