German Nationality Doubt

  • My grandmother was born in Neustadt (not sure which one) and at the age of 4 she was expedited a passport by the Combined Travel Board in Baden.

    Info about the Combined Travel Board:
    The Combined Travel Board (CTB) was established as an integrated triparite organization under the Allied High Commission for Germany on October 7, 1949. The CTB replaced the former loosely organized and coordinated Combined Travel Board, which had functioned under different elements of the Allied Military Government for Germany. The CTB, established to develop and supervise a single uniform travel policy for Western Germany, held responsibility for recommended policy on entry, exit, and transit travel control to the Political Affairs Committee of the AHC, and for the direction and supervision of the executive organization concerned with implementing that policy. Headed by a Director General and two Deputy Directors General, the CTB was composed of three principal functional directorates (Passport Control and Security, Internal Affairs, and External Affairs), a Chief Secretary, an international network of 20 Military Permit Offices and 110 consulates, a European network of 14 Branch Offices, and British, American, and French immigration inspectors. The CTB was terminated on May 5, 1955, upon assumption of its functions by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.

    The immigration papers from my country says her nationality was German. But I'm not sure about this. Her mother (my great grandmother) was from Poland, and she was sent to a concentration camp during WWII, she stayed in Germany after the war and had children with my great grandfather, whom I think was Czechoslovakian. So how comes up children were german? Was it possible that when my grandmother came to my country, they assumed she was german because she was born there?

  • Hello Daniel,

    in history there were periods when Poland and Czechoslovakia were part of the German Empire. That means your grandmother was not neccessarily born in todays German territory because Neustadt did also exist in Poland and in Silesia (today part of Czech Republik) and in Slovakia. (look at "historisch und Exonyme": Prudnik, Lwówek, Wejherowo and Nové Mesto).
    There is no Neustadt in Baden.

    Kind regards

  • Hello Daniel,

    Welcome to the Forum :)

    To add to the confusion, ... there were also times when parts of Poland and Czechoslovakia were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
    When Austria was annexed to Germany in 1938 the former Austro-Hungarian territories also became part of Germany.

    There were a lot of displaced people during and after the war, and if they were from former "German" territories, then many officials would have entered "German" in the forms, without bothering to go into details.

    I know of refugees who fled from (Nazi) Austria to Britain and were described as Germans although they were definitely Austrian citizens.

    Do you have any other details, which might help us locate your ancestors better ?
    Even names might help, as some names were more likely to be found in certain regions.


  • Hello Bob,

    Thanks, that sounds right, many officials would just have entered "german".

    My great grandfather name was Pedro Bilinskiy (or Bilinskij), or it could even be Belinski/Belinskif. That last name has been written in our family in different ways because it's not common where I live, so back then, they wrote what they heard. But I'm almost sure it's Bilinskiy, as it's written like that in an old document. My great grandmother name was Rosa Servackh / Servaceh (I think this one was written here like that because that's how it sounded)

    I'm in a Spanish speaking country, so those names could be the translation of their names, don't know for sure.

  • Hello Daniel,

    in history there were periods when Poland and Czechoslovakia were part of the German Empire. That means your grandmother was not neccessarily born in todays German territory because Neustadt did also exist in Poland and in Silesia (today part of Czech Republik) and in Slovakia. (look at "historisch und Exonyme": Prudnik, Lwówek, Wejherowo and Nové Mesto).
    There is no Neustadt in Baden.

    Kind regards

    I'm almost sure it was in Germany, she was expedited a passport in Germany, so I don't think she ever got back to Poland after war.

  • Hello danielr18,

    what I learnt is that your grandmother was born in any Neustadt. Her mother was Polish, her father was Czechoslovakian. After WWII your grandmother got a passport (probably a refugee-passport, her mother was sent to a concentration camp) by the TCB in late 1949 or even later when she was 4 of age.
    Due to your thread there is no indication that your grandmother was born in todays German territory. Usually children are born where the parents live at that time. Where was it?
    And there was no assumption that she got back to Poland after war.

    Kind regards

  • You are right, no indication that she was born in todays german territory, all I know is the city name, and where the passport was expedited (Baden), so they certainly came here from Germany, however, don't know where they lived.

