German Passport Of A Jewish Consul Widow
The occupation in the passport says “Konsulswitwe” (widow of a consul). I couldn’t find any data during my research on who this consul was. But what is even more interesting is that she was Jewish, as you can identify on the big red J-stamp. Surely a delicate matter as a government official and diplomat in Nazi Germany! Her travel document was issued abroad at the German Consulate in Santiago (de Chile). Fascinating stamps and visas are showing her return to Germany via Bremerhaven (harbor) to Munich. Six pages of currency exchange entries are showing she lived in Munich for a while (not displayed). Then there are the Chilean visas with revenues, Japanese and Manchukuo visas, Latvia, Russia, and finally the USA – her safe harbor. The US visa was issued in Yokohama by vice-consul Goetzmann, who experienced later the Japanese attack on Perl Harbor. A vital travel document! Jewish Widow German Consul
Niles W. Bond was a consular officer in Yokohama, Goetzmann was his colleague, and both were there during the attack on Pearl Harbor
December 7, 1941, will forever be one of the most memorable dates in American history. The attack on Pearl Harbor, a preemptive assault to prevent the U.S Pacific Fleet from entering the War in the Pacific, began at precisely 7:48 a.m. Over 350 Japanese fighter planes destroyed 188 U.S aircraft, and four naval battleships, killed 2,402 Americans, as well as wounded 1,282 others. At this point, WWII had been going on for nearly two years, and the United States had been maintaining its isolationist policy to avoid becoming involved in another world war. The following day, December 8th, the United States declared war on Japan.
Read the fantastic story about, e.g., destroying relevant U.S. documents and codebooks before the Japanese got them…
Goetzmann, Jule Lawrence (1912-1956) — of Moline, Rock Island County, Ill.; Washington, D.C. Born in St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minn., December 12, 1912. Foreign Service officer; economist; U.S. Vice Consul in Havana, 1937-39; Yokohama, 1939-41; Bilbao, 1942-46. Member, American Economic Association. Died July 23, 1956 (age 43 years, 224 days). The burial location is unknown. Jewish Widow German Consul
Update Dec 26, 2019
I was contacted by Frank Hoffmann, a Korean studies specialist, and art historian who found my website during his research. A few years ago, he wrote the book “Berlin Koreans and Pictured Koreans,” which can now be downloaded here.
The book also covers a few pages that concern the composer of the Korean national anthem and the Manchukuo Legation (embassy) in Berlin, in the early 1940s. Frank writes further, “I have the full biography of the secretary that signed and issued the Manchukuo visa on page seventeen (the name is stamped in). And I have other details, as these visas to German-Jewish people are part of what I researched the past ten months. … Although THIS passport is truly exceptional — widow of a German diplomat.”
Thanks to Frank, I can add now the following facts he secured during his extensive research.
The legation officer whose name is stamped on the passport is Wang Tifu 王替夫 (1911-2001). He went back to Manchuria during the last days of WWII, was later arrested by the Soviets (who had occupied Manchuria after fighting the Japanese), and spent years in a Russian gulag. He was one of the Chinese who collaborated with the Japanese, is a native of Manchuria, and was hired by the Japanese while still a student because of his great talent with foreign languages.
After China was reformed in the 1980s, Wang became active again … he wrote down his biography, and a publisher in northeastern China then sent a young female reporter to him to interview him over several weeks. The result is his biography in book format, published in 1988. I was able to track that reporter down and interviewed her earlier this year. The book was so successful that two further biographies (all written by others interviewing Wang) were published, all in Chinese.
He was one of the very few Chinese to have had contact with Hitler and Goebbels .. guess that’s mostly what made the success of the books, those first-hand insights. His memoirs are different from those of old Nazis, beautifying things and leaving out other crucial pieces of information. For example, and this is important in this case, with the visa for the Jewish widow of a diplomat, Wang tries to “sell” himself as a savior of the Jews.
But I found out, and in one short statement in the book that is even confirmed, that it was Ribbentrop who asked the Manchukuo Embassy (and a few other embassies) to issue visas for Jews. That was in 1939, and obviously before the Wannsee Conference … there was, at that time, no plan yet to massacre all Jews; the plan at that time still was to let them emigrate, etc., and the Japanese had their own ideas of how to use them in Manchukuo (but that was not realized, and NS policies changed in 1940).
The Manchukuo legation also issued Manchukuo passes to Polish and Romanian underground fighters (especially for the Polish Home Army, which continued to cooperate with the Japanese from its exile. The Japanese did not trust German intelligence, and thus they collaborated with the Polish Intelligence Services, etc., especially as regards the situation in the USSR and German-occupied territories in the East. (One has to remember that the Russians were a “shared” enemy for both the Japanese and the Poles). So, there are visas and passports for Poles and others who worked in or with the Manchukuo embassy in Berlin.
I find it always amazing how readers contribute to my articles. Many times relatives or researchers stumble over my articles and can add crucial data to the stories to complete the puzzle – and I am thankful for that. Jewish Widow German Consul
Many can be read from the details of these visas. The one issue by Wang Tifu, of Manzhoukuo visa, was clearly a border-crossing visa. Its solo purpose was to be able to reach Japan instead of staying in Manchuria. The Japanese visa was issue at 3rd of May, one day before the issue of Manchukuo’s visa.
In addition, the Japanese Visa is hand written in name of the by-then ambassador Saburō Kurusu. This is not his own hand writing though. But he played important roles both in Japan-Nazi German Ally and Japan-US failed negotiation and later war.
It is a wonderful passport carrying so much history in rich.
Dear Wenbo, thank you very much for adding your knowledge to this post. Much appreciated. Best regards, Tom
There is world history, and there is worldwide-actually-happening under the microscope. collecting passports can often bring them together.
Very true, Martin