German visas - Poland 1939 & 1940
Thought of sharing this because of the rarity of this war time visa.
The passport, issued in the Polish city of Lodz (Litzmanstadt in German), issued in 1932 to a Jewish woman who was most likely holding a managerial position related to the Jewish community of that city (Lodz had a long historical cultural presence in that city that was wiped out during the war). There is nothing special about the first visas inside, dating from 1932 to 1933, the latter used for attending the Zionist Congress in Prague. What caught ones eye was the fact that during the occupation of Poland, starting in the end of 1939, there is an extension of the passport and exit visa issued by the occupying German police. This is very strange and unique: Poland was just conquered and there was no recognition of the country by Germany, simply it ceased to exist then. So if someone wanted to leave the GG, if he did not have a foreign passport and that was most likely the way to leave, was to be issued temporary travel document or ID form for traveling. But in this case they permitted her to use the old Polish passport! extending it, see page 11 (November 14, 1939), very rare early exit visa same date for Palestine via Italy on page 20 (using the name LODSCH which ended in 1940 with the name Litzmanstadt used instead). This passport is extended again on page 5, at the right place, and new visa, the normal visa type, on page 21. By this time the ghetto was about to be formed, May 1940 and by then no Jew could actually leave occupied Poland, they where all pushed into the newly forming ghettos: Warsaw and Litzmanstadt. Transiting through Italy, visa obtained at Katowice of 1940. Once in Italy, she and her husband got proper Palestinian travel papers enabling them to arrive into Palestine that year.
For her to leave in that form meant she either had good connections in the US or had family in Palestine that got her the right certificates to immigrate.
This is most likely the ONLY time we will see such a passport used to escape Poland.
04-04-2013 02:06 PM