max wünsche passport
What you see here is a document of a significant figure of WWII – the passport of MAX WÜNSCHE, SS commander awarded with the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and personal aide to Adolf Hitler.
Max Wünsche was born on 20 April 1914 in Kittlitz. In July 1933 Wünsche joined the SS. In 1935, he graduated from SS-Junkerschule at Bad Tölz and was promoted to Untersturmführer. Wünsche was then posted to the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH) as a platoon leader. In October 1938, Wünsche was assigned as an orderly officer for Hitler. In that role, Wünsche joined the Führerbegleitkommando (the SS bodyguard unit) which provided personal security for Hitler.
In January 1940 he was again posted to the LSSAH, as a platoon commander in a motorcycle company under the command of Kurt Meyer, for the invasion of the Netherlands and the Battle of France. In December 1940 he became an adjutant to Sepp Dietrich where he stayed during the invasion of the Balkans (Operation Marita) and the invasion of the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa). In February 1942 Wünsche was given the command of the LSSAH Sturmgeschütz (assault gun) battalion.
In 1942 Wünsche completed the General Staff training course at the Staff College in Germany and was promoted to Sturmbannführer. In September 1942 he was posted to the LSSAH and resumed command of the Sturmgeschütz battalion; in October he assumed command of a battalion in a panzer regiment of LSSAH. His battalion’s first action was at Kharkov in 1943. On 25 February 1943 Wünsche led his tankers into battle against a defensive position staffed by the Soviet 350th Rifle Division. Supported by artillery and a company of SS grenadiers, Wünsche’s battalion launched its attack and overran the Soviet front lines, destroying some anti-tank guns. Wünsche’s assault would lead to the destruction of 47 artillery pieces and anti-tank weapons. During the assault, 800 Soviet troops were killed. For his actions during the battles for Kharkov, Wünsche was awarded the German Cross in Gold and later the Knight’s Cross, both in February 1943. max wünsche passport
In June 1943, Wünsche was transferred to a new division forming in France, 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend, to take command of the 12th SS Panzer Regiment. On 6 June 1944, the Allies landed in Normandy (Operation Overlord), and the division was committed to action on 7 June. The division was later trapped in the Falaise pocket, where on the night of 20 August, Wünsche escaped out of the pocket on foot. He was wounded and captured by British soldiers.
In 1944, Wünsche was taken prisoner and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner of war in camp 165 at Caithness, Scotland, a special camp for high-ranking German officers. In 1948 Wünsche was released and returned to Germany. He died in 1995.
A passport of such a significant figure of the Third Reich is most rare!
I was contacted via my website from the owner of the document, who told me that the document owned his grandfather for ages, together with other documents such as military documents and WWII pictures. His grandfather worked as a driver and was in charge of vehicle fleets.
According to the owner… “There’s also a letter from him after the war when he’s applying for a job – it mentions in there that he was in charge of the cars for cabinet ministers and the prime minister at some point. His name was William Vincent Tetlow, and there’s a placard in his stuff that reads “N.C.O. I.C. Unit Transport”.
There are also a lot of photos, and some of them include pictures of Hitler’s palace right after it was bombed, including inside (e.g., the dining room with a massive chandelier on the floor within the ruin). I’m not sure if he possibly took the passport then or even if he somehow came into contact with Wünsche after he was captured and taken to Scotland.
Looking deeper into the details of the passport, I found the following…
Firstly, what is at least very unusual, is that the passport was issued at the 8th police department in Berlin including a handwritten entry “The leader of the 8th police department”. I have dozens of NS Berlin issues, and none is issued from this unit. Usually, it’s the police department II in Berlin responsible for issuing passports. However, an 8th police department did exist.
Secondly, the passport fixing looks quite worn at the rusty metal eyelets. Someone could think it was eventually manipulated as the metal eyelets do not look that sleek. Again, if I look at my documents, then almost all look still sleek after 75-80 years. It depends on how the documents were stored all the years, which can affect the metal eyelets, of course.
The stamping on the passport picture shows a rather unusual gap (at least from this picture angle). The handwritten passport number is 8R/3/39, which means only three passports might have been issued till April 6, 1939, when Wünsche’s document was made. Wünsche was from Oct 1938 till the beginning of 1940 Ordinance officer with AH. The UdSSR visa was issued 22 Aug 1939 in Berlin at the embassy of the USSR (consular department) to enter the UdSSR till 7 Sep 1939 via the border Welikie Luki; exit must be made via the same border within 15 days after entry. The signature of Wünsche seems to fit, compared to a document offered at a past auction.