WW2 Indonesian issued German passport
Manchurian transit visa from Japan.
What makes a passport rare and unique is the location & period it was issued at. During times of conflict the issuing of a visa or passport is extremely difficult so the chance of locating such a travel document is not easy.
I do believe that the item here, which was issued at a rather exotic location in Asia, can be classified as such: German passport issued at Padang in Indonesia, at their consulate, on March 2nd of 1939.
This document is extra special because of the visas inside:
Japanese transit visa issued at Surabaya;
Manchurian visa issued at Tokyo;
Soviet transit visa issued at Tokyo;
German entry visa issued at MOSCOW
Lithuanian visa issued at Moscow;
Latvian visa issued at Moscow.
Following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact that was singed at the end of August of that year, it was now possible for Germans, who wanted to return home either for family reunions or short brief business trips, to transit via the Soviet Union, Siberia, and shorten their voyage significantly. In the past, one had to take the long trips via boat through Hong Kong, Colombo, Red Sea and Suez and then either to southern Italy or around Spain and Portugal to Hamburg. By singing the above mentioned pact, now the return was faster and shorter.
In addition, in order to transit the Soviet Union, the holder, Alexander Koslowski, a merchant from Hamburg, had to obtain the Manchurian transit visa on February 26th (passports with Manchurian visas are becoming rarer by the day), while traveling through Japan, via the Japanese transit visa issued at Surabaya earlier (entering Japan territory on February 21st at Hyōgo (兵库县)), then crossing into what is today South Korea at Gyeongsangnam (庆尚南道) on March 3rd, arriving in Harbin on the 4th. The Soviet transit visa was obtained as well at Tokyo on February 28th, indicating clearly the route he should take: Chita-Novosibirsk-Moscow.
He crossed the Manzhouli (满洲里)-Soviet border on March 7th, taking him about a week to reach the capital by train. While examining the passport, I discovered the rare German visa issued at Moscow (!). He entered Germany, after transiting through Latvia (15th to the 16th) and Lithuania, at the German-Lithuanian old border crossing of Eydtkau on March 16th.
Hope you enjoy the images of this 1939 German passport from Indonesia.
Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.