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upon a verdict rendered by the court of appeals at Warsaw, April 9/21, 1896, and that Yablkowski had been set free April 11/23, 1896. The prosecuting attorney at Warsaw informed the United States consul there that the documents taken from Yablkowski were attached to the judicial proceedings under the second part of paragraph 325 of the criminal code. (For. Rel. 1897, 446–447.)
John Ginzberg, a naturalized citizen of Russian origin, was arrested in Russia in 1894. It was stated by the Russian authorities that the cause of his imprisonment was a charge of military desertion, but he was also described by them as a “ Russian subject." a With reference to the possibility of his being prosecuted for having acquired American citizenship, Mr. Olney, Secretary of State, in an instruction to Mr. Peirce, chargé d'affaires ad interim at St. Petersburg, said: “ The Government of the United States can never acquiesce in any claim of any other government to penalize the act of naturalization when lawfully granted within our jurisdiction to one of its former subjects or citizens." )
Sept. 9, 1896, the criminal court of Minsk found Ginzberg guilty “ in that, being a Russian subject, he left his native land and went to America, and on August 10, 1886, became, without permission of the Government, a naturalized citizen of the United States of America, and that in the autumn of 1894 he voluntarily returned to Russia.” He was therefore sentenced, under $ 325, part 1, of the Penal Code, to deprivation of all civil rights and perpetual banishment from the Empire, and to payment of costs, should he be able to pay them. It was adjudged that the documents relating to his identification, which were issued by the Government of the United States, but were then held by the court, should be returned to him.
Ginzberg requested the legation of the United States at St. Petersburg to prefer a claim in his behalf against the Russian Government for 730 days' detention at $3 a day. The legation submitted this request to the Department of State, which decided to "await further and more definite information " before expressing an opinion upon the claim.
The embassy secured for Ginzberg an opportunity to work his passage from Libau to Antwerp and turned over to him 95 rubles, the amount of a draft which had been received for him from the United States. An official of the foreign office remarked that Ginzherg had, according to the usual practice, “ been very leniently dealt with.” In a report, subsequently to the departure of Ginzberg from
a For. Rel. 1895, II. 1081, 1085, 1086.
& Mr. Olney, Sec. of State, to Mr. Breckinridge, min. to Russia, Oct. 27, 1896, For. Rel. 1896, 509, 511.
Russia, Mr. Breckinridge said: "I may remark that an apparent result of the continuous and earnest efforts of the past two or more years is some amelioration of the unbending severity that previously marked the policy of the Russian Government in cases of this kind. Until, however, the still ineffectual efforts to effect a conventional arrangement with Russia, upon the subject of expatriation, are more successful, our citizens of Russian origin, unless with previous Russian consent, expose themselves to the gravest hardship by returning to the Empire."
The Department of State in reply observed that the “happy disposition " of the case might“ illustrate the advantage of dealing with such matters in a friendly way, without unnecessary argument on the principles involved, as to which the views of the United States and Russia are apparently irreconcilable." ;
Henry Topor, a naturalized citizen of the United States of Russian origin, who was arrested in Russia for having emigrated and become naturalized without permission, was, on its appearing that he was mentally unsound, placed in an insane asylum, from which he was released on his relations furnishing him assistance and an escort to the United States.
For. Rel. 1896, 523-529.
"The published correspondence for a number of years back has shown the persistence of the United States in endeavoring to obtain for its citizens, whether native or naturalized and irrespective of their faith, the equality of privilege and treatment stipulated for all American citizens in Russia by existing treaties. Holding to the old doctrine of perpetual allegiance; refusing to lessen its authority by concluding any treaty recognizing the naturalization of a Russian subject without prior Imperial consent; asserting the extreme right to punish a naturalized Russian on return to his native jurisdiction, not merely for unauthorized emigration, but also specifically for the unpermitted acquisition of a foreign citizenship; and sedulously applying, at home and through the official acts of its agents abroad, to all persons of the Jewish belief the stern restrictions enjoined by Russian law, the Government of Russia takes ground not admitting of acquiescence by the United States because at variance with the character of our institutions, the sentiments of our people, the provisions of our statutes, and the tendencies of modern international comity.
a Mr. Breckinridge, U. S. min., to Mr. Sherman, Sec. of State, March 8, 1897, For. Rel. 1897, 435, 436.
Mr. Sherman, Sec. of State, to Mr. Breckinridge, min. to Russia, March 23, 1897, For, Rel. 1897, 436.
“ Under these circumstances conflict between national laws, each absolute within the domestic sphere and inoperative beyond it, is hardly to be averted. Nevertheless, occasions of dispute on these grounds are happily infrequent, and in a few worthy cases, whero the good faith of the claimant's appeal to American protection has appeared, the friendly disposition of Russia toward our country and people has afforded means of composing the difference.”
Report of Mr. Olney, Sec. of State, to the President, Dec. 7, 1896, For.
Rel. 1896, lxxix.
