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Polish lawyer couldn't help with proving my grandparents were Polish citizens

7 Mar 2017 #1
Hello all,

My grandparent were born in Poland, they were both Jewish and when the war started they escaped to Israel.
As far as I know, according to the Polish law I'm suppose to be eligible to apply for a Polish citizenship.
I hired a Polish layer to help me retrieve documents from Polish archives to prove that my grandparents were indeed citizens (they were, there is no question about it), but unfortunately, according to him, most of the archives were destroyed during the war and he could only find a few papers but they are not accepted as proof of their citizenship.

According to him that's a dead end, but I'm sure there is something more that can be done...they were living there for 25 years before they escaped, and there have to be a way to prove it.

Can anyone advise me about this situation? Maybe there's a way that neither me or my lawyer thought of to prove their citizenship?

Thank you in advance,
7 Mar 2017 #2
Being born in Poland does not make a person Polish. I know a kid who has never left Poland and whose parents have never left Poland: he isn't Polish and neither are they.

Can anyone advise me about this situation?

Do you want a Polish passport so you can live in the EU or in Poland?
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,862
7 Mar 2017 #3
Do you want a Polish passport so you can live in the EU or in Poland?

EU I would rats leaving a sinking ship...:):)
OP kwekwe12
7 Mar 2017 #4
Thanks for the replies,

Yes I would like a Polish passport so I can live and work in the EU, I also want to learn more about my heritage.
OP kwekwe12
7 Mar 2017 #5
The lawyer found some documents from the Jewish Committee, and the birth certificate of my Grandfather, but he says they are not sufficient enough to prove citizenship.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,862
7 Mar 2017 #6
maybe ask another lawyer?
then you would have two opinions.
OP kwekwe12
7 Mar 2017 #7
That might be what i will do, but it means spending more money...would rather assess the chances before i hire another lawyer
Archive Dweller
7 Mar 2017 #8
You don't state exactly what documents you require. Your problem isn't one of law so much as it is a problem of evidence. From my experience, the problems with the archives are less that documents got destroyed in the wars. (That did happen occasionally and can cause problems). The problem more frequently is that the archives aren't indexed properly, and documents needed to prove your claim are not easy to find. Some documents, like voting records for the lost territories, are held in the archives in the former Soviet states to the East of the present border. So, my advice to you is to contact a good Polish genealogist who might know more than the lawyer where to find certain documents needed for your claim. You also might read this related thread:

Understand that millions of people worldwide could claim Polish citizenship. Poland has no repatriation office, and citizenship claims can be become a long drawn out process. In theory, Polish citizens have a right of return, but in practice it can be very difficult and expensive to prove. Good luck!
OP kwekwe12
21 Mar 2017 #9
@Archive Dweller
Thanks a lot, very valuable information, never thought of hiring a genealogist instead of a lawyer.

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