A 1916 Passport

donated by Marv  Brooks

The back & front covers.  The German reads "Pass", which is a shortened form of "Passport".  The seal is of the "German Administration in the Region of the Superior Executive Officer East"

The German on the left side:


1.  The passport is to be carried at all times.  Whosoever is encountered without a passport, or with someone else's, or with a falsified passport will face 10 years' imprisonment, or 5 years with mitigating circumstances.
2.  Loss of a passport must be reported to the issuing office within 24 hours.   If such a loss is not reported within 24 hours, there will be a prison sentence of 5 years, or in the case of mitigating circumstances, a fine of 6000 marks.
3.  In case of death, the passport must be returned to the issuing office within 3 days.

Presumeably the Hebrew portion conveys the same message.

The right side:

German Administration in the Region of the Superior Executive Officer East:
[purple stamp]  Administrative Region Vilnius

1. District:  Merecz
2. Passport number: 29323
    Place of Residence: Merecz  The consensus among  4 kind respondents on Belarus SIG is that this is the most likely reading of the town name, and that another name for the town is Merkine.  ShtetlSeeker locates 2 Merkine [54 deg 28" N, 24 deg 28" E & 54 deg 10 min N, 24 deg 10 min E.  One is SW of  Vilnius, the other SE.  It's obvious from the fact that the coordinates differ only in 18 min of latitude & longitude, that they're not all that far from each other.  Neither are they all that far from Nowy Dwor; so he could have been living in either place.
3.  Address:  Kleinstr. 1  [That's "Small" or "Little" Street #1; probably Germanized from the original language]
4.  Given & surname:  Benzal  ALBERT [probably Germanized from ALPERT]
5. Date of birth:
    Or approximate age:  26 years
6. Place of birth: Nowy Dwor
    Parish: ditto
    District:  Lida

The left side reads:

7.  Religion:  Jewish  [This suggests that, the pre-printed Hebrew notwithstanding, the requirement was not restricted to Jews, and that the 2nd language was used so that the person & immediate community could understand the requirements].
8.  Occupation:  [black]smith

The right side reads:

Personal description:
Height: 1 meter 68 cm
Prominent scars, warts, beauty marks, moles, flaps of skin, tatoos and their location:
Two joints of the right index finger are missing

Administrivia regarding issuance
The passport was issued at Merecz, on 9 July 1916.  It was to be signed either by the Mayor of the issuing community or 2 witnesses.  The final item is the seal of the issuing District/Region.

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