“Is this the last Nazi-Germany passport?”. Trough my website I always get many requests from people around the world looking asking for support. A reader from Canada sent me a message including the pictures of this Nazi-Germany Alien Passport and was asking “Is this the last Nazi-Germany passport?”. Well, I believe the change is high that this document is truly one of the very last issued passports. As you can see the Alien Passport was issued on 5. April 1945. The date is significant as WWII was ending in Germany just a month later on 8. May 1945. It’s, in my opinion, unlikely that “The Third Reich” was issuing more documents as in April 1945 the German bureaucracy was everything else than up and running. I got also the incomplete story behind the passport which you can read here now. Dear Wal, thank you for sharing this most interesting document and story. last nazi Germany passport
28 April 1989
Memories from my life written for my children.
It was on the 6th of Feb1919 that I came into the world and was christened Dorothea. It was 5 years after the First World War and economically a very bad time. When I was a couple of years older, I used to hear tales from my father and a couple of other men about the miserable conditions in the world and particularly in Germany. last nazi Germany passport
I was born Dorothea Anna Kutz on 6th February 1919 in Germany in Halle an der Salle near Leipzig. My father’s name was Vbalentin Kutz who was an engineer who built locomotives. My mother was Louisa Schnelle.
My other brothers and sisters were; Helmut, Kurt, Klara, Maria, and Barbara. After World War One, my father had to leave Germany. His brother lived in Upper Silesia. He was a fanatical Pole. All our letters to him were censored because they went out of Germany. We too moved to Upper Silesia in 1924 to Gurkau where my father’s grandfather had a big farm. My Great grandfather had had thirteen children. The farm was about one hour out of Katowiz by train.
I went to school from when I was six till I was fourteen. I remember one teacher I had, Mr. Kopacz. When I was fifteen years old my tonsils became badly infected. It got so bad that it affected my sight. We went into Katowicz to see the doctor. He was surprised that I wasn’t blind yet. He sent me to the hospital to have my tonsils out where I nearly bled to death. They put an inner tube with ice wrapped around my throat to stop the bleeding. last nazi Germany passport
It was a wintry day when I was born into this beautiful but miserable world. 6th February 1919, exactly one year after the Great World War. I was born in Halle an der Salle Germany. When I was three years old my sister Klara was born. I still have many memories. “A woman came to the house, a friend, the clanging of medical instruments, followed by the cry of a little child. That was my sister Klara. I still remember well the large pram with the large wheels. I don’t know how it happened, but one day I climbed into the pram with everything that was in there, including my sister, and we tipped over. last nazi Germany passport
These were very difficult times; my grandparents on my mother’s side lived on the land in a small village named Cörmick in the district of Köten. My grandfather was an overseer on a large property. During the bad times, I traveled with my mother to see him and to collect food, such as potatoes bread, meat, etc. As I’ve been told by my parents’ life was very expensive and my father was unemployed. one time during the winter we went to visit my grandparents. There was a thick covering of snow and uncle Fritz placed me on a sled so that I would not have to walk through the deep snow. It was a fun journey. I couldn’t stay on it and kept falling off. Then we were given a lift to the station on top of a farmer’s wagon. I remember well that it was full of hay and I was afraid that I would fall through the bottom. My mother carried a large square basket on her back with all the foodstuffs that she had been given by Oma. The farmer took us as far as the station of Cörmick to catch the train to Halle. For a short time then, life for my parents was a little easier. There was a period when my parents place all the wardrobes and furniture in front of the windows because there was occasional shooting in the area. We lived on the third floor and had a large apartment with beautiful furniture. It’s funny, but all these things are so clear in my mind and in front of my eyes.
