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Archives said there are no records that confirm my ancestor's citizenship, is a petition my only option?


sneeeek
20 Sep 2018 #1
The title basically says it all, but I will give some background.
My great-grandfather (I know it sounds far, but 2 generations pregnant at 20 makes it feel not so far) and great great grandmother were both Polish citizens and emigrated in 1924 to Canada. They naturalized about 20 years after they had my grandmother, but she never had her Polish citizenship recognised and there are none of their documents remaining in the family. I have contacted the Kielce Archives and was able to find their birth certificates, but there are no military records, residence records, passport applications, or police checks for Starachowice-Wierbnik from 1901 (when he was born) to 1924. I even was able to give them the passport serial, issue date, location, etc. and they still came back negative. Since there are no documents that can confirm citizenship, is my only option to petition to the president? (All dates align with their respective law, so if I had a document I would be completely eligible).
terri 1 | 1,660
20 Sep 2018 #2
I would be extremely surprised (bordering on a miracle) if Polish people in 1924 had passports. It is very unlikely that you have a claim for citizenship. You could only do that if you could prove by documents, your great-grandparents births. I find that very unlikely, but maybe in parish records of the church they were baptised in. .
Ziemowit 13 | 3,783
20 Sep 2018 #3
extremely surprised (bordering on a miracle) if Polish people in 1924 had passports.

Exremely surprised and bordering on a miracle? Here is that miracle for you:

The eagle on the passport cover says it was a passport issued between 1919 and 1927 since such was the coat of arms of Poland at that time (shown on the picture below).

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coat_of_arms_of_Poland

pass

godloo
Ziemowit 13 | 3,783
20 Sep 2018 #4
they still came back negative

I think you should ask them to explain the reasons for the negative decision
terri 1 | 1,660
20 Sep 2018 #5
Very interesting. But where is the 'Polska Rzeczypospolita Ludowa' on the passport? Look up how Polish people obtained passports and to whom they were given. Even up to 1956 passports were only issued for official visits and had to be given back to the authorities on return.

However, from Wiki it does appear that 'dowod osobisty' which listed all the addresses of residence was incorrectly named 'passport' and was used before WWII.
Ziemowit 13 | 3,783
20 Sep 2018 #6
But where is the 'Polska Rzeczypospolita Ludowa' on the passport?

In 1924 there was no 'Polska Rzeczypospolita Ludowa'.

I would be extremely surprised (bordering on a miracle) if Polish people in 1924 had passports.

terri 1 | 1,660
20 Sep 2018 #7
I did however find this:
Również w Polsce po odzyskaniu niepodległości - na mocy przepisów ustawy o obywatelstwie Państwa Polskiego z 1920 r. można było utracić obywatelstwo, nie będąc o tym poinformowanym.

It seems that from 1920s onwards you could only have one citizenship. New Law came in 1951 whereby they recognised dual citizenship.

Sorry, my bad to the post above. Prior to 1951 it was 'Rzeczpospolita Ludowa' without the word 'Polska'
terri 1 | 1,660
20 Sep 2018 #8
genealodzy.pl/PNphpBB2-printview-t-5106-start-30.phtml

This article may make it clear what documents people had.
OP sneeeek
20 Sep 2018 #9
@Ziemowit
The search results were negative because the city was pretty tossed during WWII as it had a munitions factory in it. The towns records were mostly destroyed. We have his birth certificate, but he was born before Poland gained independence so it doesn't prove citizenship
delphiandomine 83 | 17,865
21 Sep 2018 #10
In 1924 there was no 'Polska Rzeczypospolita Ludowa'.

Ziemowit, what was the name of the country after the war? Was it still legally Rzeczpospolita Polska until 1952?
Ziemowit 13 | 3,783
21 Sep 2018 #11
We have his birth certificate, but he was born before Poland gained independence so it doesn't prove citizenship

Many people were, but they got their Polish citizenship from 1919 onwards. If you've got his passport serial and issue date, why you don't have his passport?

