Forged passport for escape
1939 produced Polish passport.
I am very passionate towards passports & travel documents used during the period of the first two months of the outbreak of war in Europe, the months of September and October were Polish passports were being issued and used to escape into neighboring Romania and Hungary. As mentioned in previous articles, the diplomatic missions in Bucharest, Chernowitz and Budapest assisted their fleeing civilians/soldiers as much as they could with issuing them new passports, for continuing to escape to France (known by the Germans as Sikorski’s Tourists because of the Polish army being formed there by General Władysław Sikorski) and the United Kingdom. At some point, after they have exhausted their natural supply of passports in their stock, they began to issue locally printed large-folding sheet passports, eventually, that would not be enough as well. There are reports today, via the internet and witness accounts in museums, that even forged passports were being issued privately and also by the diplomats. Seems all means were being mustered up for this.
Here we have a unique example of one such item: a FAKE passport from 1939. It came together with the holder’s identity document being issued to him in Hungary.
The identity paper is made out to Tadeusz Adler, born on June 30th 1915 at Lodz, who was also interned at an internment camp for Polish military personnel. It is unclear when the passport was issued to him, but we can assume that it was either made by the consulate in Hungary or by an aid organization assisting the Poles who fled into the country. But there is no actual documentation on who was the “printer” for this make-shift travel document.
Most of the Polish army that fled into Romania and Hungary was assembled in France towards the end of the year in preparation for fighting Germany later on, but this was sadly not the case. France was overrun and occupied by the Germans in June of 1940 with large portions of this army being destroyed and fraction being evacuated into safety to the United Kingdom.
The passport is printed on very thick paper, much thicker than the original blue-jacket covered passport that it was intended to resemble; size and dimensions are very close to the actual passport though. Paging inside we can even find that the passport was “used” in the past, it has past issued visas with the correct border stamps inside, all in color. From this we can learn that the forgers used an existing passport, used in 1938 & 1939 to travel into Latvia with consulate visas from Vilna. Amazingly the visas and entry/exit markings are prepared in advance, details of the holder and dates are all EMPTY, awaiting filling in when needed to be used…we can see that the passport was not used, left empty at the end.
The location of this passport being “issued” is marked inside the front cover as county Grodzkie Wilenskie and the passport must be returned to the authorities after it was used. The city was part of Poland during 1919 to 1939, and the latter won it from neighboring Lithuania following the 1919 border dispute wars that the two countries fought. An image of a Polish movement permit from this city, issued by the military board in November 1919, is added here as well.
Have also added images of the imprint found at the back of original printed samples, similar to the one found at the back of this forged printing.
Enjoy the images.
Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.