Italian Socialist Republic Passport, 1944 Berlin

The Republic of Salò (Repubblica Soziale Italiana) Italian Socialist Republic
On 23 September 1943, Mussolini reappeared, proclaiming a new fascist state in the North of Italy, The Italian Social Republic. Stretching as far south as Rome, this was to be the last bastion of Fascism in Italy. Essentially a puppet-state propped up by the Nazi’s, it’s headquarters was in Salò on the shores of Lake Garda. Mussolini was tired and intent on being a recluse, but Hitler encouraged him to help the Axis cause just one more time. Italian Socialist Republic

The Republic had its own currency, government, and flag and had an army of 150,000 men loyal to Mussolini. It was, however, totally dependant on Germany to survive. Despite help from the Third Reich, unrest was common in the region. Guerilla warfare from resistance movements undermined Mussolini’s authority and was a constant thorn in the regime’s side. The resistance riled Hitler so much that he ordered the Ardeatine Massacre in April 1944, which brutally killed ten Italian civilians for every German killed by the partisans. This was an act of cruelty that even the Duce protested against. Italian Socialist Republic

Meanwhile, down south, the advancing Allies were breaching every German defense line and were on the road North. As they marched ever nearer, Mussolini attempted to flee to Switzerland. He was captured by partisans near Lake Como while attempting to escape and was taken to Milan, where he was hung in front of cheering crowds.

The Republic of Salo existed for only 18 months. Italian Socialist Republic

 

The Passport

is a hard-cover type, brown and with a golden imprint, and has 32 pages. Considering that this state existed only briefly, we can assume not many of these passport types have been issued and even less have survived the 75 years until today. What is somehow special is that this travel document was issued at the Italian consulate in Berlin in September 1944, was valid until September 1945, and includes a German residence permit issued in Berlin, valid until 1946. Italian Socialist Republic

Italian Socialist Republic

The bearer of the passport was a woman in the name of Irmgard Buttiron. Irmgard was born in Landsberg, Germany, in 1921, which makes her 23 years young when her passport was issued. Obviously, she was married to an Italian.

 

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