Dutch service passport for the Far East
Serving in both China & Japan after the war.
Molly van der Hoop was born to a Jewish mother named Leah Konijn in 1917, Holland. Life was rather quiet and normal until 1940, the year Nazi Germany invaded. As being Jewish, and living under German occupation, with the conditions for the Jewish population worsening by the day, she and her family decided to go into hiding.
Several years ago I was able to put my hands on a box containing various documents and old photo albums. The original owner of the items was an elderly old woman, sadly, not married and with no children. Her items were about to be thrown out. I was there in time. I managed to put my hands on most of the items. I took them back home and started sorting them out.
Slowly, going through every item, one by one, I began to piece together the history behind the items, behind this woman. I began to learn and understand that she had a fantastic and amazing life.
During the war she was in hiding. She was even able to get fake Dutch identity papers that saved her life. After liberation, around April 13-14th as inscribed by her by hand on the document, she joined the Canadian forces as a translator. Several documents and photo albums can attest to that fact. I presume she joined the foreign ministry later on, during 1945 or 1946 since her Service-Passport was issued to her on June 25th 1946. The pages inside reveal to us that she obtained the official visa from the Chinese embassy in Den Hague, then transiting visas through Egypt and British visa via Iraq, Hong Kong and India.
Her stay in China lasted until 1949, just after the Communists took control of the country, until the end of October. Arriving in Shanghai during the first weeks of that month, she got her inoculation papers on the 13th. She moved to occupied Japan and arrived there on November 2nd.
Inside we can find the rare “General Headquarters – Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers – Diplomatic Section – Tokyo” exit visa from Japan, dating December 29th 1950. From there she went to serve at the Dutch diplomatic mission in the international settlement of Tangier, were she obtained a driving license as well. The other papers include her posting to Paris later on.
This is likely one of the most remarkable collection of documents belong to one individual that I have ever seen. Truly unique diplomatic related service-passport.
Have added sample images of her war-time papers and during her diplomatic service later on.
Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.