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Sample Belarus Documents

by Neville Lamdan and Leonid Zeliger

Birth   Education   Military   Marriage   Residence   Travel papers

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In 19th Century Russia, births were recorded by officially appointed "Crown Rabbis" (Kazyonni Ravvin), who kept so-called "Metric" Books (for marriages and deaths as well).

METRIC BOOK/BIRTH REGISTER

(provided by Leon Koll)

mogilev1.jpg (326103 bytes)  

mogilev2.jpg (298703 bytes)  

Language: Russian, Hebrew.
Year of Document: 1875

Herewith two parallel pages in Russian and Hebrew from the Mogilev Birth Records :
Column Description Column Description
1 About Newborns 6 Christian
2 Female 7 Jewish
3 Male 8 Where was born
4 Mohel's name 9 Status of the father, father's and mother's names
5 Month and date of the birth and the circumcision 10 Who was born and what name was given

REGISTRATION OF BIRTH

(provided by Leonid Zeliger)

lz2.JPG (55519 bytes)

Language: Russian, Hebrew 
Year of Document: 1908

 

Coupon from the office of the Official Rabbi of Slutsk, with a hand-written "declaration" of the birth of Yakov Aharon Berkov Zeliger on November 10, 1908 and a note that "the circumcision is to be performed on the same date". The seal reads, in Hebrew, "Rav de-memshala [State Rabbi], Slutsk, 1st. Sheinman".

Note: This coupon seems to be a confirmation of a "Registration of Birth",  in the sense that the father went to the Slutsk Rabbinate and registered his newly-born son there on what happened to be the eighth day after the birth, and hence the notation that the circumcision would be performed that very day.  Presumably, the full details were written into the official Birth Register, in the form of 1 above, whence they could be excerpted in the form of the documents immediately below.

BIRTH CERTIFICATES, before World War I: 

BIRTH CERTIFICATES, as such, were not issued,  BUT before World War I, certification of birth could be obtained for various purposes from the District (Uezd) Rabbinical Authorities.

Herewith three different examples.  It is interesting to note that the first document (1891) was hand-written, and that some years later a printed form had been produced for general certification purposes.

CERTIFICATION OF BIRTH

(Slutsk, 1891, provided by Leonid Zeliger)  

lz1.jpg (144781 bytes)

Language: Russian 
Year of Document: 1891  

Excerpt from the Register of Births.

In the year 1891,on June 3, the Rabbi of the Slutsk Uezd [District] signed and certified, by affixing an official seal, that in the Register of Births of the Jews from the town of Slutsk for the year 1867, on February 21 (= 28 ADAR 1), under [entry] number 301, there is a record saying as follows:  

'A son was born to the Slutsk "meshchanin" (petit bourgeois) Yankel Hirshov Zeliger and his legitimate wife Chaya, who was called, after the circumcision ceremony in accordance with the laws of Jewish faith, by the name of Berko.'

[Signed] Slutsk Uezd Rabbi: {Shapiro}.

[Affixed] the seal of Slutsk "Kazyonni Ravvin" [= Official Rabbi].  

CERTIFICATION OF BIRTH

(Novogrudok, 1907, provided by Neville Lamdan)

rabbinical.JPG (71316 bytes)  

Language: Russian 
Year of Document: 1907 

Synopsis of "Certificate"

- issued to "Meshchanin" (petit bourgeois) Yokhel Abramov-Leibov (= son of Avrom-Leib) STRILOVSKI, and his wife Frieda, from Novo Myzh, by the Rabbinate in Novogrudok (administrative capital of Novogrudok Uezd), dated June 29, 1907, attesting to the birth of their son,Yosel-Movsha STRILOVSKY in town of Novo Myzh on April 2, 1892, on basis of entry # 11 of the Novo Myzh (Rabbinical) Birth Register. Signed by the Official Rabbi, Sh. Aizenberg.

Note: This Certificate was required for an application by Yosef Moshe Strilovski to enter the Russian High School ("Gymnasium") in the town of Slonim in 1907. 

