1935 German passport - Our Passports
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1935 German passport

Issued by a diplomat with an interesting career.


When we collect passports, we do so for many reasons. Some collect them because of the issuing country, others collect a passport because of a specific era it was issued at or others do so for the consular revenue stamps that appear inside its pages. The reasons are many and the pleasure that one derives from locating the desired item is immense. As mentioned before, collecting is a passion, and the emotion that drives us collectors is intense as well.


The passport in this article is not that rare. At first glance one cannot find anything special or unique that would make it stand out. As we all know, sometimes first appearances can be deceiving. And after meticulous inspection of a new item that has entered ones collection, we can find the hidden treasures carefully tucked away inside the pages.


German passport number 2/35, itself being a remarkable low SN, was issued on January 2nd 1935 at the German consulate at Thorn (Toruń in Polish), located in northern Poland. It was issued to Leonhard Fischoeder, father to seven children.


What caught my attention at a later stage was the signature of the issuing diplomat. The signature was very familiar and I was sure that I have seen it before. I began a search among the images I have kept of all German issued passports that I have. Going through many pages was not an easy task and rather tiring, but finally I located the signature in another passport!


Passport was issued and signed by German diplomat Erwin Bunze.

(1888 in Hohensalza (in Posen) – 1963 in Chicago).


Here is a brief biography of this diplomat:


  • 1920-1921 Stationed in London as consulate secretary;
  • 1922 Stationed in Danzig as Consul General;
  • 1923-1932 Stationed in Moscow embassy as senior inspector;
  • 1932-1935 Stationed in Thorn consulate (Western Poland);
  • 1935-1939 Stationed back in Germany at the Foreign Ministry;
  • 1939 Brief stationing at Wellington;
  • 1939-1945 Stationed at the Chinese consulate in Hankow;
  • 1945 His last posting at the Consulate in Shanghai as chancellor of the mission;
  • 1946 Repatriation back to Germany.


Here is a link to the other passport where this diplomat’s signature is affixed inside.



I have added images of the passport.




Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.





Neil Kaplan
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