Nansen Pass

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Nansen Pass

The Nansen Pass was a passport for stateless refugees and emigrants . It was designed in 1922 after the First World War by the High Commissioner of the League of Nations for Refugee Issues, Fridtjof Nansen, for Russian refugees. For this and for his aid campaign in the hunger regions of the Soviet Union, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in the same year . The Nansen Pass was introduced on July 5, 1922 and was initially recognized by 31 and later by 53 states.

Introduction and further development

The Nansen Pass was introduced as a travel document for stateless Russian refugees after the First World War ; However, the political publicist Oscar Levy, who was expelled from England, got the first passport . As a result, the Nansen Pass was also extended to Armenian (1924), Assyrian and Turkish (1928) and refugees from Saarland (1935).

The Nansen passport was in 1946 by the London Travel Document and the travel document of the Geneva Convention is replaced by the 1951st


The Nansen passport was filled out by the authority of the state in which the refugee was staying. It was valid for one year and then had to be extended. The passport allowed return to the country in which the passport was issued. It was not equivalent to the ordinary passport of a sovereign state.

Vladimir Nabokov describes his experience with the Nansen Pass as “an extremely inferior document of a sickly green color. Its owner was little more than a paroled criminal and had to take the greatest hardship when he wanted to travel abroad - the smaller the countries, the more trouble they made. "

The most famous passport holders included Marc Chagall , Youri Messen-Jashin , Igor Stravinsky , Aristotle Onassis , Rudolf Nureyev and Anna Pavlova .

See also


Web links

Commons : Nansen Pass  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Steffen Dietzsch : Nansen Passport One. Oscar Levy's Continuing Exile , IABLIS Yearbook on European Trials, 2002.
  2. Martin Stiller: A History of Statelessness in International Law, Vienna 2011, p. 108.
  3. Vladimir Nabokov: Memory speaks . Collected Works, Volume 22, Dieter E. Zimmer (Ed.), 4th Edition, Rowohlt, Reinbek bei Hamburg 1999, pp. 375 ff. ISBN 3-499-22547-6 .
  4. ^ Huntford: Nansen , p. 638.