This interesting Nazi German passport was issued on 31 January 1939 to a Jewish male Fritz Israel Silberberg. Fritz (it is ironic that he had one of the most German first names of the time) was from Cologne and the passport contains a full page visa issued by the Consul of Paraguay in Cologne. He departed to South America on 3 March 1939, boarding a ship in Hamburg. He entered Paraguay on 27 March 1939. The passport comes with two Paraguayan visas with Fritz’ photo and fingerprints.
The big letter “J” on the first page in the passport instantly identified the owner as a Jew (see photo below). Since 1938 the so called “Judenstempel” (Jew Stamp), a big red letter “J” was stamped into the passports of Jews by the Nazi German authorities. Besides that, Nazi racial laws made it mandatory that from 1 January 1939 on every Jewish female had to take on the middle name Sara and every Jewish male the middle name Israel. Because this passport that is offered for sale here had been issued in 1939, Fritz was required to take on the middle name Israel. The “J” stamped passports were only valid for one yearand not every country allowed Jews to enter the country at that time and because of the “Judenstempel” a lot of Jews were probably rejected. They either had to find a different route out of Nazi Germany or remain under Nazi control and live under constant danger!
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