Minorities Treaty (Russian Subjects) Case

CourtRegional Court (Germany)
Date08 r 1931
Docket NumberCase No. 201
Germany, District Court of Torgau.
Case No. 201
Minorities Treaty (Russian Subjects) Case.

Nationality Acquisition and Loss of Effect as against Third States Treaties Effect on Third Parties Effect on Russia of the Minorities Treaty of 1919 Interpretation of Treaties Filling of Gaps by Construction Russo-Polish Peace Treaty of March 15, 1921.

Treaties Interpretation of Miscellaneous Filling of Gaps by Construction.

Treaties Effect on Third Parties Effect on Russia of the Minorities Treaty of 1919 Nationality Acquisition and Loss of Effect as against Third States Interpretation of Treaties Filling of Gaps by Construction Russo-Polish Peace Treaty of March 15, 1921.

The Facts.The defendant, a male, was born in 1869 at Ld, then part of Russian Congress Poland. In 1915 he emigrated to Germany and there married in 1918 the plaintiff, a Prussian subject. After the War he did not opt either for Poland or for Russia. The spouses now brought an action against one another for divorce. The husband produced a Polish passport. He invoked the Minorities Treaty of 1919 and contended that he possessed Polish nationality since the coming into existence of the Polish State. The relevant Treaty provisions are stated below.

Held: that the defendant was a Russian subject. He was originally a Russian subject by birth: when he was born, Ld, his birth-place, belonged to Czarist Russia. Thus when he came to Germany he was a Russian. He never acquired German nationality. His position was in no way affected by the events after the War or by the international conventions concluded in connection therewith. It was true that the so-called Treaty concerning the Protection of Minorities made between the Allied Powers and Poland on June 28, 1919, provided in Article 4 that all persons of German, Austrian, Hungarian or Russian nationality who were born in Poland of parents habitually resident there, should ipso facto acquire Polish nationality even if, at the date of the coming into force of that Treaty, such persons were not habitually resident in Poland. However, that Convention had no legal effect as against Russia. If it were otherwise, these Russian subjects would have lost their nationality. Had this effect been desired, it would at least have been necessary for Russia to declare her renunciation of them by becoming a party to the Treaty. But Russia was not a party to the Treaty; in consequence she could not be bound by it. Moreover, the...

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