My parents said there was a putsch in Moscow. The people were only allowed out at midday on the street to do their shopping. Sometimes I overheard adults talking, they said that the Jews were being dragged by their ponytails to closed in goods wagons. Food was now almost unavailable though I remember that my mother collected potato peelings and boiled these as well as corn. At this time I was about five years old. There was also a wedding in the apartment block where we lived. I’ve always remembered this very clearly because after the wedding the younger children broke bottles and there was a lot of banging and noise. This was probably a customs in those days. Not long after this, on a nice day, there was music in the streets and the people were singing and dancing with joy that the putsch was over. One nice day I went with my parents to the cemetery to see my brother’s grave. His name was Kurt and he died from Diphtheria. He was the first before me. last nazi Germany passport
After that, we went into a very bad period. My father was out of work with no possibility of finding other employment. He had been in the service of the Deutsche Reichsbahn (Germany Railways) and was involved in the building of locomotives. Because Germany had lost the war my father lost his job as he was an Ausländer from Oberschlesien. One day the Schuppos (German State Police) called at our house and turned the entire residence upside down. My parents had to stand with their faces against the wall. Naturally, I didn’t understand anything of this. Later I learned that my father’s brother, Onkel Paul, had sent a letter to my father, requesting him to give his support to an election (plebiscite) to have Oberschlesien to the Poles. In the tenth century, the portion known as Oberschlesien (Waudag) was taken by a Polish king from Germany and brought under the Polish Crown.
Oberschlesien (Görny Slask) is very rich in mineral salts, coal and agriculture and for that reason, this piece of land is always fought over. Under German rule, Oberschlesien became very rich and the people, both Germans, and Poles lived together in peace. last nazi Germany passport
Now returning to the happenings in our apartment. The Schupo didn’t find anything, with the exception of the letter from my uncle which they had already intercepted before it reached my father. Then one day my parents started selling all their furniture and other belongings. My parents were evicted out of Germany and had to return to my father’s landholding ion Oberschlesien where they had to begin anew. We arrived there in the autumn of 1924. We would live in a small village called Gürkaü. My father came from a large farm, there were thirteen children and none of them wanted to work on the land. The boys went and found jobs in the coal mines and the girls traveled to the towns and worked as maids. Grandfather (father’s father) during this time borrowed fifty Reichsthalders without legal documentation and that was the end of everything for us. The children turned their backs on the land and the man from whom grandfather borrowed the money chased him to an early grave. The fifty Reichesthalders that were borrowed was turned into five hundred and Grandfather had no proof that he only borrowed fifty. Grandfather was already buried when we arrived. Grandmother was almost blind and the two girls who were still at home were real trouble makers. I’ll never forget the day that one of them (aunt Anna) hit my mother in the face while my father was at work. It was in this house that my sister Maria was born, we were now three. Klara, Maria and myself. Not long after we rented a house from a farmer in the village. We were so happy to be out of the other house. After the Plebiscite the Germans continued to have fifteen-year occupation rights for Oberschlesien and they continued to look after the people. Because my father did not have a job at the time we received unemployment benefits. Coal, potatoes, flour for bread and a small of other groceries and in the forests there were enough riches to live from, mushrooms many different types of berries and firewood. Soon the time came for me to start going to school. In the meantime I came down with the measles, I lost my voice and I was sick for a long time, a couple of months. When eventually I did go to school I was already able to speak Polish and was a good student. Soon my voice also returned and I was able to sing along with gusto. My mother never learned to speak Polish and she didn’t want to. She didn’t have an easy life. As children we grew up quickly and adapted to everything life threw at us. At home we spoke German, at school we spoke Polish. I was very good at school but my favorite subjects were: singing, history, nature study (science) and gymnastics. I hated art, geography, geometry, and maths. At the end of the school year, many of us left. This was always a sad time. Our teacher was an older man but very good. When we finally left school for good, he was in tears. It wasn’t easy for anybody to leave the classroom for the last time after we had been together for eight years. Through the good times and the bad times.
