Vichy France passport - Our Passports
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Vichy France passport

 

Moroccan 1941 issued and used travel document.

 

One of the short-lived “states” that was established during the war and was part of the Axis aligned states that fought the Allies during the war years.

 

The Vichy Sate (French known as État Français), or Vichy France, was established in 1940 and the occupation and collaboration with Nazi Germany lasted until late 1944, when the Allies invaded France and liberated the country.

 

At first, Germany was military controlling the Northern section of France with the de jure capital being Paris, and the Southern section of the country, known as Zone libre, not under military occupation and the actual ONLY part of France under true French control, with the “capital” being the city of Vichy. Still, it is accepted today that the entity was a puppet state of Germany and that major collaboration took place by both officials and civilians with the Germans when it came to deportation of the Jews, French and non-French, to German run death camps in occupied Poland.

 

Majority of French colonies fell under Vichy government control but began to lose them to the allies, one after the other, following Allied invasion and take over. The transferred colonies would then be under the control of Free France that was on the Allied side run by Charles de Gaulle.

 

The North African colonies by 1943 were all under Free France, following the infamous Allied invasion of November 8th 1942, known as Operation Torch.

 

The passport in this article, which is a first time for me, was an État Français issued passport used up to 1942, for the travel to and from Morocco to occupied France.

Vichy France passport number 284 was issued to Valentine Dulout on June 23rd 1941 at Taza, a Moroccan city located in the north. The passport was extended again on June 10th, good for use up to 1943.

 

The most striking part of her passport was the additional annotation indicating she was not of Jewish decent! We can tell this by the added wording for Catholic onto the title page!

 

For us passport collectors and historians, examining the passport for the routes used and taken is the most interesting part of the document: finding out what visas & vessels is important as well. We can learn from the pages that the routes taken started at Casablanca, travelling east to Oujda, border city from which Valentine left Morocco and entered into Algeria, moving eastward for Oran, a port city where she would embark by boat to the French port city of Cerbère, located at the south-eastern section of France, bordering with Spain (it was connected via railway line to and from the countries and a major crossing point for refugees as well during the war).

 

Inside we can find 2 trips made to France:

 

July to October of 1941 and again on July the following year, where Valentine returned back to her home town of Nérac in France with her 3 young children (the registration and inspection of her passport in 1943 can be seen with the applied sticker on the inner-jacket of the passport cover dating from March 3rd).

 

Smaller image source: Wikipedia.

 

 

 

Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.

Neil Kaplan
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