CERTIFICATION OF BIRTH

(Minsk, 1910, provided by Vitaly Charny)

1910_birth.JPG (232897 bytes)

Language: Russian 
Year of Document: 1910 

Contents are parallel to those in the summary for 1907 Novogrudok document above,  also required for presentation to an educational institution. Signed in the name of the Rabbi of Minsk. 

 

BIRTH CERTIFICATES, after World War I

After World War I, abstracts from civilian registration of births could  be obtained. Herewith two examples.

TRANSCRIPT OF BIRTH 

(Slutsk, 1921, provided by Neville Lamdan)

birth_extract.JPG (66632 bytes)  

Language: Russian 
Year of Document: 1921 

 

A hand-written abstract, produced in Slutsk (the administrative capital of
the former Slutsk Uezd) in the early days of the newly-formed Belorussian
Soviet Socialist Republic. Given hand-writing, reads roughly as follows:

"Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic - May 17, 1921

#2070

"In the Register of Births for citizens in the town of Slutsk for the year
1921, entry # 236 shows Leiba Mandel as born on March 22 of the year 1921 (twenty-second of March in the year of nineteen hundred and twenty-one).

"Issued to Rochle Lea Mandel

"Manager of the ZAGS sub-branch [signature]

"[Seal] Secretary [signature]"

 

Note : "ZAGS" was a Department in the Ministry of the Interior, responsible for vital records - births, marriages, and deaths.  

ATTESTATION OF BIRTH

(Slutsk, 1926, provided by Leonid Zeliger)

lz3.JPG (104785 bytes)

Language: Belorussian, Russian, Yiddish, Polish. 
Year of Document: 1921 

Evidence of Birth (issued on July 16, 1926 by ZAGS, to Yaakov-Aharon, the son of Berko Zeliger).  

This document was required for an application to an educational institution.

A remarkable aspect of this document is its quadruple language "heading" on the left-hand side, reflecting the four official languages of Belarussia in the 1920's - namely, Belarussian, Russian, Yiddish and Polish.

This heading reads as follows:

"Belorussian Soviet Socialist Republic

"Slutsk District Executive Committee  

" Soviet of Workers, Peasant and Red Army Deputies."  

The fact that the Yiddish part of the heading precedes the Polish reflects the social standing of the Jewish population in pre-WW2 Belorussia. 

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END OF YEAR CERTIFICATE

(provided by Leonid Zeliger).

lz4.jpg (128426 bytes)  

Language: Russian
Year of Document:1882 

Certificate of Merit

On the basis of para. 47 of the Jewish Primary School Code, the Pedagogical Council of the Slutsk Two-Grade Jewish Primary School, in accordance with its decision of June 13, awards this Certificate to the 1st year student,

ZELIGER, Boris, in recognition of his success in studies and excellent behavior during 1881/82 academic year.

In the town of Slutsk, June 13, 1882.

Honorable Inspector: L. Kantorovich 
Principal: [] Rubinovich 
Teacher: Sh. Galpern " 

END OF SCHOOL DIPLOMA

(provided by Leonid Zeliger)

lz5.jpg (525521 bytes)  

Language: Russian 
Year of Document: 1883

 

 

Certificate

Awarded to ZELIGER, Ber, who attended the Slutsk Two-Grade Jewish Primary School in years 1879/80,80/81,81/82 and 82/83, to attest that during those years he exhibited excellent behavior and has achieved the following results in his final examinations:

Russian History - very good; 
Russian Language good;
Geography - very good;
Laws of the Jewish Faith good;
Hebrew Language good; 
Biblical History good;
Mathematics good;
Calligraphy good.

According to the Decree of the Pedagogical Council whose meeting took place on June 13, 1883, and on the basis of para. 47 of the Jewish Primary School Code, this Certificate is awarded to Zeliger, Ber, with the proper signatures and the seal of the school appended.

In the town of Slutsk, June 15, 1883

Principal: [] Rubinovich 
Teacher: N.S.Rabinovich 
Teacher: Sh. Galpern 
Honorable Inspector: L. Kantorovich

"Uezd Ravvin" [= Official Rabbi of the District]: [] Shapiro".

