1958 consular issued passport
Polish Peoples Republic.
By now I presume some of the followers who enjoy my articles have realized that I have a soft spot for early Polish passports. I mainly focus on the first year of the Second Republic (1918-1919), the “International Intervention” period of the early 1920’s with connection to the Silesian plebiscites, the Second World War and the first years that followed up to 1952.
When I began to collect passports eagerly in 2005, the first items that fell into my hands where the Polish passports that were issued at the outbreak of WW2, and prior to that time I had no conception of the Polish side of its early history but only what I learned as a kid at school, the Holocaust and the destruction of Polish Jewish communities during the war.
The liberation of Poland came in several stages, with the east being liberated first by the end of 1944, with the formation of the Polish Committee of National Liberation (Polski Komitet Wyzwolenia Narodowego in Polish (PKWN)) after its official proclamation at the eastern city of Chelm on July 22nd, following areas that were now under the control of the Red Army. Areas that were taken by the Soviets where handed over to the control of the PKWN with Russian supervision. A few months later another body was formed that took over the one mentioned above. The Provisional Government of the Republic of Poland was crated on December 31st 1944 (Rząd Tymczasowy Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej (RTRP) – Mieczyslaw Rogalski was the first Director of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in liberated Poland (1944-1946), and his signature may be found in the first post-war Polish passports that appeared towards the end of 1945). Thus on January 1st 1945 the Polish Committee of National Liberation became the Provisional Government of Republic of Poland. Some Allied protesting took place with the Polish Government in Exile not recognizing the Soviet established government, and the same with the latter. But this changed drastically in the coming months with the Allied powers and the rest of the world switching sides to recognizing the Soviet established regime, eventually leading to the establishing of the Peoples Polish Republic in 1952 after a short spell that it was termed as the Polish Republic (1944-1951).
The Polish People’s Republic (Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa, (PRL)) existed from 1952 until its collapse in 1989. During this period of time the Communist Government issued various types of passports: Regular, Diplomatic, Service, Travel Documents as Identity Documents and consular.
The document in this article will include a fine early PRL consular issue from 1958 (I believe the first samples began to appear a year or two earlier, but to this date I have not come across any).
Consular passport number 34628/58 was issued at London on May 30th 1958 and was valid for a period of 12 months, being issued to Otylia-Elzbieta Kołodziej aged 45 from Buchowice (in 1968 she was registered as a hotel worker at Essex). The passport was extended several times in 1959 & 1961. Inside annotations can let us know that she used a 1957 Polish passport issued at Katowice to leave for England.
The passport has several visas inside, nicely used, for travelling through France, Italy & Switzerland.
The document is in well kept condition with attractive water-marked good quality paper as well.
I have added images of the passport.
Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.