Now we started to work on the farm, going into the bush to collect all sorts of berries and mushrooms. It was a poor but very happy time, we were free and without worries. When I was fifteen years old I joined the Military Youth Group (Polish?) which my father found terrible. But the times were changing, and the Germans had to be very much n their guard. The Jews were hated to the utmost. At school, we were told about the terrible atrocities the Jews had committed against the Poles. There was no institution, Parliament or another important post where the Jews didn’t have a foothold. last nazi Germany passport
In the cities where all the institutions of higher learning were, life was very difficult for the Jews. On the footpaths and the walls was written: “Preez ze zydawi” (Out with the Jews). Poland was like a fat cow, being milked dry by the Jews. This was the true picture of the nation. In 1936 the Germans started to pull together in a number of different organizations. This was the beginnings of bad times for Germans in Poland. In our village, Gürkaü they also established a German Verband opposite our house. One of the farmers made available a very large hall for their use. It was fitted out as a library, reading room, and a meeting hall. One night when I came home I heard a lot of noise in the meeting hall. When I looked out I saw that one of the walls was on fire. The great Polish patriots had attacked the building (my Onkel Paul was part of this group). Onkel Paul brought so much misery, they destroyed everything and burnt it, and while they were doing this they were singing freedom songs. My father was also a member of a German Verband. When I came close to our home there were armed men with carbines in front of the properties of the Polish patriots. When I arrived home, my mother told me that father had been able to get out of the meeting hall before the trouble started. He had a timely warning. For a week long we had no idea where he was. One day he returned home again and told us that he’d been hiding in the fields and the bush. After this time, life for the Germans life became more and more difficult. There was a small group of troublemakers who were the great heroes and patriots. For a while, life returned to normal and everything seemed peaceful but that was not to last. Fanatical patriots tortured any Germans they could get their hands on when they had the opportunity. We were generally fairly lucky, perhaps it was because my father was the son of a wealthy landholder. My mother, who was a Reichsdeutscher, luckily they left in peace. last nazi Germany passport
Now things started to happen quickly one after the other! The Jews had nothing to laugh about and the Germans slowly started to leave the country (for those for whom it was possible). This was followed by a period of peace, even although there were continual rumblings.
When I was sixteen, in an effort to improve my development, surroundings, and education, my parents placed me with an intellectual family for two years where I was treated as a member of the family. This family was also landholders. I was allowed to work on the land, which I thoroughly enjoyed. When I worked with the horses I dressed as a boy. Sometimes I can’t believe I did all these things when I was younger. After this period I stayed for a couple of months with a distant relation of my father’s. They owned a butchery and bakery business. This was a happy time. There was also another and two butcher’s boy. Here we always worked hard. Always went along to the market where I assisted in the stall with the selling of the goods. It was terrible in the winter to work with the cold, wet meat. We traveled with horse and cart, kilometer after kilometer. last nazi Germany passport
When I turned eighteen, I left there and joined the cloister. It had always been my wish to become a nun and to work in the missions in Africa. In these days the Catholic church did a lot of advertising to attract young people who had the calling to join up and go and work in the missions. And so, on a lovely day in May 1937, my father took me to the Gaczalkowitz cloister in the Salvatorianen. Gaczalkowitz was a beautiful small town with mineral baths (only for use by the rich). Here I underwent the two most difficult years. Unlike some of the other girls there I was not able to bring much to the cloister and as a result life was made difficult for me on many occasions. If the others did something wrong, I was quite often given the blame. Backchatting was not allowed and you just had to learn to keep your mouth shut. When you first join the cloister you had to sign an undertaking that if you ever left the cloister you would not take with you, any of the goods you had brought in, this included such things as material, shoes, and money.
During my time I learned to see life through other eyes. God’s nature is so beautiful that we have to learn to be satisfied with what we’ve got. Yes, I had a very difficult time but it is never so bad if you place your trust in God’s hands. Let everybody who believes, put their trust in God. Diagonally across the road was the Lutheran cloister and daily I saw the sisters there walking in the extensive gardens. Sometimes, when I stood outside watching them I had a great desire to join them there. It’s funny how life takes its own path. last nazi Germany passport
Then one day, the political unrest started again. The Polish Marshal, Josef Pilsutski, signed an agreement with Hitler that the Danzig corridor and Upper Silesia, be returned to Germany. This, however, did not happen, when Pilsutski suddenly died, and there was a lot of resistance by a number of the Polish Ministers. Pulsutski’s son worked closely with the British who would not allow him to continue with the transfer of these regions, with the result that the Minister for Foreign Affairs committed suicide. He did this because he could not live with the shame humiliation! Perhaps he realized ahead of time that this change would not be without further retaliation. Now things started in earnest! The hatred propaganda (Polish) over the radio was absolutely unbelievable. The German Parliament sent an ultimatum to Poland regarding the transfer of the Danzig Corridor and Upper Silesia. How long the ultimatum lasted I can’t remember.
