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Travelling Documnent - Passport

Travelling Documnent - Passport

  • Date: 1793
  • Material: paper
  • Technique: print and handwriting
  • Dimensions: 24 х 19,5 cm
  • Inventory number: ZI 211

The passport was issued in the name of Nikola Georgije from Klisura, a Turkish emigrant who departed with his family for Kragujevac after the prescribed stay in the quarantine.

After the Treaty of Sistova (1791), when Belgrade was ceded to Turkey, the Zemun quarantine became the outermost point of the Austrian sanitary cordon towards the adjacent empire. Very strict military surveillance was introduced by a series of regulations. One of them, dated 19 October 1791, states that "no Turkish subject may stay at Zemun without the permission of the military commander: also, no [Turkish subject] may leave the town without the passport of the military commander". After he had spent the prescribed period in quarantine and obtained the "personal sanitary certificate", Nikola Georgije had, like so many other Turkish subjects, to undergo an interrogation in the Zemun military command. Only after that, and after he had obtained his passport, was he permitted to resume his journey. The length of the prescribed periods of quarantine depended on the current situation. There were three levels: "calm" when there were no reports of the plague; "medium" when the illness appeared at a distance from the frontier; and "dangerous", when the plague was in immediate vicinity. According to the 1730 quarantine regulations, the obligatory confinement of the travellers and goods in a "dangerous" period was 52 days. The quarantines were designed and organized in such way that there was room enough for the isolation and accommodation of passengers and for the storage of their goods. The travellers were examined upon arrival by the quarantine doctor, and those who showed any symptoms of illness were sent to the lazaret. If the confined person developed symptoms of "miasma", the reckoning of the obligatory period was to start from the beginning again. The rooms in the quarantine were not comfortable and looked "like stone hovels with two narrow windows, brick-paved floor and a sort of wooden shelf running along two walls; that was, apart from the stove, the only furniture". NikolaGeorgije's travelling pass was signed by "the commander and local captain" Johann Paul von Mittesser. Mittesser was born in Zemun around 1761. He began his career as an Austrian spy in Serbia and gradually rose to the rank of "the major of the town" at the end of the 18th century. Mittesser, who was assigned to the military intelligence service on the eve of the First Serbian Insurrection, had considerable influence on the events and people in the Belgrade Pashalik, as is attested by a letter of Aleksa Nenadović directed to him. In the year when Karađorđe took Belgrade (1807), Mittesser left Zemun to take the office of the Austrian consul at Travnik.

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