|East German passport|
|Issued by||East Germany|
|Eligibility||East German citizenship|
The East German passport was issued to citizens of the former German Democratic Republic (commonly known as East Germany) for international travel. Since the reunification of Germany in October 1990, all German citizens have been issued German passports.
According to a Washington Post report in 1989, only 25% of East Germans were passport holders.
According to an East German passport law in 1957, East German citizens needed a exit visa from GDR to travel abroad, including West Germany and West Berlin. The penalty for making an unauthorized journey outside East Germany was imprisonment.
Once they returned from their travels, the passports needed to be turned in.
There were at least four types of passports: alien, service, standard, and diplomatic.
While standard passports were blue in color, alien and service passports were in different shades of green. Diplomatic passports were in red.
East German passports contained text in German, French, English, and Russian. English, however, was omitted from the passport after a revision in or around 1988.
East German passports contained a note to the effect that:
Versions issued in late 1989 forward to the country's demise in October 1990 omit the note.
Following reunification in October 1990, the Unification Treaty provided that East German passports would remain in force until, at the latest, 31 December 1995. After that date, East German passports were invalid for identification and citizens had to use German passports.
1957: A new passport law provided for three years' imprisonment for anyone making an unauthorized journey outside the borders of East Germany...
Einigungsvertrag vom 31. August 1990 (BGBl. II S. 889) mit der Maßgabe, dass die ausgestellten Pässe bis spätestens zum 31. Dezember 1995 in Geltung bleiben