TEACHER'S LICENSE  

(provided by Leonid Zeliger)

certificate.gif (1575136 bytes)

Language: Russian
Date of Document: October 13, 1892

 

Issued by: Ministry of Public Education, Vilna Administrative Division, Principal of Slutsk "Gymnasium" (= Senior School).  

"The bearer of this license, [registered as a] "meshchanin" (= petit bourgeois) from the town of Slutsk, Berko Yankelev Zeliger, born on February 21,1867 and being of the Jewish faith, having undergone, on the basis of the distinguished opinion of the State Committee of the Department for Public Education (royal approval, April 22, 1868), a full examination by the Pedagogical Council of the Slutsk Gymnasium and passed it satisfactorily, is awarded the title of Private Primary Teacher, permitted to teach his co-religionists only.  

This license is granted to Zeliger to attest to the above-mentioned and is accompanied by the proper signatures and the official seal of the Slutsk Gymnasium. 

Principal: []

Members of Pedagogical Council: Znamensky, M.Pokrovsky,N.Adamovich;

HonorableTeacher: N.Chuyanov;

Secretary of Pedagogical Council: [] ".  

Note . These three items amply demonstrate one of the problems of Jewish given names in documents. The first item is somewhat "Russified", using "Boris". The second refers to the student by his Yiddish name "Ber", and the last employs "Berko", a diminutive of "Ber".

In post-World War I Belorussian documents, only "Boris" is used.

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Conscription of Jews began in 1827.  The system developed over the century and lengths of service changed (from 25 years and more at the beginning, down to 5 3 years in the 1890's, with varying lengths of reserve duty thereafter).

By the 1880's, the call-up process involved various stages:

  1. The Minsk Gubernya Vedomosti (Official Gazette) published lists of potential conscripts, as they approached call-up age (21 years old).

  2. With or without such notice, potential conscripts had to present themselves for examination at the local recruitment office and, if found eligible, their names were put into a kind of lottery for the draft.

  3. If  one's name came up, one was served with a Call-Up Notice.

  4. If called and if one failed to report for duty, one's name was liable to appear in lists of draft-evaders, again published in the Minsk Gubernya Vedomosti, with details of a heavy fine (generally 300 Rubles) imposed on one's family.   

  5. Once inducted, one was issued with an army booklet, containing one's military record.

  6. On release, one received discharge papers, which inter alia were essential for purposes of emigration.

  7. From 1874, the local authorities keeping family records of Jews sent the military authorities particulars of families with sons who would eventually be eligible for the draft.

Herewith a selection of the above documents:

CONFIRMATION OF REPORTING FOR MILITARY DUTY

(provided by Vitaly Charny)

images/ArmynoticeEP.jpg (146620 bytes)  

Language: Russian
Year of Document:1890

"Certification of Arrival to Fulfill Compulsory Military Service"

The Jew from the Community of Ostrin, Lida Uezd (District), Vilna Gubernya, Leib Leizerovich PELIOVSKY  reported to fulfill [his] compulsory military service, in the conscription of  the year of 1890 and was assigned to the Reserve (?) Force, Grade 2.  

Issued by the Office for Compulsory Military Service of the Lida Uezd, on November 15, 1890, # 748.

Director of the Office [signature].
Secretary [signature].

Note: Interestingly, a note, saying "material evidence" in Polish, was subsequently made on the document as if from an investigation.

RELEASE CARD

(provided by Robert Moretsky).

images/yona.jpg (527083 bytes)  

Language: Russian
Date of Document: ? 

Issued to Yona MERETSKY of Vasilishki, giving his dates induction (1894) and discharge (?). 

Note : May have been first page of complete discharge booklet (compare next item).

Significantly, it is expressly stated on the face of this document that it does not constitute a residence permit.

DISCHARGE PAPERS

(provided by Bill Farran)

images/nov28_110.jpg (146648 bytes)

Language: Russian
Year of Document: ? 

"Certificate of Fulfillment of Military Service" (issued to Hyman Zamler).

Note: As in (2) above, it is indicated that this document does not constitute a residence permit.

