[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] When was German citizenship granted ?

Günther Böhm GHBoehm at ish.de
Wed Apr 22 16:10:26 PDT 2009

Richard Benert schrieb:
> If I may add a bit to this rather confused picture, my reading of 
> Robert Koehl, "RKFDV: German Population and Resettlement Policy, 
> 1939-1945", (1957) tells me that (p. 120) the Interior Ministry on 
> July 3, 1940, issued an order on the acquisition of citizenship, but 
> then Himmler stepped in in September and ordered the construction of a 
> Volkslist that would distinguish between true Germans and pretenders.  
> As everyone knows, this produced 4 categories of people, from good 
> Germans to rejects.  It seems as though the first category of people 
> got citizenship fairly quickly, and this could have happened, I would 
> guess, already in early 1940.  Probably for people in the second 
> category (who had 50% or more of German language and culture but had 
> not fought "actively" for it), had to wait a bit to be approved. It 
> appears that many people got "conditional" citizenship.  People in 
> Class 3 (persons of "some or doubtful German origin"), apparently 
> didn't get citizenship (or only "conditional") but could at least keep 
> their belongings.  As the war dragged on and the need for recruits 
> grew, the bar was lowered.  In 1942 and 1943 (p. 197), more and more 
> people were moved from "conditional" to "unconditional" status, making 
> them eligible for the army.
> I'm wondering, Günther, whether the ordinance of 19 May, 1943, may 
> have been related to this broadening of acceptable categories of 
> people.  I don't think (I could be wrong) that this means that before 
> this date citizenship was not granted to people from the Ukraine 
> area.  The impression I get from Koehl is that citizenship was granted 
> all along since perhaps late 1939 on a case by case basis.  I'm 
> wondering, Roland, if in all the confusion between various organs of 
> the government, someone could have granted your uncle citizenship upon 
> his arrival.  Then, perhaps, it might have been called into question.  
> Or, if this didn't happen, then the date of his citizenship would 
> almost certainly have depended on his position in the DVL.  If he was 
> a good, true German (as I'm sure he was!), he might have been granted 
> citizenship well before May, 1943.  If, heaven forfend!, he was not, 
> then it may have been May, 1943.

Hello Dick,
being no specialist in this subject, I just try to interpret the wording 
of the acts of March 4, 1941 and May 19, 1943:

   1. The act has no reference to an act of before 1942 - except the
      "Reichs- und Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz" of July 22, 1913 (if
      there was an earlier granting of citizenship to Volhynian Germans,
      it would have been executed on a legal basis which should have
      been abrogated and relieved by the new act).
   2. In distinct from the act of March 4, 1941, the act of May 19, 1943
      knows just three "Abteilungen" (divisions) - no "renegades", which
      ment a better classification of Volhynian Germans compared with
      Poland Germans.
   3. The act of March 4, 1941 ("Verordnung über die Deutsche Volksliste
      und die deutsche Staatsangehörigkeit in den eingegliederten
      ) says:
      "(3) Eingetragen werden nur ehemalige polnische und ehemalige
      Danziger Staatsangehörige. Im Sinne dieser Verordnug sind:

          a) ehemalige polnische Staatsangehörige Personen, die am 26.
          Oktober 1939 polnische Staatsangehörige waren oder die an
          diesem Tage staatenlos waren, zuletzt aber die polnische
          Staatsangehörigkeit besessen hatten oder am 26. Oktober 1939
          ihren Wohnsitz in den eingegliederten ehemals polnischen
          Ostgebieten hatten [...]"

This means that inhabitants of (the formerly Polish) Western Volhynia 
who fled from the Red Army after September 1, 1939 to the German 
occupied Poland were affected by the act
- *Dick, you are right*!


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