A fantastic and unique document lot which consists on three (3) Nazi Service passports (Dienstpass) & Soldbuch of him, his daughter and wife and letters from Captain Hans Loewe to/from his family when he was at the Civilian Internment Camp 1 (British Internment Camp Gardeland) near the German city of Neumünster. The camp was on the terrain of the company Lederfabrik Emil Köster. Interestingly, two of the cards bear his admonition to his family not to contact other relatives as otherwise his plans for the future may not succeed.
Interned were all people, where it was assumed that they were important functionaries of the NSDAP. In the autumn of 1945 there were 11,000 people interned (including several hundred women), was among them, “a comparatively high proportion of suspected war criminals”. The camp was closed in the fall of 1946, the remaining 6,000 inmates were transferred to the detention center Eselsheide at Paderborn.
OFFICIAL DOCUMENT GROUPING OF CAPT. HANS LOEWE
Intriguing grouping of 13 items related to the foreign service of Capt. Hans Loewe, A German government official and interpreter who may well have been an agent of WILHELM CANARIS ABWEHR as well. Included is his “Soldbuch zugleich Personalausweis” which lists his rank as captain, profession as “Senior Civil Servant”, and indicates that he was awarded the Iron Cross, 2nd Class in the previous war. He does not appear to have served with any military unit during the war, but did attend interpreter school in Berlin in 1943. His passport, or “Dienstpass” was issued on Apr. 6, 1943 is shows his occupation as a government official and is full of visas and foreign port of entry stamps including Hungary (special visa), Germany, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Rumania, and Turkey. Plus two GERMAN BORDER POLICE STAMPS – AIRPORT VIENNA!
Further interesting is that Hans Loewe’s passport was twice extended. One time at the German embassy in Ankara, Turkey and again in Istanbul by the SWISS CONSULATE! The same SWISS extensions can be found in the wife’s and daughter’s passport!
(In quest of the Allied relations towards the end of World War II, in 1944, German-Turkish diplomatic relations were ended. Switzerland took then over the role as protecting power representation.)
The extension of the documents by a protecting power representation makes this passports even more special & unique.
FAQ Passport History
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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...