Here comes a most interesting document set of a former Waffen-SS member. His son Ruediger (born 1945) was later employed by the Rhine Army and discharged with honors. Obersalzberg Waffen-SS Man Documents
The documents are issued to Leo Maslow, born Feb 9, 1920 in Flatow, West Prussia. Maslow entered the Waffen-SS on Jan 9, 1940. Promotions: Jan 1941 SS-Sturmmann, Aug 1941 SS-Rottenfuehrer, and May 1944 SS-Unterschaarfuehrer
From Jan 1945, he served at the Waffen-SS Command at AH’s Obersalzberg, became an American POW on Jul 15, 1945 and spent 10 months in a POW camp. Released on May 24, 1946. Leo died in 1964. I assume his wife and son passed away as well.
The Documents (Excerpt) Obersalzberg Waffen-SS Man Documents
- Birth Certificate, 1944
- Income Tax Card, 1944/46
- US Military POW Discharge Document, 1946
- German ID, 1946
- Refugee ID, 1946
- Workers Pass 1949
- Income Tax Card, 1949
- 3 x German ID’s for Leo, his wife, and son Ruediger, 1960s (Leo’s ID mentions a Grenade splinter injury at the hip)
- Certificate Military Service – Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt), 1968
- BAOR Pass of the son, serving in the Rhine Army as a vehicle mechanic, 1971-1972
- Photographs of the son being awarded by the Rhine Army in 1977
- Federal German Passport 1980s of the son with some East German stamps
- Several other documents and photographs…
Usually, I do not collect such things, but I found it quite interesting that the documents cover his whole life. From birth certificate to death certificate, including all the NS military documents.
Here are some pictures… Obersalzberg Waffen-SS Man Documents
Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) Obersalzberg Waffen-SS Man Documents
It was a government agency located in Berlin, Germany. Its primary responsibility was to maintain extensive records related to military personnel, including those who perished in action during World War II (approximately 18 million individuals). Additionally, it preserved official military documentation for all armed forces members dating back to 1871, covering naval military records and other documents connected to wartime activities.
Initially known as the Wehrmachtsauskunftstelle für Kriegerverluste und Kriegsgefangene (WASt), this agency also offered information regarding the fates of both German and foreign soldiers, as well as prisoners of war in Germany. These records had diverse applications, including supporting civil legal proceedings, contributing to the creation of an official registry of war graves, aiding historical research, and serving as valuable resources for biographical and genealogical investigations.
Starting from January 1, 2019, the agency was consolidated with the German Federal Archives (known as the Bundesarchiv in German). This agency serves as a significant and essential resource for conducting genealogical and scientific research across various domains.
FAQ Passport History 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...
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