On its 8 pages, the document contains:

  • a  medical certification of physical  incapacity on the part of the holder, due to a hernia on his left side, the cause of which is unclear. On this account, he qualifies  for release from military service and transfer to the Reserves (Grade 2);
  • notes concerning the holder and his acquisition of this document;
  • personal details of holder;
  • list of medals (none);
  • participation in active duty (none);7
  • injuries (none)

In hand-writing it is noted that: "It is hereby declared that the discharged, immediately on his release from the army, receives his full personal rights and rights to his property, in accordance with the general code of civil laws and the fulfillment of his compulsory public activity."

 images/Nov28_22.jpg (99039 bytes)page 5  images/nov28_111.jpg (127415 bytes)page 6   images/Nov28_12.jpg (137128 bytes)page 8

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Jewish marriage was in the hands of the official Rabbinical establishment, who issued traditional "Ketubos" (K'tubot). Certification of marriage could also be obtained from the same authorities.

KETUBA

(provided by Linda Morzillo).

images/morzillo_2.JPG (61244 bytes)  

Language: Hebrew
Date of Document: March 12/13, 1908

Traditional "Ketuba", using a standard form which was printed in Vilna (1884?), and was in wide use for many years.

"On Wednesday, the tenth day of the month of Adar I 5668 (March 12/13, 1908) in the city of Stuchin, Yaacov, son of Menachem Mendel the Cohen, married Sarah, the daughter of Yitzchok the Cohen.

"[Standard traditional text]

"Witnesses: Sender (= Alexander) Chaim, the son of Zvi [surname Sher?]; and Asher Aharon, the son of Yaacov Yisrael [surname Druk?]."

CERTIFICATION OF MARRIAGE REGISTRATION

(provided by Rhoda Weiss)

weiss_marriage.JPG (79574 bytes)  

Language: Russian
Year of Document: 1904

Certification given by the Communal Rabbi in Borisov that the Marriage Register shows the marriage in Borisov on August 14, [year ?] of Mendel Berkov Chaikind (aged 22) to Fruma Novoselki (aged 21).

Signed and sealed by the Rabbi of Borisov

Dated: 9 January, 1904.                  

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For travel within the Pale of Settlement and beyond (meaning both into "Mother   Russia" and abroad), Jews required travel papers.

With regard to foreign travel, the system seems to have evolved over time.

At first, Jews were issued with one-time exit certificates, which would not permit them to return (in conformity with Russia's desire to divest itself of its Jews). Later, the Jews were issued with "Passports for Travel Abroad". This kind of document continued to be issued in the early to mid-1920's, by which time Belarus had become a Socialist  Soviet Republic. In the latter half of the 1920's, trilingual documents (in Belorussian, Russian and French) were issued.

Other more esoteric travel documents (eg. Laissez Passez)  were also issued, especially in the turbulent years immediately after World War I, when sovereignty over the area changed a number of times.    

Herewith a selection of those documents:

INTERNAL TRAVEL PERMIT

Issued in Novogrudok, Minsk Gubernya, 1906

(provided by Neville Lamdan)

passport_internal.JPG (75954 bytes)  

Language: Russian
Year of Document: 1906

 

"Passport -  Valid for [Internal Travel] Only"

Left side of document

  • Religion: Judaism 
  • Date of Birth or Age: 17 years
  • Occupation: [illegible]
  • Family Status: spinster
  • Accompanied by:
  • Military Duty Status: (not relevant)
  • Signature: illiterate
  • If no signature, the personal features described below:

    Height: medium
    Hair color: black
    Special features: none
  • Space for data about cancelled  passports/effective dates: (blank).

Middle of document

  • Passport No. [illegible]

Right side of document

  • On the stamp with coat of arms: "gratis"
  • Issued by [] for a period of not more than 1 year
  • Bearer of the document: Jewess Dvoira Leibova (= daughter of Leib) Mendelivskaya from Turets Commune, Novogrudok Uezd, Minsk Gubernya
  • Permitted for different towns and settlements of Russian Empire, from [] 1906 (over-stamped: "Where it is permitted for Jews")
  • Signed by Yosel Garkavy, Starosta (Chief, or "steward") of Meshchansky (petite bourgeoisie) [Administration].

