German passport Swiss issued Philippines Islands 1921

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German passport Swiss issued Philippines Islands 1921
Albert Sidler, dodis-P5943-F1

German passport Swiss issued Philippines Islands 1921

This German passport issued by the Swiss on the Philippines Islands 1921 is indeed a historical passport treasure. Meet Otto Krohn from Hamburg, who was traveling to Germany via Suez and back to the Philippines Islands. On his route, he also stopped in Singapore, where he was not allowed to land. His Hong Kong visa says he can transfer in HK by the ship (can’t read the name clearly). His passport was extended, and further visas show Austria in Venice (Italy), Kufstein (Germany) and Italy.

Acting Swiss consul for the Philippines Islands was Albert Siedler, who signed the extension and served till July 1945 (from 1921), which makes it 24 years. Siedler died in 1952 at the age of 77.

A great document, issued for a German by the Swiss on the Philippine Islands (US territory). I believe it’s doubtful to find another such passport example. Happy to have it in my archive.


German passport Swiss issued Philippines Islands 1921German passport Swiss issued Philippines Islands 1921German passport Swiss issued Philippines Islands 1921


Extract of Collier’s New Encyclopedia (1921)/Philippine Islands

Government.—A governor-general administers the authority of the United States. A complete civil central government was established in 1901, which includes four executive departments in charge of secretaries. The work of these is divided into several bureaus. Several necessary measures relating to the administration of the government have been passed since the American occupation. An act of 1902 provided for the creation of a legislative lower house called the assembly. An upper house also was created, and the two together formed the Philippine Legislature. The Assembly is composed of elected members from the regularly organized provinces, according to their population. The judicial system is also established, corresponding practically to the system in the United States.

History.—The The Philippines were discovered and visited by Spanish and Portuguese explorers. Magellan found on March 15, 1521, a group of islands which he named after St. Lazarus. This explorer lost his life in a battle with the natives a few weeks later on Mactan Island, near Cebu. The islands were taken into possession by Spain in 1565, and five years following the conquest of Luzon was carried on. In 1571 Manila was founded and rapidly became the seat of Spanish power. The Spaniards remained in possession of the islands practically undisturbed until the Spanish-American War. They made little progress in economic development, and their methods with the natives resulted in a bitter feeling, which gave rise to several attempts to secure independence. The most important of these was that under José Rizal, in 1896. This attempt was put down, and conditions were still threatening when the United States went to war with Spain over the independence of Cuba. A fleet under Admiral Dewey was sent at once to the Philippines, and the city was surrendered after a brief bombardment on May 17, 1898.

German passport Swiss issued Philippines Islands 1921

By the treaty of peace with Spain signed on Dec. 10, 1898, the entire archipelago was ceded to the United States. On June 12th, however, a rebellion broke out headed by Emilio Aguinaldo, who proclaimed the independence of the Philippine Islands. This resulted in a protracted series of operations in which Aguinaldo was finally captured on March 23, 1901. This put an end to active opposition, although it was necessary to pacify the islands by a series of expeditions, some of which resulted in considerable losses to American troops. Peace was finally brought about. The first session of the Philippine Legislature was held on Oct. 15, 1907. Although peace has prevailed in the islands, there has been a very definite attempt to bring about their independence by peaceful means, and by propaganda carried on both in the Philippines and the United States. The American Congress had expressed a desire to give their sovereignty to the Filipinos when they had reached a state of development which would justify it. Native leaders who desire the independence urge that this point has already been achieved.

On the whole, the people of the islands have been satisfied with American rule. They have reached the point of economic and intellectual development, which they failed to achieve during the hundreds of years of Spanish domination. During the World War, a regiment was organized, and although it was not called upon for active service, it was ready to give such services if they were needed.

Population.—The last census of the islands was taken in 1918 when the population was 10,350,640. Of these, about 8,500,000 are Christians, 316,000 Mohammedan, and 620,000 pagans. The population of Manila, the main city, in 1918, was 283,613, of whom 245,500 were Filipinos. Exclusive of the Army and Navy, there are about 5,000 Americans in the islands, chiefly in Manila.

German passport Swiss issued Philippines Islands 1921
Copyright, L. L. Poates Eng. Co., 1921

German passport Swiss issued Philippines Islands 1921

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?

A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

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 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

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...