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Polish citizenship by descent for "Brześć nad Bugiem" born 4 grand-parents?

1 Jun 2021 #1

This is a bit confusing for me, I'm Belarusian, born in what is known now as "Brest Oblast" same as my parents, and all my 4 grandparents, who also all died at the same city.

My grandparents were born at it "Brześć nad Bugiem" when it belonged to Poland, their birth dates start from 1921 to 1932, and my father was born in 1947 when the region still belonged to Poland, which was the time between 1920-1949 when the USSR took it over, and now it has become part of Belarus.

Our family name is pure Polish, in fact, there is a whole Hollywood movie about my cousins starred by Brad Pitt, the "Bielski Otriad", which was about the Jewish brothers who stood against the Nazis and saved around 1200 Jew in the Grodno and Brest region back then.

My question is about this, my grandparents and father were born in a Polish region, which was taken over by the USSR after 1949, so they never chose to leave, and they were clearly Polish citizens, even their birth certificates were issued by "Polesie Voivodeship", so can this be used as a proof of citizenship? I don't know if I can fetch any other documents, or how to search for them, since their archives must be sitting within the Polish borders and not here.

Also, they didn't leave Poland, it was Poland leaving them in their native hometown, so is there an issue about this? The law that states they have to not change their citizenship, but in their case, they didn't do a thing, everything was forced onto them, and they had it even harder, especially that my father side was Jewish, and they were forced into hard labor work for the same reason.

With the current events, it's getting harder and harder for ethnic Poles, especially if you clearly carry a Polish known family name like mine, and I want to know what are my chances to go this route, since I can't afford to spend a lot of resources on it, then be told I don't qualify for citizenship, and I have to live with the disappointment of not being part of neither of these countries.

I know I should check with an attorney, but I need to hear from you first, as this can be tough from here, since the Belarusian regime cracks down on Ethnic Poles' groups, schools, gatherings, and even artistic works, so starting the process will mean I have to pay for the price, and I would not mind to pay it if I have a solid case.

Looking forward to hear back from you.

Ziemowit 13 | 4,356
1 Jun 2021 #2
born in a Polish region, which was taken over by the USSR after 1949

This region was taken by the USSR in 1945. It never belonged to Poland between 1945 and 1949.
APoleInBel - | 5
1 Jun 2021 #3
How about the 4 grandparents with Polish birth certificates?

The question is what is their status after the USSR took over, do they still remain a reason for my case to apply?
Cargo pants 3 | 1,117
1 Jun 2021 #4
How about the 4 grandparents with Polish birth certificates?

In fact it might work,worth trying.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,356
2 Jun 2021 #5
their archives must be sitting within the Polish borders and not here.

Archives typically sit in the place they had been created despite borders having been changed.

they were clearly Polish citizens, even their birth certificates were issued by "Polesie Voivodeship", so can this be used as a proof of citizenship

I think you could qualify for Polish citizenship with that. For further information, please check this website:
Paulina 13 | 3,580
2 Jun 2021 #6
@APoleInBel, 4 grandparents with Polish birth certificates sounds good:

Do you know Polish language?

Do you have Karta Polaka (Pole's Card)? With Karta Polaka you can ask the Polish president for the citizenship, I think.
APoleInBel - | 5
2 Jun 2021 #7
Thanks for the encouraging responses, very much appreciated.

- About the archives, it is what I was told in Minsk when I tried to gather more documents about my genealogy, they said they have limited access to archives, and most of them should be sought from Poland, which either was a lie to discard my request, or could be the truth based on this link I was given:

If you go there, you'd see all the docs were issued by Poland, and the number of files they have right now inside Belarus is really limited and small, but I will look more into it, until I exhaust all the possible means I can use.