INTERNAL TRAVEL PERMIT

Issued in Lida Uezd, Vilno Gubernya, 1915

(provided by Dave Fox and translated by Vitaly Charny)

images/fox1.jpg (482861 bytes)  

Language: Russian
Year of Document: 1915

"Passport" -  Valid for [Internal Travel] Only

Note : The format of this document is identical with the one above.

Its main interest lies in the facts that (i) such internal travel permits or "passports" were uniform in various Gubernyas; and (ii) that they were still required and being issued during World War I.

Left side of document

  • Religion: Judaism
  • Date of Birth or Age: 46 years
  • Occupation: trade
  • Family Status: widow
  • Accompanied by: daughters Rokha (14) and Freida (12)
  • Military Duty Status: Z (not relevant)
  • Signature: illiterate
  • If no signature, the personal features described below:

    Height: [below] average
    Hair color: dark brown, with signs of grey
    Special features: none
  • Space for data about cancelled passports/effective dates: (blank)

Middle of document

  • passport No.  249

Right side of document

  • On the stamp with coat of arms: "gratis"
  • Issued by "Ostrinskoe Meshchanskoe Upravlenie" (Ostrin petite bourgeiosie Administration) for a period of not more than 1 year
  • Bearer of the document: Eidlya Leibovna TKHORNITSKAYA petite bourgeiose from Ostrin,  Lida Uyezd, Vilno Gubernya
  • Permitted for different towns and settlements of Russian Empire, from Aug. 19, 1915 to Aug. 19, 1916 (over-stamped: "Where it is     permitted for Jews")
  • [Signature and seal]

ONE-TIME EXIT CERTIFICATE

(provided by Mario Jeifetz)

images/jeifetz.jpg (195616 bytes)

Language: Russian
Year of Document:1900

"Authorization to Leave the Borders of Russia"

No. 5323                                                                 No Fee Charged

"This document is issued by the Governor of Grodno on the basis of Article 16 of the Statutes of Activity in Russia of the Jewish [Coloni]zation Association, established in England, [which were] approved by Supreme Order on  May 8, 1892, to the Jew, Berko Boruchov Trumper, aged 33, a petit bourgeois from the small town of Liskov(o), in the Volkovysk Uezd (District) in the Grodno Gubernya, who has expressed a desire to depart for Argentine with [the following] members of his family: his wife (unclear) [Leah or Chaya?], aged 25; his sons: Boruch, aged 5; Yankel-Girsch, aged 2; and Rahmiel, aged 1.

"In accordance with Article 17 of the above Statutes, the said Jew and the members of his family mentioned in this Authorization are declared as having left the borders of the Russian Empire for ever.

"(Unclear) [March or April] 1, 1900, in the City of Grodno"

Governor [Signature]

Seal of the Chancellery                                                                   May 21,1900

As emerges from the translation, this document establishes that the Jews named in  it are considered as having left the borders of the Russian Empire permanently.  Berko/Berl Trumper was born in Liskov in 1868 and died in Moises Ville, Argentine, in 1935.

PASSPORT FOR TRAVEL ABROAD

(provided by Rhoda Weiss)

weiss_passport1.JPG (19559 bytes)  

Language: Russian
Year of Document: 1905

Joint Passport   (issued to Mr. Mendel Berkov and Mrs. Fruma Chaikind)

Cover page:  

24 Pages                                     No. 118

PASSPORT    for ABROAD 

Signature of Holder: Mendel Khaikind

weiss_passport7.JPG (61696 bytes)Pages 2 & 3: 

Left-hand page (= page 2)

Bearer of this passport is "Meshchanin" (petit bourgeois) from Kholopenitz,  Mendel Berkov Khaikind, aged 23, belonging the the (Army) Reserves, Grade  2, 1902, together with his wife, Fruma, aged 22, leaving for abroad. 

Right-hand page (=  page 3)

This passport is issued in testimony of the above to permit free travel in foreign countries.

Done in Minsk, January 12, 1905.

