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German Southwest Africa Pass Mark (Passmarke)

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Posted 4 years ago


(26 items)

German South-West Africa (DSWA) was a colony of the German Empire from 1884 until 1915, when it was taken over by the Union of South Africa (as part of the British Empire) and administered as South-West Africa, finally becoming Namibia in 1990. Africans over seven years of age were required to carry a token, the so-called pass mark (Passmarke), which can bee seen as some kind of passport. Interestingly these pass marks are mostly offered by coin collectors/shops as it`s a token but has nothing to do with coins. However these Passmarken are rare to find and rather pricey. I do collect passports for years but never was considering this type. Well, I belive I will go for one when the price is right. (I used the category paper/documents as I always post my passports there and as explained before it`s in fact a document even not made from paper.)


  1. packrat-place packrat-place, 4 years ago
    That is very interesting, love the history. Thanks for posting.
  2. collector1963 collector1963, 4 years ago
    Thanks for your comment, glad you like it.
  3. Militarist Militarist, 4 years ago
    There is a listing of these native passes from about 18 different place names in a book published by Jerry Schimmel in 1986.
  4. collector1963 collector1963, 4 years ago
    Thank you for your comment and the reference to this book. There are more.
    "The Native Pass Tokens of German Southwest Africa" by McGregor/Häberling written in German/English. Showing all types and telling the complete history. By my knowledge the most comprehensive book to this topic. Author Golf Dornseif made also several articles about DSWA incl. the passmarken... . His articles and website is in German only.

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