Pass Service book
When I first spotted the document, I thought it’s a Wander book, but actually, this one is a pass- and service book of a maid. But at the same time, it’s also a service book, passport, and a citizenship document. I have seen many such books but not in this combination. Wander books (journeyman books) were only issued in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Probably the same is valid for this Passbook. At least I never saw such ones from other countries. So this might be a “German” thing. Pass- and Service book.
The book was issued in 1863 to twenty years old Maria Eva Koch, which “…want to work in the city of Freiburg as a maid”. The book is valid for an indefinite time. On page one, you see three stamps—a Baden blind stamp, a tax stamp, and the local government office stamp. Page three confirms that Maria holds Baden citizenship, and pages 6-9 show employment places and the relevant local office stamps.
The Grand Duchy of Baden (Großherzogtum Baden) was a state in the southwest German Empire on the Rhine’s east bank. It existed between 1806 and 1918.
It came into existence in the 12th century as the Margraviate of Baden and subsequently split into different lines, unified in 1771. It then became the much-enlarged Grand Duchy of Baden through the Holy Roman Empire’s dissolution in 1803–1806. It was a sovereign country until it joined the German Empire in 1871, remaining a Grand Duchy until 1918 when it became part of the Weimar Republic as the Republic of Baden. Baden was bordered to the north by the Kingdom of Bavaria and the Grand Duchy of Hessen-Darmstadt; to the west, along most of its length, by the river Rhine, which separated Baden from the Bavarian Rhenish Palatinate and Alsace in modern France; to the south by Switzerland; and to the east by the Kingdom of Württemberg, the Principality of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen and Bavaria.
After World War II, the French military government in 1945 created Baden’s state (originally known as “South Baden”) out of the southern half of the former Baden, with Freiburg as its capital. This portion of the former Baden was declared in its 1947 constitution to be the old Baden’s true successor. The northern half of the old Baden was combined with northern Württemberg, becoming part of the American military zone, and formed the state of Württemberg-Baden. Both Baden and Württemberg-Baden became states of West Germany upon its formation in 1949.