Then it finally happened. In September 1939, Germany declared war on Poland! Now we started getting the most terrible tales about the atrocities that the German Army was committing. We heard that they were poisoning the water wells and cutting open the stomachs of pregnant women. Now I also started to see the Germans with fear and loathing. As I said previously, I used to be a member of one of the Military Groups (???). I started to hear stories that they were training all young people with weapons. I would have given anything to be part of this but I was stuck in a cloister. last nazi Germany passport
October-November 1939 – The German Army Group South invades along an apth which takes it straight through the area where Dora’s convent is. The Mother Superior instructs all her novitiates to flee. Dora leaves the convent in Poland and moves to Berlin. She finds work as a housekeeper and Doctor’s secretary, working for Dr. Friedrich Falkenberg and his wife Franziska at Zeltingerstrasse 76, Berlin-Frohnau. Dr. Falkenberg was a very pleasant man and very round. The desk in his surgery had a big round section cut out of it so he could sit right into the desk and reach is papers.
27/07/1940 – Dora opens a Post Office Savings account (Nr. 2.545.519) in Berlin-Frohnau and makes her first deposit of RM32 (Reichs Marks). The rate of interest on the balance is noted at 2.25%. Dora is a regular saver and only withdraws money twice until 16 November 1944, which is the date of the last deposit – at which point she has RM1705. The deposits of in excess of RM140 are probably Jan’s military pay being paid to her from 29 December 1944.
August 1941 – Johan Wolzak and Albert Vierstraten – both Dutchmen working in a nursery in Oranienburg north of Berlin, attend a meeting of the NSB in Berlin and sign their names to a petition against Communism.
Late September 1941 – As a result of signing the petition in August 1941, Albert and Johan are menaced by the Gestapo to join the Wehrmacht. As Dutch Nationals they were ineligible to join the Wehrmacht and were obliged to join the Freiwilligen-Legion Niederlande (a volunteer SS unit) instead. They were given travel papers and told to report to s’Hertogenbos Barracks where they are inducted into the Legion and begin training. last nazi Germany passport
Early 1942 – Johan completes basic training and is sent to the barracks at Arys in East Prussia to complete his technical and battle training.
1942/43 – Jan visits Dora and family in Ober (?) Silesia
I need to check when my uncle Helmut was born because he had polio. My father was visiting mother’s family (check the address from Helmut’s birth certificate) in Silesia. The family did not have sufficient food and were starving and the Polish farmers would not sell them food because the Kutz (mother’s) family was ethnic Germans. Father visited the local farmers wearing his SS uniform and sporting a rifle on his shoulder. He returned to the Kutz family home with a wheelbarrow full of food and told the family that the other farmers could not do enough for him!! I understand that my grandmother breastfed Helmut for four years otherwise he would have died.
Post-April (summer?) 1944 – Jan in Berlin with Dora visiting Dora’s Onkel Fritz and his new baby Helga (from photo).
16/11/1944 – Dora makes her last deposit into her Post Office savings account – RM310 bringing her total savings to RM1705. She had opened her account in Berlin-Frohnau on 27 July 1940 with a deposit of RM32. She was a regular, if small saver right through to 29 December 1943 when Jan’s pay appears to have been included in her deposits. After 16 November 1944 she may have held her cash to pay for her wedding and because of the approaching fighting.
14/02/1945 – Johan and Dora married at St Hildegard’s Kirche on Sinsheim Strasse in Frohnau, Berlin by Fr. Felix Krajewski.
05/04/1945 – Dora Wolzak is issued with a Foreigner’s Passport in Berlin. No. 35/45 – close to the last foreigner’s passport issued by the 3rd Reich. Dora is married to a Dutchman and is now regarded as a Dutch citizen by the German authorities. Her occupation is noted as being a domestic help. The passport is valid for two years and allows Dora to be resident in the area of the Reich – with the exception of border zones (presumably a euphemism for the Front). On 17 April 1947, the passport’s last page is stamped by Dutch Authorities, noting Dora’s registration in the Municipality of Nijmegen, Netherlands and is further validated there on 21 June 1947.
On page 2, Dora’s nationality was noted as Niederlande but at some point, after she arrived in Holland post-war this was crossed out and the words “:zonder Hwz (j?) (g?) are written – probably indicating her new status of being Stateless.
17/04/1947 – Dora is registered in the Municipality of Nijmegen. Presumably, she is living at Albert (later known as Jan?) Vierstraten’s house in Nijmegen.
18/05/1947 – Dora’s passport’s last page in marked with what appears to be rationed being provided in Holland on 18 and 19 May.
18/5 – 1 ½ kilo of Bread
19/5 – 500grams of (probably) eggs
10/11/1947 – Dora approaches the Dutch Red Cross looking to locate her sister, Klara Steckel-Kutz, outside of the Netherlands.
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?
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 😉
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...