Was it still legally Rzeczpospolita Polska until 1952?

It was. In 1945 the Polish commrades wanted to change many symbols of the pre-war Poland, including moving the capital from Warsaw to Łódź, but comrade Stalin did not allow them to do it. He said that when those changes were introduced, no one in the world would believe the country was still Poland. And I think he was damn right.
Pan T. K.
21 Sep 2018 #12
We have his birth certificate, but he was born before Poland gained independence so it doesn't prove citizenship.

Quite possibly it does. According to the 1920 Citizenship act and the related post WWI treaties, all those born on the territory of the Second Republic who did not have another citizenship became citizens. The only question is did he somehow gain another citizenship before your grandmother reached the age of majority, 18?

If your great-grandfather completed his service, then your grandmother would have needed to have reached the age of majority, otherwise her citizenship was lost when her parents naturalised in Canada. However, if the archives has no record of his military service, then he was unable to lose his citizenship, and thus his acquisition of Canadian citizenship was irrelevant.

I have contacted the Kielce Archives

You need to contact the national archives in Warsaw. Since military service was compulsory unless excused for all males, your great-grandfather likely served for two years starting the year he turned 21 years of age, (1922 by your dates). It sounds like he left for Canada after he was discharged in 1924. There should be records of all of this in Warsaw. Finding the records is another matter. Since passport records do prove citizenship they have been very hard to find. One sees a pattern here.

It would appear that you are a "undocumented citizen". Feel free to join the discussion: polishcitizenshipanswers.
TheOther 6 | 4,086
22 Sep 2018 #13
all those born on the territory of the Second Republic who did not have another citizenship became citizens.

Not true. There were so-called "Optantenlisten" for example which gave people a choice.
Pan T. K.
22 Sep 2018 #14
As noted by the founding treaties of the Second Republic, people did have the option to choose their citizenship when the nation was reborn. After WWII, people had citizenship assigned by Stalin. None of this helps the OP.
OP sneeeek
22 Sep 2018 #15
@Ziemowit
We have a manifest, but not the actual passport. It was the one year Canada actually recorded a lot of information for each passenger.

The only question is did he somehow gain another citizenship before your grandmother reached the age of majority, 18?

The consulate in Toronto told us we need some indication of citizenship from Poland and that his birth certificate was not enough--his Canadian naturalization listing that he was a Polish citizenship wasn't enough. He naturalized after my grandmother was age of majority--about 10 years after. As he left Poland at 19, he didn't yet serve in the military. He was always worried he would get a letter in Canada, but he never did. Do you still suspect Warsaw would have something?
Pan T. K.
22 Sep 2018 #16
The consulate in Toronto told us we need some indication of citizenship from Poland and that his birth certificate was not enough

You really need to find a good lawyer who deals in citizenship claims. Unfortunately, the consulates have been known to give out disinformation simply to lighten their work loads. They just want you to go away quickly. Don't let it dissuade you, but you do need to be prepared for a long fight with the bureaucrats.

Do you still suspect Warsaw would have something?

Before Tusk changed the citizenship recognition "procedure" law, (which actually reversed the presumption of citizenship with a presumption of its loss), the archives wouldn't admit it had many birth records. Now,the location of the passport and military records is unknown, or we are told they aren't indexed, etc. So, yes they have these things, but it may take a lawyer to get access to them. The game is that the bureaucrats demand that you produce documents that they have, but won't produce. There are human right's issues involved, so a lawyer is highly recommended. The fact that your great-grandfather didn't serve in the military makes your grandmother's citizenship more likely, although they will likely ask you to prove that she didn't lose it in some ridiculous manner, i.e., that she became a civil servant in Canada at age 18.