    My great grandmother is still alive, but she lives in another state, so I may visit her next month, and see if she remembers something, she doesn't remember much about recent events, but she remembers stuff from the past. Last year she told me how beautiful the winter was :), and she hasn't seen one since she came, as we live near the equator. So maybe she can shed some light about this.

  • Frankly speaking, I'm somewhat confused by this thread and the details given.

    Your greatgrandmother is still alive, so she ought to know where the Neustadt is situated where she lived and gave birth to your grandmother, doesn't she?

    And why was a 4-year-old girl sent abroad (to South America?) while her parents stayed in Europe and had further children? According to the data about the CBT given above, the year of birth might be anything between 1945 and 1951.

    Could it be possible that your grandmother was born in the Neustadt-Glewe concentration camp? (no English article available unfortunately)

    The KZ Neustadt belonged to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Maybe you can find out more by means of a simple e-mail inquiry to the "Lagergemeinschaft Ravensbrück/Freundeskreis e.V.", an association founded among others by survivors of the Ravensbrück concentration camp. The e-mail address is

    More information is available in German lanuage on their website:

    I hope I could help.

  • Hi zimba123,

    Sorry about the confusion. My great grandmother is more than 90 years old and can barely speak, so maybe she knows something, but can't be very detailed, I would have to try and speak with her when I visit her.

    My grandmother was born on Juny 1946, so I don't think it was possible she was born there. I'm trying to pinpoint the city, but ironically, the name ia very common, so my nearest reference was Baden, and assumed that she had liven in the state.

    I would like to get the birth certificate, so that's my first step, locating the city.

    If I may ask, if both parents were foreign, did they still have to register my grandmother, and maybe both of their nationalities are written there?

    PS: They all came to South America together, and had more children here.


  • UPDATE: Unfortunately I had to visit earlier, as my great grandmother sadly passed away two days ago. This was the first Christmas in a long time that we couldn't spend together, and this happened, it's really sad.

    The passport says "This document may be issued to Refugees and displaced persons..." so I'm now sure my grandmother isn't German. This is what I could gather:

    A broken page has a stamp of "Arbeitsamt - Neustadt/Haardt", so that clears the doubt about Neustadt. Should be Neustadt an der Weinstraße.

    From the passport:
    Bearer's address / Adresse des Inhabers: Camp PDR - Diez. Searched that in Google and a document says "Kasserslautern Camp PDR, Germany" . So maybe they lived in a displaced person camp in Kasserslautern or Neustadt.
    The passport was expedited in Baden-Baden and there is a medical card from "Centre Medical de Reetablissement - Rastatt" and Rastatt is just some kilometres to the north of Baden-Baden , so my guess is because they lived in the French Zone of Germany (Neustadt or Kasserslautern), they had to go to Baden-Baden to obtain their travel document.

  • Daniel, I'm so sorry to read that. I very much hope that she passed away peacefully. When a person dies, it seems as if a huge book full of stories has gone. However, it's great that you had the chance to meet and talk to your great grandmother. There aren't many people who are that lucky. My deepest sympathy with you and your family!

  • Daniel,

    I'm glad that you finally found out where your grandmother was born!

    I suggest that you address to the Standesamt (register office) in Neustandt and ask, if they have information about the inhabitants of the camp using the following contact:

    Phone: +49 6321 855 372
    Fax: +49 6321 855 516

    If the DPs were registered, ask for a "einfache unbeglaubigte Kopie des Geburtseintrags inklusive aller Randbemerkungen" (a simple unauthenticated copy of the birth entry including all side notes >> authenticated copies are more expensive). You'll have to prove that you're a direct descendant because of data protection valid vor births within the last 110 years.

    In the place where I live there was also an UNRRA / IRO (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Association / International Refugee Organization) camp for displaced persons, mainly from Poland, and since they were catholic, births, deaths and marriages were also normally registered in the church book. (I took photos of the gravestones of people from the camp on the local cemetary a few years back, and when I started to decipher and index all the names found out that half of them were children. So bad!)

  • Thank you for your sympathy!

    Sad to read your last paragraph. Most of the medic records I have are stamped by an IRO in Diez, those are the only papers that I have that mentions IRO. I'll email the standesamt, I assume they don't reply to English emails, do you think I should use Google Translate or ask for someone to translate the email I'll send? I have my mother's birth certificate and mine. but in Spanish, do I have to get those translated and mail/email them or is there other way to prove it?