Interesting German Passport 1939, London

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

26 year young Austrian born Maria Paintner got a permission to “Land at Dover” on 28 Feb 1938. So stated in the permit on her Austrian passport page which was attached by the German authority’s when they kept her Austrian passport but issued her a new German passport on 7th of February 1939 due to the new law (because of the Anschluss = Annexation of Austria into the Third Reich 12 March 1938). This combination is very interesting 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 is only valid for 4 months and will definitely not be renewed. Her travel document was valid till 5th of June 1939. But the Embassy letter demands more…

“Germany lacks on housemaids and is expecting that all maids working abroad will return to Germany to support your home country” says the machine typed letter. And further…“Even this order is for now inconvenient for you we expect you cancel your contract properly and return to your country within this 4 months”.

Maria left London in time as there is a Belgian visa issued on 25th of May 1939 and a payment stamp of a Austrian bank on 5th of June 1939.

In preparation of Hitler’s world war the German Embassy advises on 24th August all German residents to leave Britain

A week later WWII begun when the German battleship Schleswig-Holstein opens 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.

By the way Joachim von Ribbentrop was for 2 years (1936-1938) German Ambassador in London and became then Hitler’s Foreign Minister from 1938-1945

(Thanks to my German fellow collector W.M. who made it possible to acquire this historical document for my collection!)


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This Embassy letter forced Maria to return to Nazi-Germany to fulfill her duties in her home country and not abroad.

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