Also understand that the procedures are so complicated that Poland's president cannot grant citizenship until you have undergone the time consuming and expensive procedure for a decision on confirmation of citizenship or its loss. That is a necessary first step, so you should contest it vigorously since the present presumption is that citizenship was somehow lost because the family didn't want to live under communism. That presumption appears to conflict with several parts of Poland's constitution. Again, I highly recommend that you find a good lawyer.
TheOther 6 | 4,086
22 Sep 2018 #17
None of this helps the OP.

You were spreading false information. If it comes to questions about citizenship or genealogy, that's an absolute no-no. There are other people out there reading this, and in some cases they could be misled by what you said.
OP sneeeek
22 Sep 2018 #18
I highly recommend that you find a good lawyer

Do you have any recommendations for a lawyer? I can email if you would prefer.

Also is what terri said true? Apparently he naturalized when she was a minor, but still never did his military service, and she was already a Canadian citizen by birth
Pan T. K.
22 Sep 2018 #19
According to the he Minister of the Interior's Ruling No. 18, dated July 9, 1925, those born abroad who also were recognized as citizens of their place of birth, were recognized as being solely citizens by the Second Republic. That opinion couldn't be clearer, although anyone applying without a lawyer probably doesn't get past that objection. The hostility and discrimination against the foreign born by the bureaucrats should not be underestimated, as some will try to change that ruling retroactively in conjunction with Tusk's law. Again, there are constitutional and human rights issues involved with that law that a good lawyer will make.

You will likely need to apply in Warsaw. If so, you would likely need a lawyer practicing there.
jon357 63 | 14,280
22 Sep 2018 #20
You were spreading false information.

Yes, it is completely false. There are established procedures in place that Polish consulates can advise on. Paying lawyers to challenge the Polish law on the basis of an ustaw from 1925 is nothing but a waste of money. There are also companies that can apply for citizenship for those eligible. They can only operate withing current laws and procedures; they cannot help people who are not eligible.

'Pan T.K.' appears here from time to time under various usernames airing grievances because he isn't entitled to Polish citizenship but feels he should be. He is not a Polish lawyer, he is an American esl teacher and is known to me. He is not in Poland and only spent a short time there.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,865
22 Sep 2018 #22
He is not a Polish lawyer, he is an American esl teacher and is known to me. He is not in Poland and only spent a short time there.

I believe he also owes considerable amounts of money to the Polish state. There's a record on the private debt databases for him for unpaid social security contributions - Jon, do you still have access to it? You can find it easily on there, and there's no way he can return to Poland without clearing that debt first.
WaWa homie - | 6
23 Sep 2018 #23
My own ancestors were from Poland and even wore the crown of this country

Strange.

Quite. For some reason those who have never filed for recognition of citizenship by descent choose to show up on these threads and claim to be experts on the process, even when they were naturalised, claim to know everything about the others posting of their experiences, and throw fantastic allegations about. How long 'til the usual trolls get banned again?
delphiandomine 83 | 17,865
23 Sep 2018 #24
Posters on this forum would be wise to remember that guest posters often have an agenda, particularly when they're spamming to promote their blog.
jon357 63 | 14,280
23 Sep 2018 #25
guest posters often have an agenda,

And often a myriad of usernames, sometimes helped by 'tor', vpns and various cafes with wifi.

To restate, the person posting with more than one name in this thread does not know what he's talking about. He has a grievance because Poland won't give him citizenship or even permanent residence (not exactly a difficult thing to get). Promoting crazy ideas about paying lawyers to challenge Polish law of the basis of 90 year old rulings that have long been superceded is irresponsible. It can give false hope to people who make the mistake of taking him seriously. For legal matters anonymous Americans on internet fora promoting crazy ideas about citizenship are not the best source of information. Polish consulates, however, are.

The same poster (different user names, different threads) has said that he believes Lech Wałęsa is still the lawful President of Poland. Similarly based on fantasies about Polish law. People can and should judge for themselves. On matters concerning interpretations of the law, people should choose their sources of advice carefully.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,865
23 Sep 2018 #26
On matters concerning interpretations of the law, people should choose their sources of advice carefully.

