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Germany during the cold war part 10 - East Berlin Passport

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Passports and Travel Documents6 of 181Ca. 1943-44 Bulgarian Passport - Ruslan Raichev, Orchestra Conductor - travel to Germany, Yugoslavia, NDH, HungaryJasenovac concentration camp victim's pre-war 1938 passport
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    Posted 2 months ago

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    Far from being considered a right, holding a passport remained a privilege in East Germany. For most, visits to the West were allowed only for "urgent family matters,'' including weddings or funerals, as well as state approved business travel or travel by athletes for sporting events. Young applicants say they were often refused permission to travel completely. According to a Washington Post report in 1989, only 25% of East Germans were passport holders.

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    1. freiheit freiheit, 2 months ago
      It's strange to see an East German passport. I have never seen one before. When I left East Germany in the spring of 1985, I was stripped of my citizenship. All got was some sort of identity card, declaring me "Staatenlos" (stateless). This changed quickly after arriving in the west; after just a few weeks I became a citizen of the Federal Republic of Germany and later I became Canadian Citizen. I have tried very hard not to look back - too many bad memories.
      BTW, in my family, only retired or very sick people were ever allowed to visit the west for any reason. No able body I knew ever got the chance other than party officials.
    2. elanski elanski, 2 months ago
      Interesting to know, thanks freiheit
    3. freiheit freiheit, 1 month ago
      Just a thought: Are you sure this is a passport? It looks to me like a "Personalausweis" - a personal identification card/book assigned to all citizen. If I remember correctly it was given to all people starting age 14. Now I could be wrong because I have tried very hard to forget :)

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