Post-War passport for Vienna
1947 French occupational official travel document.
One of my passions in collecting passports and travel documents is related to the period of WWI & WWII and to those special items that were issued used by the Allied forces and mainly to the conflict zones that existed during and after them long years of fighting.
Many examples exist during the first 50 years of the 20th Century: the Treaty of Versailles resulted in the establishment of new countries and zones of influence government temporarily by the winning side, such as Silesia, eastern Prussia, Trieste and also can be said for post 1945: Trieste, again, occupied Germany, Japan and even a special and unique jointly-governed zone in China: Dalian – where Soviet and Communist forces participated in the running of the special administrated area of what once was Russian and Japanese controlled Port Arthur.
And there is one more location that is the subject of this article: Austria (the country was occupied from 1945 and lasted until 1955 – the Allies decided on the fate of post-war Austria following the Moscow Conference (1943) which regarded the country as the first victim of Nazi Germany aggression).
Towards the end of World War Two the allied forces liberated areas that were originally under Axis rule, starting with northern Africa, moving on to Sicily, Italy France and ending with Germany (on the European continent).
The Allies governed Germany, Austria, France, Italy and Trieste. Each one of those areas had special papers and documents, currency and stamps. They administrated a military type of rule and the governing body of this military administration was called the Allied Control Council.
Austria was divided into 4 separate zones, three zones run by the Americans, British and French and the remaining zone run by the Soviet Union. Each zone had its own movement permits and also a “jointly used” permit, printed on thicker paper, similar to cardboard that came in grayish/brownish color and bared the heading “Occupational Force Travel Permit“.
The occupiers in Austria also began to issue two sets of identity documents, with 4 pages. These where issued for actual Austrian citizens and also those issued to refugees/Displaced Personnel “for Foreigners and Stateless persons (the back imprint read for “St. Dr. Lager-Nr 39. – Osterreichische Staatsdruckerie, Verlag. (St). 2770 45“) – both these documents were NOT a form of travel or movement permit, and the stateless sample often could be found with an added leaf bearing the stamp for a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) in the capital or some other city; we can also find such applied rubber-stamps inside foreign held passports issued inside or outside of Austria for the same period of time with an additional boxed-stamp “Permit of Residence” over proper issued visas for entry or exiting the country as well (see sampled images).
As mentioned above, the article here will depict a French passport that was issued in occupied Austria for an official serving with or for the occupational French High Command.
The French, for various reasons, were also permitted to participate in the occupation of both Germany and Austria, and some of these included their role in information and intelligence sharing during the years of conflict, assisting the allies in the costs, mainly economically, of such an occupation, and for the post-war developing and shaping of free-Europe from a democratic point of view (for example, in future conferences and international agreements that would require this). But mainly, from the moral or conscious point of view, it was because of the suffering and full defeat and occupation of a western power in Western Europe. Simply or crudely said, also “revenge” can be taken into account as well.
French passport 373/47 was issued to architect Eugene Marius Bonzon, aged 39 from Marseilles. The document was issued by the French legation in Vienna on June 4th 1947. We can learn more about his work in the country by examining the additional material that came with his passport, such as an official French train ticket and departure permit that indicates inside that he is working for the R.R.C.B. which was connected to railways and transportation.
The passport was used for about 2 more years until his departure from Austria back to France. Inside we can find Czechoslovakian visas and also the desired Allied Military Government (AMG) official GRATIS visas as well.
Enjoy the images.
Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.