Signed and sealed by the Governor, Count Musin-Poushkin.

weiss_passport6.JPG (45966 bytes) Pages 4 & 5: 

Essentially same information as pages 2 & 3 above, in German

(page 4 = left-hand page) and in French (page 5 = right-hand page).

weiss_passport4.JPG (53084 bytes) Internal Page [page no. ?] 

Hand-written note: "On February 15, 1904, received from Mendel Berkov Khaikind a total of 1.50 rubles in communal (?) tax, in accordance with the Regulations of the Meshchane (petite bourgeoisie) Administration of Kholopenitz, No. 1883."

[seal & signature]

weiss_passport3.JPG (74717 bytes) Internal Page [page no. ?] 

Exit stamp, stating "Shown in  Libau, March 25, 1905"

weiss_passport2.JPG (24384 bytes) Page 7 

Hand-written note by Border Control official to effect that Fruma Khaikind did not leave the country on March 25, 1905.

weiss_passport5.JPG (84752 bytes) Exit stamp, stating "Shown at Libau, March 25 , 1905."

Hand-written note: "This passport was issued to Mendel Berkov   Khaikind, together with his wife Fruma."

Note : The last two items appear contraditory and confusing (possibly Mendel Khaikind left Russia without his wife, as noted by Border Control?).

PASSPORT FOR TRAVEL ABROAD

(provided by Neville Lamdan)

passport_external_1.JPG (26149 bytes)  

Language: Russian
Year of Document: 1909

Joint Passport (for Mrs. Beila Mandel and two sons).

This document offers a new element. Here, we have a joint passport for a mother and her two sons, both minors (Yankel, 8, and Feivel, 4).

Otherwise, and interestingly enough, it is identical in form with the passport of Mr. and Mrs. Mendel Chaikind above.

Cover Page: 

Same as 3 (i) above. (Holder apparently illiterate and unable to sign her name)

Pages   2 & 3: 

passport_external_2.JPG (116283 bytes) Same pages as 3 (ii) above 
Page 2 (= top left-hand quadrant) indicates that the bearer of the passport is "Meshchanka" ( "petite bourgeoise") of Ljakhovici (Lechovich), Beila, daughter of Yochil, MANDEL, aged 34,  with her children Yankel, aged 8, and Feivel, aged 4.

Page 3 (= top right-hand quadrant) indicates that the passport was issued in the city of Minsk on May 29, 1909, for a fee of 15 rubles. This page is signed for the Governor of Minsk and stamped with his seal.

Pages 4 & 5

Same pages as 3 (iii) above

Page 4 (= bottom left-hand quadrant): translation in German.

Page 5 (= bottom right-hand quadrant): translation in French

POLISH PASSPORT

(provided by Neville Lamdan)

passport_polish_1.JPG (82771 bytes)

Language: Polish, French
Year of Document: 1920

Passport   (issued to Todres Mandel, in Warsaw on July 8, 1920)

Todres Mandel was born in the town of Slutsk, which before World War was in the Minsk Gubernya within Russia, while in 1920 it was inside Poland, very close to the new Polish-Russian border. Hence he went to Warsaw (and not Minsk, for example) to apply for and receive travel papers.

Polish translation not available.  French text shows passport to be fairly "modern" in shape, containing a photograph of Todres Mandel, plus all the usual personal details and numerous seals. Issued for the holder alone, on July 8, 1920 and valid until July 8, 1921.

More interesting is the story it tells. The holder was granted a US visa done in Warsaw on January 17, 1921 and a Belgian transit visa, also done in Warsaw, on January 24. He exited Poland on January 27 and, in the light of his Belgian visa, may well have sailed to the US (where he settled) from Antwerp.

passport_polish_2.JPG (89635 bytes)
page 2-3
passport_polish_3.JPG (98773 bytes)
page 4-5
passport_polish_4.JPG (115064 bytes)
page 6-7
passport_polish_5.JPG (84739 bytes)
page 8-9
passport_polish_6.JPG (55525 bytes)
page 10

BELORUSSIAN PASSPORT "FOR ABROAD"

(provided by Dave Fox)

df_passport1.JPG (40454 bytes)  

Language: Belorussian, French
Year of Document: 1925

Belorussian translation not available.  French text shows it to have been issued by the Soviet Socialist Republic of Belarus on July 14, 1925 and valid until July 14, 1926.

