German J-Passport of Dr. Rudolf Schneeweiss

The following gripping passport came up by a British couple who contacted me via my website. The email reads as follows. German J-Passport Rudolf Schneeweiss

“I have a Deutsches Reich passport dated 1939 stamped with a big red J of Rudolf Israel Schneeweiss, who arrived at croydon airport May 19, 1939, and immigrated to the USA on October 1, 1940. I also have the Heimatschein dated 1936 of his daughter Elizabeth Esther Schneeweiss and her UK wedding certificate to Paul Palmer, father’s name Laurits Lachmann. Also wedding photos and other papers. Are these of interest to you?” German J-Passport Rudolf Schneeweiss

I communicated that I am indeed interested, and I got the following pictures of the documents. As the passport was issued in Austria, it is interesting to see uncommon Austrian words. While JENNER for January is still in use today, the term FEBER, which is February, is no longer used in Austria. Rudolf’s passport was issued on February 28, 1939, in Linz. The large Red J was added the same day. German J-Passport Rudolf Schneeweiss

The passport was three times extended in London in 1940/41 by the special division of the Swiss legation covering the German interests as Germany was at war with the UK since September 3, 1939, and had no own diplomatic/consular post anymore in the Kingdom. The Chinese visa from April 19, 1939, issued in Milan, Italy, is also interesting to see. The vis for the UK was issued on May 8 in Vienna. The British passport permit office stamped on November 4, 1940, then an exit permit from the UK or via Canada to the United States of America. The US visa can be seen as well and was issued in London on October 1, 1940. German J-Passport Rudolf Schneeweiss

German J-Passport Rudolf Schneeweiss

Further documents are an Austrian Heimatschein (Cert. of nationality), a wedding certificate, and a Police confirmation from Steyr, Austria. After further research, I found the following. German J-Passport Rudolf Schneeweiss

RUDOLF SCHNEEWEIS, born on September 5, 1879, in Bielitz, Silesia (Bielsko-Biala, Poland), had obtained the degree of Dr. iur. from the Law Faculty of the University of Vienna on July 22, 1902. He worked as a lawyer in Vienna from 1909 to 1919, then in Steyr/Upper Austria until 1939, and was a member of the respective bar associations.

German J-Passport Rudolf Schneeweiss
In 1939 he was expelled from the bar and emigrated to London/Great Britain. On May 8, 1941, he was deprived of his degree for racist reasons, as he was considered ‘as a Jew unworthy of an academic degree from a German university under National Socialism.
German J-Passport Rudolf Schneeweiss
Only 62 years after the revocation and very long after the end of National Socialism was his doctoral degree solemnly restored on April 10, 2003, or the cancellation posthumously declared ‘null and void from the beginning.’


Gedenkbuch fuer die Opfer des Nationalsozialismus an der Universitaet Wien 1938. German J-Passport Rudolf Schneeweiss
USHMM Holocaust Survivors and Victims Database has an entry on Schneeweiss.