Curious German Passport 1939 issued in London

Interesting German Passport London
THIS passport is not only a fascinating document regarding the “ANSCHLUSS” of Austria into Nazi Germany, but it also shows the influence of NAZISM abroad on German citizens. In this case, the German Embassy in London forced a maid to return to Germany! Interesting German Passport London

26 year young Austrian-born Maria Paintner got permission to “Land at Dover” on 28 February 1938. As stated in the permit on her Austrian passport page, which was attached by the German authority when they kept her Austrian passport but issued her a new German passport on 7 February 1939 due to the new law (because of the Anschluss = Annexation of Austria into the Third Reich 12 March 1938). This combination is exciting and makes this travel document also quite rare!

With her new German passport, she got a letter from the German Embassy in London saying that her passport was only valid for four months and would not be renewed. Her travel document was valid until 5 June 1939. But the Embassy letter demands more… Interesting German Passport London

“Germany lacks housemaids and expects all maids working abroad to return to Germany to support your home country,” says the machine-typed letter. And further…“Even if this order is, for now, inconvenient for you, we expect you to cancel your contract correctly and return to your country within these four months.” 

Maria left London in time as a Belgian visa was issued on 25 May 1939, and a payment stamps from an Austrian bank on 5 June 1939. In preparation for Hitler’s world war, the German Embassy advised on 24 August all German residents to leave Britain. A week later, WWII began when the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein opened bombardment on the Westerplatte, a Polish military base outside Danzig, firing what are, according to many sources, the first shots of the war. At the same time, regular Wehrmacht troops begin crossing the border into Poland. Interesting German Passport London

By the way, Joachim von Ribbentrop was the German Ambassador in London for two years (1936-1938) and became then Hitler’s Foreign Minister from 1938-1945.




Interesting German Passport London

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