This Polish diplomatic passport from 1935 was issued for Krystyna Rogalska, daughter of consul Mieczysław Rogalski. Rogalski was a member of the Polish Military Organization from 1914. After Poland regained independence, he entered the diplomatic service. From 1928–1939, he worked as a consul in German East Prussia, in the cities of Kwidzyn, Ełk. Olsztyn. The passport has a maroon, embossed cover with the Polish state’s emblematic and the inscription RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA DIPLOMATIC PASSPORT. In the middle, it has two unfolding pages measuring 29 x 22 cm. The first one has a photo, the personal details of the owner, an ink seal, and a seal embossed in the paper. The remaining page has stamps extending the validity of the passport.
Mieczysław Rogalski, (born May 23, 1889, in Warsaw, died May 17, 1952, in Iwonicz-Zdrój ) – Polish lawyer, diplomat consular officer, Member of the National Council of Poland. In 1919 he was employed in the Polish foreign service. After the Polish-Soviet negotiations in Minsk In 1920, he was appointed a member of the Mixed Commission of the Republic of Poland and the RSFSR and USSR for repatriation (until 1923). Then he was the secretary of the Polish mission in Bucharest (1928–1930), vice-consul of the consulate in Olsztyn (1932), consul and head of the consulate in Kwidzyn (1932-1936) and the consulate in Ełk (1936–1939).
During World War II, he returned to the Lublin region. Arrested and imprisoned several times by the Germans. In 1944 he became the deputy head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Polish Committee of National Liberation, and then the director of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; he was also a member of the People’s Republic of Poland in Oslo and Reykjavík (1946-1948). In the years 1945–1947, he was a member of the National Council, where he was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Religious and Nationality Committee. From 1948, he was a lecturer at the University of Warsaw. Polish Diplomatic Passport
According to Polish genealogy records, Krystyna Rogalska died on June 11, 1996, at age 76 in Warsaw. The passport was recently sold at an auction for $570.
FAQ Passport History
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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...