25 October 2019

Conclusion - Black Market Passport Business

I started this series of blog posts several months ago and had no idea it would lead me on such an epic journey. The stories of those who sought to escape the clutches of the Nazis span the gamut of tragedy to triumph. I have found it exceedingly difficult and emotionally draining to dig into the archives trying to discover who lived and who died.

As for the stories of those who orchestrated this scheme... Christian Friedrich Jürgen Ziebell and Algoth Niska... words fail me. Perhaps Niska thought he was doing a "good" thing in selling passports to rich Jews desperate to leave Nazi Germany/Austria. I have read his own story of his adventures and he comes across as a schemer looking for his next adventure, preferably one where he could get paid handsomely. Selling fake Finnish passports to Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe ticked both of those boxes.

As for Jürgen Ziebell, he was simply in it for the money, of that I have no doubt. His career after the war is just more of the same - seeking wealth and power and using whatever legal or illegal means he could to achieve his aims.

For those who land on this post and want to read the whole series from start to finish, here are some links:

Overview of the passport business - as told by Josef Jakobs
Characters involved - has links to all of the clients as well as organizers of the passport scheme
Jürgen Ziebell - German lawyer, fake and fraud artist
Algoth Niska - Finnish bootlegger, smuggler and adventurer

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