Important early NKVD signed passport
1922 Polish passport hand signed by NKVD would-be chief Genrikh Yagoda.
Though not one of the first to appear from this young independent republic, formed after World War One, it has its appealing features.
The passport was issued at the relatively new Polish consulate in Moscow, USSR, which was established following the Riga Treaty of March 1921. Formal relations were established on April 27, followed by the opening of diplomatic missions in both countries shortly after. Prior to this, the two fought bitterly during the Polish-Soviet War (1919-1920).
The passport was issued to a Polish national who ended up on the eastern side of the border. His desire, as long with his family, was to return back home, back to Poland. They applied for the Polish passport at the new consulate, and fell under the term of being OPTANT (roughly means those who opted to sell their property and returning back home and not remain under foreign rule abroad). After going through the scrupulous verifications they were able to obtain the passport, hand stamped OPTANT on the title page. Passport was issued to the head of the family Dominik Perek together with his wife and 2 children Czeslaw and Woclaw. The passport was only good for the return journey back to Poland, not for any foreign travel. Issued on March 11, it was signed by the Polish delegate to Moscow during the period of 30.7.21 to 15.10.22: Samson Mikolaj Himmelstjerna, who had a rich history as a diplomat at various missions abroad, such as Finland, Germany, and Yugoslavia.
And specially marked for being “surveilled” – INWIGILOWANO – on page 9, beneath the entry visa for Poland.
One amazing point that needs to be added is that the exit visa issued by the NKVD on page 10 on May 2 was singed personally by NKVD high-ranking official Genrikh Yagoda (born as Yenokh Gershevich Iyeguda: 7 November 1891 – 15 March 1938: Genrikh Grigoryevich Yagoda was the People’s Commissar for Internal Affairs chief from 10 July 1934 – 26 September 1936. He was executed during the infamous 1930’s purges in the Soviet Union. The visa was valid until June 2nd, good for exiting at the border point Negoreloye on the west.
The family crossed the border into Poland on June.
Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.