Tag Archives: polish citizenship

Citizenship status of Galician Jewish refugees after World War I

Ustrzyki-Dolne in current Poland (source: wikimedia)

I mentioned already in an earlier post (see “Where to look for old newspapers in Flemish-Belgium“) that my great-grandfather and the children were were stateless citizens before they naturalized as Belgians. The reason for their statless status was that when my great-grandfather Gerschon Lehrer was born in Ustrzyki-Dolne, it was Austrian and after the First World War it became Poland.

My great grandfather lived since 1919 in Dresden (Germany) and Poland took away the nationalities from all citizens that were not in the country for a long time, hence my great-grandfather and grandfather automatically became stateless (source: naturalization file 21875N).

That was a short explanation about the stateless status from my great-grandfather and his children.
I am subscribed to a few mailinglists with an interest in genealogy. One of these lists is from the “Gesher Galicia SIG” (see http://www.jewishgen.org/galicia for more information about that group).
Recently there was a discussion on the stateless status of Galician Jewish refugees who moved to GERMANY after WWI.
I’d like to post these discussion in this post because I believe that the information in that discussion goes a bit deeper on the background of my ancestors’ stateless status after the First World War, then what I wrote before.

In my opinion the last post from Rivka Schirman which you can read below, provides us with the most complete answer. It is mainly the following paragraph which interests me:

Once the Conference of Ambassadors legally attributed East Galicia to Poland, it also based it on the articles of the Treaty of St Germain en Laye regarding nationality and citizenship (full text available at http://www.forost.ungarisches-institut.de/pdf/19230315-1.pdf). This time, those who opted for Polish citizenship, because it was possible, had, according to article 78, 12 months to move to Poland.

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