SS issued passport
From occupied Holland for travelling to Germany.
May 10th 1940 is a date that will always be remembered in Europe, etched in the memory for ever. This is the day that Nazi Germany invaded its neighbor, unprovoked, and without any just cause.
The bombing of Rotterdam resulted in the capitulation of the Dutch army a day later. The Dutch Royal family & the government managed to flee and go into exile.
With regards to the Holocaust, the Dutch police and non-Jewish population actively cooperated with the occupiers in the deportation of the Jewish citizens, up to 75% perished in the death camps in the east, in the General Government.
By the end of 1944, the southern section of the country was liberated by the Allies where as the western section remained under German control until May 7th of 1945.
One of the tasks assigned to the SS was maintaining order and supervision of the entry and exit to and from the occupied territories under their control.
The document in this article is an example of the above, one being issued by the SS.
Passport number 2835/40 was issued not long after the invasion, on September 11th 1940 at Rotterdam. What makes this travel document extra RARE was the fact that it was issued by the SS and visaed by them as well. The applied stamps of the issuing authority read for “Die Höherer SS- und Polizeiführer“, and the full stamp for “Der Höhere SS- und Polizeiführer beim Reichskommissar für die besetzten niederländischen Gebiete – Ein- und Ausreisestelle Rotterdam“. This would roughly translate for “The Higher SS and Police Leader of the Reich Commissioner for the Occupied Dutch areas – Exit and entry permit office”. The document was issued to Albert Böttcher aged 71 who was born at Memel and his profession is indicated as a “Maschinenmeister” who could have been working in a factory and was possibly the chief/foreman of a department in the plant.
It is clearly indicated inside that he is living in Holland, page 6, and could be already so from 1935: the title gives us a clue that he held a previous passport that was issued to him 5 years earlier.
The passport has two visas for travelling west, one to Emmerich in 1942 and another to Beutheim in 1943, were apparently he remained not returning back to occupied Holland.
I have added images of this rare war-time issued passport.
Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.