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
FAQ Passport History
Passport collection, passport renewal, old passports for sale, vintage passport, emergency passport renewal, same day passport, passport application, 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...