Document Soviet Occupation Germany
CONSULAR DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL ADVISER OFFICE OF SOVIET MILITARY ADMINISTRATION IN GERMANY
Berlin-Karlshorst, 25 September 1947
Soviet Occupation Zone
The Soviet Occupation Zone (SBZ) is the part of Germany that was under the control of the Soviet Military Administration (SMAD) from 1945 to 1949. Geographically, it was the central and eastern parts of Germany between the rivers Elbe and Oder/Neisse. The area covered about 121,000 square kilometers, with about 16 million inhabitants.
After the end of the Second World War in 1945, Germany was divided into four occupation zones and placed under the administrative sovereignty of the four victorious powers France, England, the USA, and the Soviet Union. Denazification was the primary goal of the victorious powers. The Soviet Union also endeavored to transfer its model of state and society to the part of Germany it occupied. Document Soviet Occupation Germany
On the political and economic level, this included the gradual nationalization of land ownership, industrial plants, and the establishment of a one-party system based on the Soviet model. On the cultural level, the education of a new human being – a socialist human being – was at the forefront. In addition to drastic measures in the economy, politics, and culture, the occupation period was marked above all by repression and persecution against the population. Document Soviet Occupation Germany
The period between 1945 and 1949 was of decisive importance for the state of Brandenburg. The former Prussian province of Brandenburg became the province of Mark Brandenburg with the administrative districts of Potsdam and Frankfurt in 1945. With about 26,900 square kilometers, the region was the largest country in the Soviet Zone in terms of area, but with about 2.5 million inhabitants, it was sparsely populated. After the dissolution of Prussia in February 1947, the province of Mark Brandenburg became the state of Mark Brandenburg with Potsdam as capital. Karl Steinhoff was appointed as the first prime minister from 1946 to 1949. Document Soviet Occupation Germany
Many thanks to my friend Albert for the translation from Russian and to find out the bearers’ bio data.
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...