Item #1420 [CONCENTRATION CAMP PASS FOR THE MUSIC TEACHER] Lager-Pass [i.e. Camp Passport] #1923


Item #1420

[Aflenz concentration camp, 1945]. 15x10,5 cm. In original printed covers. Some soiling, otherwise very good.

Extremely rare document of the wartime.

The Aflenz concentration camp (also known as the Graz-Leibniz subcamp) existed from February 1944 to April 1945 in the Austrian town of Aflenz an der Sulm as a part of the Mauthausen camp system. It was an underground weapons factory on the basis of the former quarry. Of all victims, 40% of the prisoners were from the USSR, a third from Poland, the rest were from Yugoslavia, Hungary and even China. According to the prisoner book of Aflenz concentration camp, that is held in the United States Holocaust Memory Museum, among the imprisoned in the camp were political and ideological targets, ethnic targets, PoW, Romani and homosexuals.
This passport was issued to Mykola Mantulin (1890-?) who was born in Ukraine, close to Chernigiv on the territory of the Russian Empire. From the passport we learn that Mykola’s nationality is ‘Croatian’.
Mantulin’s biographic data are gathered from the scanned documents at Arolsen Archives. In the archives there are two autobiographies in Russian and in English, composed in 1950, in DP camp. From these texts are clear that Mantulin was either Russian or Ukrainian, as he had graduated from seminary in Ukraine, knew Ukrainian language and after WWII was involved with several Ukrainian emigre organizations in Austria. Because of that we can assume that he had purposely altered his nationality upon registering at camp.
His main occupation in life was teaching music and organizing choirs (mostly boy’s choirs but also he conducted church choirs during his lifetime) - he has been doing that in the 1910s Ukraine, 1920s Bosnia and 1930s Serbia, then in 1940s after the Aflenz camp in Austria.
He has played violin all his life so when the circumstances have been hard on Mantulin he has also been working in restaurants and on the streets. We know from his biography that it was the case in the early 1920s when he came to Yugoslavia from Constantinople hearing that the local government had allowed 2500 undocumented refugees to come and stay in the country. Mantulin came to Constantinople on the famous transport Rion, that has evacuated 8500 White Russians from Vrangel Crimea, after the last White general standing was defeated by Bolsheviks. It’s worth noting that we don’t know what were the reasons that forced Mantulin to move in 1919 from Kiev region to Sevastopol where he spent less than a year in tough conditions sometimes without a place to stay or steady job, but we can assume they were ideological - in one of autobiographies he has referred to himself as being an ‘old white Russian emigre’.
So in 1920, Mantulin emigrated through Crimea and went to Yugoslavia alongside other refugees. Until 1931, he played violin at a town orchestra in Tusla, Bosnia, then moved to Serbian city Ruma where he continued working as a music teacher for 13 years. “In September 1944, the frontline approached Ruma. He went from Hungary to Vienna and subsequently to Graz, Austria where, as a suspicious foreigner, he was arrested and put into a concentration camp.
He was brought to the camp and registered on March 8, 1945. The passport was not only an ID but also proof of ownership. It listed items the prisoner carried on the day he had arrived: suit, street shoes, shirt, underpants, hat, kerchief, alarm clock, violin, suitcase - three last things were handwritten at the end. Apart from two pages with his personal information and marks about things, the passport contains the only record on the page of the food card with the similar ink signature that was stamped on p.1. It confirmed that the prisoner was once provided with food on March 8, 1945. Most pages are blank of any records: no works were done, no bonus or punishment were written down.
Yet, Mantulin survived the camp and was released on April 1. He had to work as a construction laborer until capitulation, then moved to Salzburg where joined various orchestras and performed concerts. For example, he played in ‘Mirabello Casino’ for American troops in 1945, in 1946 he was employed as a violin player at Ukrainian Opera Theater Orchestra, next year he has conducted a choir for the Ukrainian church in Salzburg. The same year he organized a young boy’s orchestra in Salzburg (a photo of the orchestra is also held at Arolsen Archives).
The later fate of Aflenz prisoner #1923 is unknown.

Price: $1,250.00

See all items in War