USSR passport berlin 1934
This USSR passport was issued in Berlin in 1934 and was valid until 1947. Marie and her son, who is seen in the passport but crossed out, seem to have lived in Nazi Germany for quite a long time. The passport shows several renewals, and the last known location was Heidelberg, Germany in 1946. The USSR consular renewals ended in 1941 when all diplomatic missions were closed due to the war between Germany and USSR.
But at least Marie was still living in Germany. How does she have felt to live in the enemy country who broke the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and started the war with USSR in 1941 (Operation Barbarossa)? What happened to her son? At least we know he got his own passport as the entry on page fourteen indicates.
It is unlikely that Marie and her son belonged to the USSR diplomatic staff, as then they would have other documents. A diplomatic passport, maybe. Nowadays, we rarely find such documents.
As long as everything remained in limbo, Russian Berlin was a kind of third place where Russia could still meet with Bolshevik Russia on the other side of the border. In the Haus der Künste on Nollendorfplatz, the poets of Petersburg Symbolism met the shooting stars of Russian Futurism. Galerie Van Diemen on Boulevard Unter den Linden became a place where the exciting art of Kasimir Malevich or Marc Chagall could be admired for the first time in Germany. Berlin had a Russian newspaper landscape that could draw on the best forces of Russian journalism, political analysis, and literary criticism before 1917. One of them, Juli Aichenwald, tragically came under a tram and is buried in the cemetery of the Russian church in Tegel.
This world also included professional associations of doctors, engineers, and lawyers. Officers of the Russian army worked as taxi drivers, and ladies of the Petersburg Society designed models for the Berlin fashion houses to help out the fashionably more mediocre Berlin. There was also the Russian Berlin of the failed and those who had crashed into misery. They lived in the refugee homes on the Tempelhofer Feld and waited for the times to get better. The anti-Semitic Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion were circulating, as were those of the Russian Berlin, bringing all the dirt and poison of the early fascist Black Hundred to Germany – first to Munich, then to Berlin. Contact was established with the right wing of the people and the future Hitler Party. When this very party, the NSDAP, seized power in 1933, the Russian Berlin of the 1920s was over. The aged Simon Dubnow, Nestor of the history of Judaism, fled to Riga, where Germans murdered him in 1941. Vladimir Nabokov, who had lived in Berlin for more than a decade, Boris Pasternak’s parents and others left in 1937 at the latest.
The German war of annihilation against the Soviet Union soon produced an entirely different Russian Berlin: that of the “East Workers,” the forced laborers from the occupied territories. Thousands and thousands of them lived in camps scattered all over the city. They kept the town and its large factories going. They were the ones who had to move out after every Allied air raid to make destroyed tracks, bridges, and tunnels roadworthy again. In 1944, a Swiss journalist remarked that Berlin had never been as Russian as it was at those moments when masses of Soviet forced laborers were forced to restore the city’s bombed-out infrastructure.
The liberation from Nazi rule and the occupation of Berlin by the Allies marked the beginning of a new chapter that can still be clearly read in some places in the city: at the former officers’ school in Berlin-Karlshorst, for example, where the Germans signed the surrender. (Today it houses the German-Russian Museum), at the memorials in Berlin-Treptow and Berlin-Tiergarten, and the newly erected USSR embassy on Unter den Linden. The Soviet tanks in Leipziger Strasse and Potsdamer Platz on 17 June 1953 and the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 also became symbols of the permanent cultural and military presence of the Russians in Berlin.
USSR passport berlin 1934