Very early Israeli consular laissez-passer - Our Passports
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Very early Israeli consular laissez-passer

 

1949 issued at Munich – occupied Germany.

 

Consular samples are somewhat more desirable, in my opinion, than regular issued passports. They are harder to come by and at times, the issuing location can make the sample a rarity and an important addition, not only to ones collection, but also historically, with an opportunity for us all to shed some more light to events of the time.

 

The document in this article relates to the fact that not only was it a consular issue but it was most likely one of the earliest Israeli issued sample abroad (these were most likely printed towards the second half of 1948 with the earliest recorded seen sample dating from December 13th and numbered 754(!)), and the location making it an important contribution to both collectors of early Israeli travel documents but also with connection to the Holocaust and its outcome.

 

Towards the end of World War Two the allied forces liberated areas that were originally under Axis rule, starting with northern Africa, moving on to Sicily, Italy France and ending with Germany (on the European continent). They implemented a control system for the territories they occupied: Austria, Trieste and even as far as China in the Far East, and last not forgetting Germany; which was divided into 4 separate zones, the Western zones run by the Americans, British and French and the eastern zone run by the Soviet Union.

 

Laissez-Passer number 02565 was issued to Aron Naidat at Munich, on May 15th 1949. The document was issued and stamped by the Israeli Immigration Office in occupied Germany, by the Immigration Officer

Dr. Eliyahu Livne, Israeli consul to the American occupation zone, later to become consul to West Germany (the smaller image is of the consul, who was also the one that paved the way for one of Israel’s first official high ranking meetings with the German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in Paris 1951 (a previous attempt by Israel’s Foreign Minister Moshe Sharet to a direct path to the Government in Bonn was denied by the Allied powers in early 1951)).

 

The passport holder was Aron Naidat, who was sent to occupied-Germany already in 1947, using his British Palestinian passport numbered 227981, leaving the Mandate via Lydda airport on July 10th, transiting through Turkey on flight to Czechoslovakia on the 11th. In Prague Aron remained several days in order to arrange his official AMG visa into Germany (T10218), entering on the 23rd.

 

Aron was an official sent by the Jewish Agency for Palestine (JAFP) and was representing the Zionist Youth of Palestine. He traveled throughout the country to various refugee DP camps in the effort to encourage the youth and Holocaust survivors to immigrate to the Mandate (Yad Vashem Holocaust museum has photographed records of him lecturing in front of an audience in a large refugee camp at Landsberg). Some post-war testimonial records indicate that Aron was a representative of the Jewish Brigade in occupied Europe assisting also in the HABRICHA – Jewish post-war rescue efforts to bring Holocaust survivors from liberated Europe to Palestine.

 

His travel document has 3 separate Austrian entry visas issued also at Munich by the “Österreichische Verbindungsstelle in Deutschland – in der Amerik.Besatzungszone” – as applied by their official diplomatic stamp (rough translation would indicate this being a temporary representation of Austria in the American occupation zone of Germany).

 

Though his last issued document was the consular laissez-passer, it was the previous Mandate passport that has his entry return stamp inside: Upon his short visit back home in 1948, he received his entry and exit visas from both Munich and Tel Aviv, where it was stamped, for the last time upon his return on August 29th 1949, via the Lydda airport border control (see image).

 

An interesting point can be added here, is that the first Israeli travel documents from 1948 to 1950 were using US manufactured high quality water marked paper from the HAMMERMILL company – have added an extra image indicating the manufacturers imprint found on each page.

 

Prior to 1948, the Independence of the State of Israel, most Jewish officials travelling abroad could not indicate inside their travel documents that the holders were on official missions or representation because during the time there was no such thing as a “Jewish State” yet; thus in most passports we can find their profession indicated as “Agricultural Laborers”. Thus once Aron was already working abroad he could then apply and have his AMG visas indicating that he was an OFFICIAL, and have other foreign visas indicate inside that he is on official work for the JAFP (see image from a French visa issued at Munich).

 

 

Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.

Neil Kaplan
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