War Time Swiss Passport
This document is a rare testimony of Swiss citizens in Berlin / Germany during WWII. Learn more about the document itself, the Swiss Embassy in Berlin during those days, and the work of the Swiss repatriation delegation after the end of the war.
During my research, I learned also about Swiss envoy Hans Frölicher who was in World War II one of the most influential diplomats in Berlin. He could have saved many lives. But he was an opportunist and worked as expected. So the myth of Swiss neutrality was destroyed. This interesting story I will tell in an upcoming separate article.
The embassy building is the only building in the inner Spreebogen of the Alsenviertels that have survived the war without any major damage. Just before the war ended, the Swiss embassy was occupied by the Red Army, who led the last assault on the Reichstag from there. The last Swiss embassy members who stood in the building were locked in the basement for nearly two weeks and then escaped via Moscow and Turkey to Switzerland months later. War Time Swiss Passport
As a “protecting power” little Switzerland took care during the war to protect the interests of more than twenty countries, including the US and Britain.
Schweizer Heimschaffungsdelegation (Swiss Repatriation Delegation) War Time Swiss Passport
After the war, a so-called repatriation delegation (1945-1949) moved into the building. They took care of the Swiss refugees from the former eastern territories and supplied the Berlin Swiss colony with food. The head of the repatriation delegation reported on 20 Feb 1945 to his superior that between Sept 1945 and Feb 1946 more than 4000 Swiss citizens from Berlin and the SBZ (Sowjet occupied zone) – which included the former General Government of occupied Polish territories – were repatriated to Switzerland. He wrote further...
“Currently we repatriate 200 citizens a month and I assume this number will increase in the upcoming spring and summer when the travel conditions are much better. Furthermore, we support our citizens with food and dealing with citizen and passport documents”.
Standard Swiss passport was issued in Berlin on 2 May 1942 and valid till 2 May 1945 (a few days before the German surrender) including four resident permits issued by the German General Government in Krakow. The passport itself is in excellent condition. To find a document in this constellation and condition is pretty rare. War Time Swiss Passport