Like the Polish passport above, the design was fairly "modern", containing a photograph of the holder (a Jewish woman, aged 25) and all the usual personal details.

Of much greater interest is the fact that it contains a British visa for Palestine, done at the British Embassy in Moscow on July 31, 1925, valid for three months and good for a single journey. Six shillings' worth of cancelled "Consular Service" stamps attached. The holder arrived in Palestine in September, 1925.

df_passport2.JPG (48252 bytes)
pages 2 and 3
df_passport3.JPG (55344 bytes)
pages 4 and 5
df_passport4.JPG (46623 bytes)
pages 6 and 7

BELORUSSIAN PASSPORT

(provided by Neville Lamdan)

passport_russian_1.JPG (43249 bytes)  

Language: Belorussian, Russian,French
Year of Document: 1927

Unusual  Belorussian passport issued to Mrs. Rocha Lea Mandel and her three children, in Minsk  on December 7, 1927. This elaborate document, quite different in concept from the two previous items, was issued in three languages - Belorussian, Russian and French. It contains usual details of the holder, plus photographs of Mrs Mandel and her children.

The passport and the stamps on its inside pages tell the odessy of a two-month passage from Slutsk, where the holder lived, to the United States.

Rocha Mandel first went with her three children to Minsk (capital of the Belorussian Republic) in order to acquire the passport itself on December 7, 1927. She then journeyed, along with her children, to Moscow to get transit visas for Latvia (on December 13/14). From there, the group proceeded to the Latvian capital of Riga to purchase tickets on December 15/16 for a Cunard Lines vessel sailing to the States. (Presumably they also needed a US visa.) The ship departed shortly thereafter from the port of Libau (Liepaja), also in Latvia. It docked at the Port of London on December 28, whence the passengers transited overland to Southampton. After a short delay (due to illness) the group sailed for New York aboard another Cunard vessel in mid-January, 1928 and finally arriving there at the end of the month.

passport_russian_2.JPG (122153 bytes)
page 2
passport_russian_3.JPG (60837 bytes)
page 3
Note the visa stamps and the Cunard stickers.

LAISSEZ PASSEZ

(provided by Neville Lamdan)

russian_consulate_1.JPG (40864 bytes) page 1

russian_consulate_2.JPG (45899 bytes) page 2

Language:  Russian, French
Year of Document: 1920

"Laissez-passez"   (issued to Louis Pjerik [Puzharik], from the town of Kletsk in the former Slutsk Uezd of the Minsk Gubernya, issued by the Russian Consulate General in London on May 7, I920).

French text reads:
"In the name of the Provisional Russian Government.

"It is brought to the knowledge of all those to whom it concerns that the bearer of the present [document], Louis Pjerick, alias Louis Morris, [a] Russian citizen, is travelling to America.

For that purpose, the present passport has been issued for free passage, by the Consulate-General of Russia in London, on May 7, 1920."

Note: Louis Pjerik was a Russian subject who emigrated to England well before World War I, but was never naturalized there . In 1920, he wished to
re-locate to the United States and as he needed new travel documents
(his Russian passport would have been out of date, if he ever had one in the
first place), he turned to the Russian Consulate in London. The particular nature of the travel papers issued to him reflects the turmoil that Russia was experiencing at the time.

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TEMPORARY RESIDENCE PAPERS

(provided by Arielle Masters)

images/fannppr5.jpg (87071 bytes)  

Language: Polish
Year of Document: 1920 

 

Temporary Certificate , issued on October 25, 1920 

"Miss Feigel Sztern, of the Mosaic faith and Jewish nationality, about 18 (?) years old, average height, brown hair, light blue eyes, proportional nose, lives in the town of Visoko-Litovsk, [] district.

[Signed by the Mayor]

Note : Purpose of, and need for, this document not entirely clear. Issued during a tumultuous period of hostilities between Polish and Russian forces, when the western part of the former Minsk Gubernya was in Polish hands.

 

Last revised: October 15, 2007