Over the years, I have encountered numerous significant passports. However, very rarely have I come across one like this – belonging to a key Nazi criminal. This individual unleashed a reign of terror against the civilian population and actively participated in the mass murder of Jews and Poles in the occupied Poland “General Government” territory. Passport Governor Hans Frank
This is the German NS passport of Dr. Hans Frank, Governor General of the General Government. At the Nuremberg trials, he was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and was executed.
Hans Frank – passport from November 21, 1941, Passport of the German Reich “no. 680/41” with perforated numbering “84911M40” issued to “Governor General Dr. Hans Frank, Reich Minister” in “Kraków, 21 November. 1941”, Location “Kraków Fortress” photo in civil including handwritten ink signature “Frank” stamp “Office of the governor General – department of Internal Administration”, valid to 20 November 1946. Passport Governor Hans Frank
Between 1941 and 1943, registered visas were issued for Hungary, Slovakia (3x), Italy, and Germany, including one-off and re-entry visas. However, those issued for Germany were marked as “Invalid” in the Reich, with corresponding stamping. The passport containing these visas showed significant wear. Notably, Hans Frank (1900–1946), a member of the DAP/NSDAP since 1919 and a lawyer who served as one of Hitler’s lawyers, held various positions of significance. In 1933, he became the Reich Commissioner for the coordination of the judiciary, subsequently serving as the Reich Law Leader and heading the Legal Office of the NSDAP. By 1934, he assumed the role of a Minister without Portfolio Member of the Government.
In 1939, he served as the governor-general of Polish territories occupied by the Wehrmacht, not incorporated into the Reich. This role led to his indictment for crimes against the civilian population, particularly in the ghettos of Lvov, Warsaw, and Łódź. As one of the major war criminals, he was sentenced to death at the Nuremberg trials. Shown and described in John K. Lattimer, Hitler and the Nazi Leaders – A Unique Insight into Evil. Collection, John K. Lattimer.
John K. Lattimer Collection Passport Governor Hans Frank
Lattimer resided in Englewood, New Jersey. His 30-room Englewood home contained an extensive collection of military paraphernalia, including medieval armor, Revolutionary and Civil War rifles and swords, a pile of cannonballs, World War II machine guns, German Luger’s, and drawings by Adolf Hitler.
Lattimer collected personal items from several of the Nuremberg defendants, such as Hermann Göring’s underwear and his Luftwaffe ring. Lattimer owned several grisly historical artifacts, including one of the two cyanide capsules that Göring smuggled into his Nuremberg prison. Göring used the other capsule to commit suicide minutes before he was to be executed.
Or a blood-stained collar that President Lincoln wore to Ford’s Theater the night he was shot. A medically preserved section of penile tissue which Lattimer said belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte. Passport Governor Hans Frank
This document was sold at an auction for $USD10.260 and comes from prominent US collector John K. Lattimer.
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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