Third Reich Service Passport – Musicologist Prof. Schünemann
Schünemann (1884 – 1945) , the son of a rector, received his doctorate after studying music in 1907 with his thesis on the history of conducting. After his habilitation in 1919 he became a professor in 1920, deputy director and in 1932 director of the Berlin Academy of Music. As an employee of Leo Kestenberg he was involved in the reorganization of the school and private music education.
After the takeover by the Nazis, he was “on leave” as director of the university for denunciations; but was immediately afterwards Head of State of the music instruments collection. In 1935 he was director of the music department of the Prussian State Library. Since 1936, Schünemann was co-editor of the journal Archives of Music Research. Schünemann was a member of the Nazi party officials working group since March 1933.
After 1940 he submitted a “Jewish-free” re-translation of Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro, he was deputy chairman of the Reich Office for music editing, a subdivision of the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. During World War II he worked in the main body of the music office of Rosenberg and short term in the task force of Reichsleiter Rosenberg.
Schünemann also transferred the Don Giovanni libretto into German. With his text the opera was performed in 1961 at the Deutsche Oper Berlin with Carl Ebert, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Grümmer and Dalberg. He found his final resting on the East Stahnsdorf in Urnenhain III, Section 12, garden spot. 6
Passport with photograph of the holder, signed and numerous stamps; Swiss visa, entry and exit to Switzerland.
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.
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