Alsace-Lorraine Nationality (Statelessness) Case

CourtObsolete Court (Germany)
Date22 a 1928
Docket NumberCase No. 190
German Reichsgericht.
Case No. 190
Alsace-Lorraine Nationality (Statelessness) Case.

Nationality in Federal States — Extinction of — In Cases of Cession of Territory — Alsace-Lorraine Nationality — Direct German Nationality — Statelessness of Former Alsace-Lorraine Nationals.

The Facts.—The present suit arose out of an action brought by the respondent as owner of certain immovable property. According to the law of Hesse aliens require a special authorisation by the State for the acquisition of land. It was contended that the respondent could not lawfully have acquired the property in question.

Article 1 of the German Federal Law of 22 July, 1913, provided that German nationality was acquired through the acquisition of nationality in one of the Member States, and that Alsace-Lorraine was to be regarded as a Member State. The respondent was before her marriage a national of Hesse (a Member State of the German Federal State). In 1906 she married her present husband, a national of Alsace-Lorraine, and according to German law lost her Hesse nationality and acquired that of Alsace-Lorraine. According to the Peace Treaty of Versailles the husband acquired French nationality automatically, whereas the wife acquired the right to claim French nationality within the period of one year. She had not availed herself of that right.

The Oberlandesgericht (Upper State Court) held that, although in view of the cession of Alsace-Lorraine to France the wife lost her Alsace-Lorraine nationality, this did not result in her losing her German nationality. The Oberlandesgericht was of the opinion that section 17 of the Law of 1913 relating to loss of nationality contained no provisions bearing upon the cession of the territory of a Member State to a foreign Power, and that...

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