Passport of Hersch "Israel" Gerstenhaber, with J
Gift of Sophie Schoen in memory of her parents, Adele and Heinrich Gerstenhaber
Id no. 183.89, Document, German
Subject(s):  Race laws, Emigration
The passport was issued after Germany annexed Austria, where the Gerstenhaber lived.

Heinrich was imprisoned in Dachau Concentration Camp during KRISTALLNACHT, in 1938 but was released after her his wife, Adele, collected documentation proving his military service in World War I.

The passport contains an exit permit, issued by the Viennese police, and a visa for the United Kingdom dated July 28, 1939. There is also a Belgian transit visa dated August 17, 1939 and an Italian transit visa for the SS Saturnia from Trieste to New York, leaving Dec. 6, 1939. A US immigration visa was approved for Hersch on October 27, 1939.

The passport is marked with a red ?J? for ?Jude,? the German word for ?Jew.? Nazi law required Jews who did not have easily identifable Jewish names to take "Israel" or "Sara" as a middle name. Hersch, his wife Adele, and their two children arrived safely in the United States in 1939.
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