German passport to Iran – 1941 - Our Passports
WW2 German passport used for Iran.
German passport
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German passport to Iran – 1941

Traveling to Iran during war time.


A truly strange passport indeed.


Issued to German business man Friedriech Bruns in 1941, Hannover, it was used to travel to Iran. Standard passport dating from January 9th was issued by the local police department, with properly exit visas. Nothing unusual yet.


The remarkable visa is for Iran, issued at their embassy in Berlin. The German-Iranian relations where at their peak and where very strong: up to that year Germany was Iran’s strongest economic & trading partner, with German nationals assisting the country with developing it into a strong modern nation, assisting in many fields such as in highways, sea, infrastructure and more. This could explain the visa being issued yet to another German who was contributing to the strong trading ties between the two countries.


German & Iran relations


The other visa, the transit visa, is also interesting: issued by the Soviet embassy in Berlin. Due to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact that was signed on August 1939, the two established formal relations and opened up embassies both in Moscow and in Berlin. The embassy would continue doing so, issuing visas, up to the invasion later on that year, in June. The entry & exit markings for the Soviet Union are for April 11th, where he crossed at the German-Soviet border checkpoint of Małkinia  in Ostrów Mazowiecka County (the train station was also close to the Treblinka death camp) the same day.


The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact


After exiting the USSR into Iran about a week later, he remained in Iran until the beginning of May, applying for the re-entry transit visa into the USSR via their consulate on May 10th. He entered the Soviet Union on May 16th, and exited again via the Małkinia border crossing point on the 22nd.


Following the joint allied invasion of Iran (Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran) later on that year, the once economically strong relations between the two countries began to reduce; this is mainly due to allied pressure on the Shah. Gradually and slowly the trading dropped and German nationals began to leave or be interned.


Friedriech Bruns was lucky to enter and leave Iran before all these events took place.

Returning back into Germany one month before Operation Barbarossa.


Still, a rather unique passport depicting an unknown part of World War Two.



Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.

Neil Kaplan
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