For a refugee, the cardboard covers of a passport hold the promise of rest, respectability, a registered place in the world of homes and sovereignties. In Britain last week, stateless refugees of World War II again enjoyed the untold luxury of passports. They were issued by the Inter-Governmental Committee on Refugees (composed of 36 nations).

The new international identification documents (successors to the Nansen passports of post World War I) would soon go to hundreds of thousands of refugees on the Continent. Refugees who had by necessity become connoisseurs noted with satisfaction that the new documents were carefully printed on...

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