The beginning of the end of German Jewry


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24 June 1933

Fragments of Simon Jasny‘s passport

In 2007 the archive of the Jewish Museum Berlin came into possession of papers from two Berlin law firms that had represented clients in Jewish restitution trials. They included this remarkable document, consisting of several pages from the passport of Simon Jasny (1886–1979). Not much is known about Jasny. He was one of six children born to Michael Jasny, a Russian banker and mill owner who had evidently lived in Germany after 1918. Simon Jasny traveled to many different countries as a merchant, but we do not know what line of business he was in. The archive contains no other documents relating to him.

The stapled pages document the trips Jasny took between March 1933 and September 1934. The numerous stamps on them provide information about the visas he received, the dates he entered and left particular countries, his foreign currency transactions and short-term visits. On 24 June 1933, for example, Jasny received a transit visa for Belgium from the consulate in Berlin and on 25 June he entered the country at the border station in Herbesthal. A closer inspection of the stamps reveals that he also spent time in France, Britain, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Morocco and Spain.

Spain was also the country to which Simon Jasny immigrated with his wife, Victoria, in March 1934. The fragments of his passport contain the relevant residence visas and an entry stamp for Port Bou on the French-Spanish border dated 9 March 1934. Immigration saved the Jewish couple‘s lives. They had a son in Spain and went on to the United States with him in 1939. Immigration to the U.S. was made possible by Simon‘s brother Naum Jasny, a renowned agricultural economist who had lived in America since 1933 and who vouched for Simon. Further research has shown that the family settled in New York and became American citizens in January 1945.

Michaela Roßberg

Categorie(s): emigration | merchants
Fragments of Simon Jasny‘s passport with visas and fee stamps, folded, front, March 1933 to September 1934.
Gift of Bernd Stein