Post-war Brazilian passport
1949 Issued for a stateless individual.
Besides having the option to issue regular, diplomatic or service passports to their citizens, countries also have the capability to issue travel documents to those who do not have that luxury, of being a citizen, those who are refugees, status undermined or who have opted not to accept formal status of the countries they are currently residing in, thus not being eligible to apply for a national passport.
Such cases, where individuals immigrated to other countries in huge numbers, were rather common following the cessation of hostilities in Europe in 1945, where thousands upon thousands found themselves away from their homes, in foreign countries, and in most cases brought there against their will during the war years. Nazi Germany mobilized human work force labor throughout the continent, in nearly every country they established their presence in. This “work force” was used by various organizations and corporations, for example, Organisation Todt made use of slave workers throughout the war. Another example can be attributed to I.G. Farben Corporation that even established their work-shops/factories close by or even inside concentration camps, such as in Auschwitz.
As mentioned above, after the war many found themselves living in foreign countries and now started their long journey back home, or where looking for other destinations, to start afresh. Traveling abroad required a passport, but as the war ended, many found out that their governments did not have a diplomatic representation in the countries they were living in or their governments did not exist anymore, some transitional entity was being formalized or an occupying power was now in their place. So applying for a national passport at their “consulate”, in some cases, was not even possible anymore.
Such was the case for former Romanian citizen Salomon Fischer, aged 36, who immigrated to Brazil in 1946 with his family.
Immigrating to South America was also a favorite destination for survivors, and must have seemed the right move to do after the war ended. But as we can see from the images of the passport in this article, for some reason, it was decided that leaving Latin America for the new State of Israel was the next correct move for the family.
Foreigner passport (issued to those who did not hold Brazilian nationality) number 005645 was issued at Rio de Janeiro on February 8th 1949. The observation that was added for the cause of the passport being issued, on page 5, is a fascinating one indeed: Because at the time the Government of Romania did not have any diplomatic relations with the Brazil, the holder was not able to apply for his Romanian passport! Being placed in such a position where he wanted to travel abroad, but unable to make use of his consulate, resulted in him applying for a passport that was normally issued to a refugee or in this case, a stateless individual.
“Republica Dos Estados Unidos Do Brazil – passaporte para Estrangeiros” was issued for the purpose of traveling to Israel, via Italy. Salomon applied for his Israeli visa, Number 507, which was issued to him by PCO Arie Eshel, at the diplomatic mission in Buenos Aires on March 22nd (On February 7th Brazil recognized Israel, one of the first countries to do so) and by then did not have a diplomatic mission yet in Rio de Janeiro, so Salomon could apply for his immigration visa at the nearest Israeli mission which was in Argentina (Israel opened its first embassy in Brazil in 1955).
Italian transit visa number 237/49 was issued to him at the consulate in Rio by veteran diplomat Busi Gino. This diplomat was stationed, briefly, in occupied Poland during the war and even managed to issue
life-saving visas to Jews who were trying to escape.
Here are some brief facts about him and his career:
- Born in December 22nd 1886 in Rome;
- 1909 obtained a law degree from the Royal university of Rome;
- 1928 first diplomatic appointment as consul 1st class;
- 1930-1932 appointment to Venezuela, Caracas;
- 1932-1933 Consul 2nd class, transferred to Belgium, Liege,
- 1933-1936 returns to Italy for service at the Foreign Ministry;
- 1939-1940 posted to Katowice in the General Government;
- 1940-1941 sent to Graz, “Greater Germany”;
- 1942 returns back to service at the Foreign Ministry;
- 1946 serves as consul general 2nd class in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro;
- 1949 sent to France, Marseille;
- 1951 retired from official service as consul general 2nd
Salomon transited through Genoa (April 5th & 6th) and Greece (April 10th) and arrived safely to Israel on the 13th via Haifa port.
In addition to images of this travel document, I also added some relating to the Organization Todt as well.
Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.