1943 Bulgarian AXIS issued passport
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1943 Bulgarian AXIS issued passport

 

 

Three sides took part in World War Two:

The Neutral countries, the Allied countries and last, the Axis countries.

 

All sides had their causes, be it ideological, financial or other, that made them chose sides and fight against the other. The same can be said about those belonging to the Axis, which consisted mainly of the following: Germany, Italy, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. Others participated in the war against the allies, they may have not been in direct war but may be seen as co-belligerent state combatants: Thailand, Finland & Iraq. Other so-called puppet-states also took sides with the Axis, for example: Chinese puppet-government, Manchuria, Inner Mongolia (Mengjiang), India (Provisional Free Government of India, or mainly known as Azad Hind), Laos, Philippines, Vietnam (Empire). We also have other client-states such as: Croatia, Slovakia, Greece, Denmark, Norway, France (Vichy), Spain and the Soviet Union (up to 1941).

 

The document here relates to one of those Axis countries that fought against the Allies – Bulgaria.

 

Most World War Two issued Bulgarian passports that are found today are not rare. They frequently have several visas, not many, either travelling to one or more of the Axis states. Most that I have encountered were issued to workers who went to fascist Italy or Nazi Germany for work, and their passports are accompanied by a foreigner’s worker-booklet (greenish cover).

 

This passport, issued in 1943 at Sofia, though issued for occupied territory, the destination and the visas issued inside are rather odd for these type of passports. I have never seen such a passport before being issued for occupied Poland, eastern Poland, for Galicia. This area, mainly known for the Jewish rich and old communities at Ternopol, Lemberg etc., where wiped out and decimated by the occupying German forces and the SS which brutally treated the Jewish population and had them delivered to the notorious death camps such as Sobibor, Majdanek and Treblinka.

 

What catches your eye are the two visas and applied stamps (SS), on pages 14-15, issued by the “Sicherheitspolizei und des SD” in Lemberg (rare) and Krakau. Though the holder’s profession is listed as gardener-worker, it is rather intriguing that he would go to find work in the GG.

 

From the time it was issued to beginning of 1944 he would be working around Posen, then he would be transferred to Lemberg followed by Krakau. He returned back home in 1945.

 

As I am sure other passport collectors have noticed before, when obtaining new items for their collections, what makes a passport unique and rare is also the special visas issued inside. I believe that the 2 mentioned above can fall under this category.

 

 

 

Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.

 

Neil Kaplan
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