Former Russian land issued passport - Our Passports
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  • post-WWI passport issued in liberated former Russian territory.
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Former Russian land issued passport


New Second Republic issued document.


One of the major outcomes of the First World War was the transformation it had on the old world order and the changes it brought: The world that entered into that war back in 1914 was not the same one when it ended in 1918. Most significantly were the end of age old empires and the formation of new states and countries throughout central and Eastern Europe; such the Baltic States and the establishment of the Second Polish Republic at the end of 1918.


One important conclusion of the end of the Great War of 1914-1918 was the creation of the Polish State and its outcome: a violent conflict that erupted between two countries, 2 neighbors that were living side-by-side at the time: The infamous Polish-Soviet War.


The war was fought from February 1919 for a period of two years, ending in early 1921.


The Soviets were hoping to fully occupy Poland during their 1918-1919 Westward Offensive, while the Polish, led by Józef Piłsudski was hoping practically to do the same for his country, trying to push the borders further east, as much as possible.


1919 saw the Poles gaining much desired land by winning the Polish-Ukrainian War but where pushed westwards by the advancing Red Army in 1920, up to a point where Warsaw the capital was even threatened. Due to a change of events and unexpected Polish victory during the Battle of Warsaw, things improved and capital was saved. These events led to a ceasefire that culminated with a formal peace treaty being signed on March 18th 1921, known as the Peace of Riga.


The cessation of hostilities also led to claims, by both sides, on territories lying on each side of the new border that would exist between the two up to 1939 (Poland’s eastern border was the Curzon Line of 1920, as defined and agreed upon by the Allies). The Poles were exhausted and pressured by both her Western Allies and the League of Nations, and land gained during the war was not fully kept at the end under Polish control. Agreements and negotiations between all sides led to the formalization of the above mentioned fixed border.


In territories that were now included inside the Polish borders, civil administration began to emerge. The subjects who were once under Imperial Russian and Soviet control where now free democratic individuals who where being issued new sets of papers, being it identity cards or travel documents, needed for traveling on business, family reunions or emigration.


The documents in this article will relate to the issuance of passports to these new citizens.


Polish passports numbered 3879 & 14100 where both issued by the special temporary administrative government offices in charge of former Russian eastern front-line territory “Zarząd Terenów Przyfrontowych i Etapowych (Z.T.P.E.)”, established on September 20th 1920.


Both passports where issued for immigration, one for South America and the other for British Palestine.


On page 7 of passport number 14100 an additional hand stamp was applied indicating that the holder was a former subject of Imperial Russia.


Both individuals arrived at their final destinations; one is Argentina and the other at Jaffa.




Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.

Neil Kaplan
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