Important Diplomatic passport for Budapest
1944 Turkish travel document issued for use in occupied Hungary.
One of the darkest moments in Jewish modern history was the systematic destruction of Hungary’s Jewish community in 1944.
During a period of 8 weeks, starting from May that year, around 424,000 Jews were deported to Auschwitz death camp in occupied Poland. Thousands more where hunted down and murdered by the fascist Arrow Cross.
During this crucial period of time a handful of foreign diplomats worked tirelessly around the clock to save as many Jews from the hands of the Germans and local collaborators. In a previous article I wrote more information can be read regarding those heroic rescue efforts.
Still, regardless of the evets that were unfolding in occupied Budapest, foreign diplomats were coming and going, with new diplomatic staff entering the country from abroad. One such example can be seen in the passport in this article today.
Turkish Diplomatic passport number 69/44 was issued at Istanbul on May 12th 1944 to Şükran Inal, the wife of Fuat Inal who was the Commercial Councilor to the embassy in Budapest (the address for the embassy was at Zivat u. 1-3 Budapest II). The passport was printed or manufactured by the same printing press that produced the German Diplomatic passports: Both countries’ passports have the same water-marked paper!
The passport was also issued closer to the dates of some of the most decisive battles of the war:
Inside we can find the attractive and desired diplomatic visas issued during the war from the following countries: Switzerland, Germany, Hungary & Bulgaria.
Şükran left Turkey on June 3rd, entering and exiting Bulgaria the same day at Bozhurishte (вожурище), located in the western section of the country (the Bulgarian diplomatic visa was obtained on May 26th at Ankara). From Bulgaria we can assume that she left via plane to land at Wien airport the same day (German visa was obtained on May 16th), and from there she continued to the Swiss border crossing of Feldkirch, crossing into neighboring Switzerland on the 6th (Swiss diplomatic visa was received on May 26th as well). She remained in the country until June 13th, entering back into Germany via the same border crossing. Two days later she entered Hungary via the German crossing point at Bruck an der Leitha, and Hegyeshalom on the Hungarian side.
Şükran remained in Budapest, by her husband’s side until she left back to Turkey, via Edirne entry point, towards the end of March or just before April 3rd: the date her passport is stamped as entering her home country. The beginning of April is also the official period where the Red Army ended its operations in Hungary.
Not every day one can find an interesting passport used at a location that had important significance to all sides of the war.
Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.