Participant ID Potsdam Conference

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The rare ID belongs to a British participant in the Potsdam Conference, which took place from July 17 to August 2, 1945, in the Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam. Officially, the last war conference of the Allies is called the “Berlin Conference” – as the ID card of a member of the British delegation shows. But since suitable rooms are lacking in war-torn Berlin, the conference is moved to Potsdam. Potsdam Conference ID Card

Potsdam Conference ID Card

From July 17 to August 2, 1945, the heads of state of the three allied victorious powers – the Soviet Union, the United States, and Great Britain – met in Cecilienhof Palace in Potsdam to discuss the reorganization of Europe and the future fate of Germany. At the negotiating table are Josef Stalin (USSR), Harry S. Truman (USA), and Winston S. Churchill (Great Britain), who is succeeded at the end of July by Clement R. Attlee. They decide on the democratization, demilitarization, denazification, decartelization, and decentralization of Germany. The Allies also agree that the Germans, because of their ostensibly authoritarian traditions, must first be subjected to re-education. France acceded to the Potsdam resolutions on August 7, 1945, with reservations. Potsdam Conference ID Card

Potsdam Conference ID Card

Compensation
A compromise is reached on the reparations issue: The powers take compensation from their zone. They dismantle industrial plants or receive goods of German manufacture. The Soviet Union also receives reparations from the Western zones. Potsdam Conference ID Card

German Eastern Border
The question of Germany’s eastern border is controversial. Stalin established a Polish or Soviet administration in the territories beyond the Oder and the Lusatian Neisse. In Potsdam, the Oder-Neisse line is provisionally recognized by the Western powers, but the final determination of the German borders is to be made only in a peace treaty.

Displacement Potsdam Conference ID Card
In order to solve the problem of German population minorities in East-Central Europe, it is agreed that the German population from Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Hungary will be transferred “in an orderly and humane manner”. This is to justify the already ongoing expulsion of the Germans from the eastern territories, in part by force.

Potsdam Conference ID Card

Grau, Andreas/Würz, Markus: Potsdamer Konferenz, in: Lebendiges Museum Online, Stiftung Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland,
URL: http://www.hdg.de/lemo/kapitel/nachkriegsjahre/befreiung-und-besatzung/potsdamer-konferenz.html
Last visited: 07.11.2020

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?

A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

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 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

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...