- I was taught both Polish and German as a kid, until the government closed our Polish school for good, and I never knew why was I taught Polish back then, and why my grandparents spoke a mixture of Polish and Belarusian, and I still use words that are Polish in my discussions with mom, so I'd call it a Creole, not a pure Polish, but as I grew up and learned to keep my mouth shut, I was told why we were taught and still use Polish words, unfortunately, Belarus is not the best place a Pole can reside at, at least at some other places showing your identity wouldn't cause you persecution, and I don't know what the government expect from tens of thousands of people who are true Poles and were swallowed by the USSR after WWII, are we supposed to just disappear or erase our origins and pretend we're Russ as well!? People should celebrate their country's diversity and be proud of it, I guess, not here though.

- No I don't have the card, I was raised by my mom, and she's the most peaceful woman that walked the earth, and she is/was very protective and fearful about me, that she hid our origins, until my grandparents broke me the news when I hit 19, that was 2 years before they passed away. So, I might seek to get the card without telling my mom, because I know she would oppose that, and let alone seek the citizenship, because she thinks the KGB will make me disappear, and I think that is exaggeration from her, that could be the case may be in the 80s, but not in 2021, things are changing, and this is nothing that could be seen as a threat or something, I just want to belong where we always belonged originally. Even my great-grand-parents were born in Terespol, but there was no Poland back then, but the point is our blood is Polish regardless.

Wish me good luck guys, I will start preparing my trip to Minsk, and if you can recommend a legal firm, or a lawyer/attorney who can help me with this, plz refer me their websites or emails here.

Thanks for your time guys :)
Ziemowit 13 | 4,356
2 Jun 2021 #8
I know she would oppose that, and let alone seek the citizenship

Typically, KARTA POLAKA would be the first step. It gives you some advantages, for example in crossing the border with Poland, and also you wouldn't need a work permit if you wanted to work in Poland.

The webside PRADZIAD lists all the archive deposits that presently are on Polish territory. You can search by pre-war Polish territorial unit names there, and thus you may know what resources from what periods of time of the given area they have and where in Poland.

The President of Poland has the power of granting Polish citizenship to whoever he wishes without any circumstances fulfilled. Typically, however, it is not the case for everyone and certain conditions should be met

Your English is amazingly good, btw!
APoleInBel - | 5
2 Jun 2021 #9
Thanks for the compliment, I did Philology as a degree, and I love languages, so I guess acquiring Polish properly with the base I have should be a breeze too :)

Yes, I will start the procedure to get my Karta Polaka, thanks again for the guidance.
APoleInBel - | 5
2 Jun 2021 #10
One last question, should I include my 2 minor children in my application, or should I leave them for later, or should I get an application for each one of them, since our documents will be the same, and my grandparents are their great-grandparents?

If things work out, I plan to relocate to Poland, and I want the move to be as smooth as possible for me and the kids.
Paulina 13 | 3,580
3 Jun 2021 #11
@APoleInBel, according to the info in that link I posted you have to get your Pole's Card first and only then you can apply for the Pole's Card for your kids. Also, if their father doesn't have the Pole's Card he will have to consent to them getting it (unless he doesn't have parental responsibilities).

she thinks the KGB will make me disappear

I know what you mean, when I told my mother some years ago that I was discussing with Russians on the internet, she said that maybe better I didn't, because I'd get into trouble lol I'm not what sure what she meant by that... I can't blame your mum though, no wonder she's worried with all the stuff that has been going on in Belarus these days, I guess...
APoleInBel - | 5
4 Jun 2021 #12
We're living in sad times indeed, I hope there'll come a day, when everyone can accept each other's differences, and people would be more understanding towards each other, as of now, only God can intervene and save us from going down the road of self-destruction. In God we trust.
gjene 14 | 204
4 Jun 2021 #13
Another thing to consider, did your grandparents have relatives living within the boundaries of Poland currently? If so, get in touch with them and see what else they can tell you about your grandparents. You may be surprised.
mafketis 34 | 12,243
4 Jun 2021 #14
you have to get your Pole's Card first

It's my understanding it's not that hard to get for someone willing to live in Poland.... If the government thinks they can get some work out her family I can't imagine there being any real difficulties provided they can get themselves to Poland...
PolAmKrakow 2 | 2,561
5 Jun 2021 #15
Temporary residency in Poland would buy plenty of time to gather your documents. Since the pandemic, they are now processing those applications pretty quickly.

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