German passport valid only for Saarland

This passport is a rarity as its validity was only for travels to and from Saarland. After WWII, the Saarland (Sarre) became French from 1946 on. In 1957 Saarland joined the Federal Republic of Germany and became the smallest federal state (not counting the city-states). Federal German Passport Saarland

The Saarland was also French after WWI. After Saar’s coal mines were awarded to France, Saarland was placed under the administration of the League of Nations for 15 years, at the end of which time a plebiscite permitted the inhabitants to choose between being part of France or Germany. In the plebiscite, held on January 13, 1935, more than 90 percent of the inhabitants of Saar voted for its return to Germany.

This model of the first passport type of Germany was issued on Sep 10, 1951, just seven months after Federal Germany regained the right from the Allied military forces to issue passports as a sovereign state. Its validity was initially two years but got renewed in 1953 for another three years until Sep 1956.

Passport applications in the first several months still had to be made at the offices of the allied forces. On 1 January 1950, the government office “Deutsche Amt für Ein-Ausreiseangelegenheiten” (German Office for Entry and Exit Affairs) became the main issuing authority but according to the occupation laws this office was still under the control of the High Commission for Germany. This article explains the evolution of the Federal German passport.

Federal German Passport Saarland
Federal Germany’s first passport-type issued in 1951 and here, valid only for Saarland.

A pretty nice document of German (passport) history for my collection. I also hold the very first ever issued passport of the Federal Republic of Germany. A special case was issued at the German consulate in New York on Nov 1950 – three months before the official law. Probably, the rules were different abroad as Germany had to take care of its citizens outside the country.

Federal German Passport Saarland



incl. FREE guideline!

FAQ Passport History
Passport collection, passport renewal, old passports for sale, vintage passport, emergency passport renewal, same day passport, passport application, pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट

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...