Post-war Polish passport paper - Our Passports
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  • Post-war Polish passport paper
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Post-war Polish passport paper

 

Using war-time German occupational material.

 

It is not strange or uncommon for post-war nations to use pre-war or even war-time material. This was the case in Europe and even in China, the Far East, following the cessation of hostilities and the acute shortage of material, food, clothing and other daily required necessities.

 

The war in each country, be it Neutral, Allied, Axis or occupied exhausted nearly every single substance available due to strict control and diversion for purposes that otherwise would have been not been done so, during times of calm and peace. This is why the war is also remembered by many of the survivors and veterans as a time of RATIONING and the issuing of food/clothing/substances coupons and booklets. This was the method that each government could prevent wastage and make sure that everyone would receive the required daily or weekly amount (this was not the case in the Jewish ghettos in occupied Europe where the Jews were given much less than the daily required amount (less than 10%), in doing so, ensuring the slow starvation of its population and a method adopted by Nazi Germany for extermination of the Jews under its claws: they were not seen equal as other living people and thus should not be awarded any proper rationing).

 

Both civilian and soldier received their rations booklets or cards throughout the war, and chosen government special printers where given the task of preparing and printing them.

 

Going back to the beginning of this article, here is a fine example of post-war paper shortage usage. Many businesses and newly formed government offices came across shortage of paper when they had to start printing material. We can find during the first year of liberation various checks, invoices, forms, tickets, ID’s that were issued, after the surrender of both Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, using either German or Japanese manufactured paper.

 

I have seen checks issued by newly formed banks in liberated north-eastern China using war-time Japanese produced paper (in what was the puppet state of Manchuria) with their water-mark (this is the way one can identify the paper) and also in Poland, where temporary issued identity documents, or invoices, were printed by using war-time German paper that originally was used for ration-vouchers in the early 1940’s.

 

The item in this article is a superb example: German army issued ration with distinctive watermarking that was used after the war by the Polish authorities for the issuing of temporary identification documents for its civilians.

 

1947 temporary ID numbered 1147/47 was issued to Władysław Karapulka aged 22 from the town of Koronowo, Poland.

 

As being thorough about the items I collect, I held up against the light and found a distinctive watermark that was familiar, I have seen it before! So I began my search of Polish passports, those used after the war and bringing them as well against the light and my gut-feeling was right: I have located 2 samples that had the same watermark design!

 

I have added here the images for you to make the comparison.

 

 

Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.

Neil Kaplan
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