Certainly an anonymous blog is not a good place to get interpretations of Polish law. It's one of the worst ideas, especially if that person then asks for money for 'further advice' despite 1) not living in Poland, 2) not being Polish and 3) not being a lawyer.
WaWa homie - | 6
23 Sep 2018 #27
Well, how about that! Someone got a time out. How predictable.
Now why would the OP be interested in the ramblings of someone who felt the need to brag that he is descended from the kings of the old Commonwealth, yet never applied for citizenship by descent?

polishforums.com/life/poland-circumcision-practiced-52446/18/#msg1529510
jon357 63 | 14,280
23 Sep 2018 #28
citizenship by descent?

That wouldn't qualify for citizenship by descent. Just as you don't...

I'm surprised (actually not that surprised) that you even think that citizenship by descent would even apply here. It's worth stating that Polish citizenship laws are very precise, very clearly interpreted by the relevant officials, and are very fair.

ramblings of someone who felt the need to brag

I don't see any bragging, and the only ramblings here are your 'interesting' interpretations of Polish law, posted under a whole variety of usernames.
Pan T. K.
24 Sep 2018 #29
Paying lawyers to challenge the Polish law on the basis of an ustaw from 1925 is nothing but a waste of money.

Plainly, jon is not a lawyer. Lawyers deal with "conflicts of law" frequently. One basic tenant is that constitutions trump statutory law. With regard to the OP's grandmother, her citizenship was based on the 1920 citizenship law, as interpreted by the Second Republic. Under the present constitution, the government can't strip anyone of citizenship, and certainly not after he/she has died, to deny citizenship rights to the descendants. As related to me by a university professor in the nation, a person was either born a citizen before Tusk's "procedure" law or not. Such a "procedural" law for getting a passport cannot deprive anyone of constitutional rights, such as citizenship. The process is quite complicated and initial decisions are made by bureaucrats, not judges or ministry officials. A good lawyer keeps them honest. Only a fool would file the petition without one for a claim based on the 1920 laws. This is not Germany or Italy where the foreign born are welcomed back readily. Germany's population is bigger for this reason.

There are also companies that can apply for citizenship for those eligible.

Only an idiot would do this. Yes, agents can file the paperwork, but they will not answer objections or threaten litigation for human rights and constitutional issues.

I'm surprised...that citizenship by descent would even apply here.

Clearly, no administrator had the slightest suspicion that jon here was eligible for citizenship by descent. Otherwise that issue was required, as a matter of law, to have been decided first, before he could naturalise. I call BS on jon's ancestry claim.

FWIW, information was put on another site, as it was requested. People got tired of the hijackings by the usual terrorists.

And, no jon and his sidekick don't really know me. Ignore all of their venom.
jon357 63 | 14,280
24 Sep 2018 #30
Lawyers deal with "conflicts of law" frequently. One basic tenant

They do not however attempt to claim that current law is invalid due to a long superceded ruling from almost a century ago. BTW, you mean 'tenet', not 'tenant'.

Only an idiot would do this. Yes, agents can file the paperwork, but they will not answer objections or threaten litigation

Many thousands of people use them successfully. Thousands that are eligible for citizenship. If someone isn't eligible, no amount of 'threatening litigation' no amount of whining, no eccentric interpretations of previous laws will make the slightest difference.

Clearly, no administrator had the slightest suspicion that jon here was eligible for citizenship by descent

Why would they? Most successful applicants apply and get it via the normal channels. It isn't difficult, provided you meet certain simple criteria. Thousands apply every year and get citizenship.

"And, no jon and his sidekick don't really know me.". You used to work for me before you had to leave Poland. Remember?


Home / Law / Archives said there are no records that confirm my ancestor's citizenship, is a petition my only option?
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