Passport issued after Hitler’s death
Dying Reich’s last German passport.
Here is one of my prized items among my collection of passports. Besides keenly collecting Polish Second Republic passports, I also try and find interesting German passports issued during the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich as well.
We all know about the events that led to the end of World War Two during the fateful months of April-May of 1945. The conditions in the Hitler bunker in Berlin and the Allied armies advance, well, race, into what was once called the “Thousand Year Reich”.
By May of 1945, what was left of Germany were the odd enclaves in Norway, Holland, Northern Italy, Crete and also their embassies and consulates in China: Nanjing, Tianjin, Beijing, Guangzhou, Qingdao and Shanghai. Those diplomatic missions continued to function “normally” despite the inevitable outcome that all were expecting and waiting for: the end of war in Europe. They functioned by issuing visas, passports, local ID cards for their citizens in China, expenses, meetings etc. The same as the previous weeks and months before.
Some brief points about the German Consulate in Shanghai in 1945:
- June 1939 to January 1945: Consul-General was Martin Fischer (brief interruption from July 1941 to January 1942 when he was sent to Nanjing to act as Chargé d’Affairs), though he was “retired” by Adolf Hitler due to his wife being Norwegian and not German by birth; high ranking officials could not be permitted these “connections”;
- January to June 1945: Consul-General was Walther Hoops;
- The Consulate-General was transformed into “The German Office” (Deutsches Amt), and was permitted, from June to September, to handle all affairs of German internees and civilians living in the city; once the US and Chinese liberated the city, all German nationals and officials were placed into arrest and internment, lasting until the end of 1946. By 1947 they were repatriated back to Germany via United States vessels.
(Added an image of an original 1945 Shanghai map marked with a RED star the location of the German Consulate: old Glen Line Building at 28 The Bund)
The item here is very interesting and extra special because of the DATE it was issued at: May 4th 1945 at the German consulate in Shanghai. By then, all the staff, we presume, we aware of the news that was coming out of Europe and that the German Führer Adolf Hitler has committed suicide inside his Berlin Bunker, nearly a week earlier.
Issued to young teenager named Horst Frossl, aged 15, son to a German working at the Deutsche Farbenhandelsgesellschaft Waibel & Co. (Defag) in Shanghai, already from 1924 (the company was founded in China on January 1st 1927 and ceased to function in July 1945). Horst and his mother and sisters arrived in China in 1940, to stay with their father. The passport was issued with the validity period of 2 years, but never used. The only other 2 endorsements inside are from the occupying Japanese, indicating on the title page, in a hand-applied Japanese rubber-stamp, that the holder was a German citizen. The second applied stamp was over a year later, August of 1946, by the Chinese authorities in the city, registering him to the “German Affairs Commission”, that was established around the end of 1945, to handle all issues relating to German citizens in the city, since their official diplomatic legations were closed and not functioning anymore.
Passport was issued and singed by German diplomat Erwin Bunze.
(1888 in Hohensalza (in Posen) – 1963 in Chicago).
Here is a brief biography of this diplomat:
- 1920-1921 Stationed in London as consulate secretary;
- 1922 Stationed in Danzig as Consul General;
- 1923-1932 Stationed in Moscow embassy as senior inspector;
- 1932-1935 Stationed in Thorn consulate (Western Poland) – ADDED IMAGE;
- 1935-1939 Stationed back in Germany at the Foreign Ministry;
- 1939 Brief stationing at Wellington;
- 1939-1945 Stationed at the Chinese consulate in Hankow;
- 1945 His last posting at the Consulate in Shanghai as chancellor of the mission;
- 1946 Repatriation back to Germany.
We can assume that this was possibly the last or one of the last issued German passports by the Third Reich. We may discover at some point later on even another one being issued on May 8th or the 9th, but until that would-be-discovered item is found, we will take into consideration as this passport here being the last one that was issued.
Enjoy the images of this unique and rare 1945 German passport.
Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.