Russische Vertrauensstelle in Deutschland - Our Passports
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Russische Vertrauensstelle in Deutschland

 

Russian Commission in Germany issued ID card.

 

During the period between the two world wars, many Russians immigrated to Germany.

The period is from 1918 to roughly 1942, the time shortly after the Operation Barbarossa.

 

Following the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the Civil War that erupted and lasted up to 1920, many Russians from all factions, found refuge in the west. The vast amount of refugees pouring into Germany, one of the courtiers that opened up its borders, forced the local authorities to establish organizations to assist in all the needs, if possible, that the refugees required, be it shelter, food, daily needed commodities, allowances and more. Local and foreign aid organizations opened their offices in the capital and throughout the country; for example Jewish aid organizations, such as the JOINT, opened up offices to help as much as they could as well (the pre-Revolution Russian diplomatic legation in Berlin had to shut down following cessation of recognition by Germany, and it changed its name to the ” Organization Safeguarding the Interests of Russian Refugees in Germany” headed by Sergei Dmitrijewitsch Botkin, former head of the Russian legation to Berlin ).

 

One of the institutions that opened up in Germany was the “Russische Vertrauensstelle in Deutschland” (Russian Commission for Germany). This organization operated mainly during the period of the Third Reich and was actually supervised by the Gestapo (in 1936 Adolf Hitler put Vasily Biskupsky in charge of this organization). Though its main function was to issue identity cards (ID’s) to the Russian immigrants over the age of 15 who were living legally in the country, the purpose of the issuing of such cards was to legitimize the holder’s status in Germany and also some sort of identification documentation that was approved locally for use by the Russian immigrants when approaching the different governmental organizations (this is also marked at the back of the document).

 

The Russische Vertrauensstelle in Deutschland acted like a consulate, but, as mentioned above, it was under Gestapo supervision and control.

 

“Russian Commission in Germany” ID number 5667 was issued in the Polish occupied city of Bydgoszcz; and in this way we can learn that the document was most likely issued during the period of 1940-1941 (the document is not dated). It was issued to a young teenager from Odessa, registered as a laborer.

 

We can presume that a Russian civilian living in Germany would have been able to approach the Soviet consulate in order to be issued an official nationality-status documentation (easier during the period of 1939-1941); but this would not be the case for immigrants of Russian decent living in the country or after the severing of diplomatic relations following the German attack on the USSR on June 22nd 1941.

 

I have added images of this interesting war time issued identity document.

 

 

Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.

 

 

Neil Kaplan
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