Russian origin, was arrested in Russia on a charge of having re-
With a dispatch of March 11, 1897, Mr. Breckinridge, minister of the United States at St. Petersburg, enclosed to the Department of State a note of Count Lamsdorff, of Feb. 20-March 4, 1897, replying to certain inquiries as to the Russian law concerning expatriation. Although the reply did not fully state how long the claims of the Empire continued to attach to the foreign-born descendants of Russian subjects, Mr. Breckinridge said he had been orally informed by the legal adviser of the foreign office that they continued without limit as to generations of descent, regardless of the place of birth. It was understood that a law had for sometime been under consideration to repeal that part of the law which extended “the prescribed claims and penalties to descendants of claimed Russian subjects born abroad."
For. Rel. 1897, 439, 440.
dum, in which various articles of the Russian law are reproduced : Question. Does the change of allegiance without consent entail loss of
property as well as loss of civil rights and liability to banishment? "Answer. Articles 325 and 326 of the Criminal Code : “Article 325. Whoever, absenting himself from the fatherland, enters into
the service of a foreign power without the permission of the Govern
ment, or becomes the subject of a foreign power, is liable, for this violation of his duty and oath of fidelity to the loss of all his civil rights and perpetual banishment from the Empire, or, if afterwards
he returns voluntarily to Russia, to deportation to Siberia. "Article 326. Whoever, absenting himself from the fatherland, does not
return to it upon being invited to do so by the Government, is equally liable, for the infraction, to the loss of all civil rights and to perpetual banishment from the Empire, if within the term fixed at the option of the court he does not show that he has been impelled by circumstances independent of his will or, at the least, extenuating circumstances. Up to that moment he is considered as absent, disappeared from his domicil, and his property is placed under guardianship, according to the regulations established to this effect by the
civil laws. * The property of a person sentenced to the loss of civil rights is not
confiscated, but passes to his legitimate heirs under the same laws which would be applied in the case of his natural death. The heirs can also claim possession of all property which might come by
inheritance to the culprit after his condemnation. “ The wife of the person deprived of civil rights has the right to claim a
divorce. Furthermore, the culprit loses his paternal authority over
his children born prior to his condemnation. “Articles 24, 26, 27, 28 of the Penal Code : "Article 24. The loss of civil rights does not affect the wife of the convict
nor his children born or conceived prior to his condemnation, nor
their descendants. “Article 26. Deportation to Siberia entails the loss of all family and
property rights. "Article 27. The loss of family rights consists in the termination of
paternal authority over the children born prior to the condemnation, if the children of the convict have not followed him into deportation,
or if they left him afterwards. "Article 28. Following the loss of property rights, all property which
belonged to the convict sentenced to enforced labor or to deportation, passes, from the day of execution of the sentence, to his legal heirs, in such a manner as it would pass in the case of the natural death
of the convict. The proceedings and sentence for infraction provided for in article 325
of the Penal Code follow the ordinary course of criminal procedure. “ The examining judge proceeds in an investigation upon the official evi
dence of the police and local authorities or upon the requisition of the procureur. Persons charged with illegal absence from the fatherland are transferred before a court of justice after arrest at the
frontier or on the territory of the Empire. “ They may, however, be prosecuted by default if they do not answer to
the summons of the court after legal citation to appear has been inserted in the newspapers or addressed to the delinquent through
our diplomatic and consular agencies. " Question. If the property be confiscated is it only during the life of the
offender, or does it remain forever alienated from his heirs? "Answer. See the reply given above. “Question. What, if any, are the penalties provided for those who emi
grate in childhood or during their minority and subsequently become
citizens or subjects of a foreign country without imperial consent?
And what is the period of minority? “Answer. They entail all the consequences mentioned in the first reply,
if they do not take the steps necessary when they attain their
majority, which is fixed at 21 years of age. “Article 221, Vol. X, first part of Civil Code: “Article 221. The rights to fully dispose of one's property, to contract
obligations are not acquired before coming of age, that is to say,
before 21 years of age. " Question. Is military service claimed if it matures while a subject is
abroad and after he has sworn allegiance to another country? And
what are the penalties for failure to return and perform such service? "Answer. By virtue of article 3 of the Regulation of Military Service,
persons above 15 years of age can not ask supreme permission to avoid the duties incumbent upon Russian subjects before having acquitted their military obligations. Persons who have attained the age of 20 years and over, who sojourn abroad, are notified to respond to the military service. In case they fail to respond to this call, they entail the penalties indicated in the above-mentioned article 326
of the Penal Code. “Question 5. What is the status, in the foregoing respect, of the children
and further descendants born in the country to which the father may have sworn allegiance or in which he may have acquired citi
zenship, as herein contemplated ? " Question 6. Can any of these descendants inherit property or in any way
acquire title to property in the Empire? "Answer to questions 5 and 6. The children of a Russian subject, born in
legitimate marriage, even in the case their father may have lost his civil rights, are considered as Russian subjects and have a right to hold property in the Empire, whether by succession or by any other
legal means of acquisition.” The Russian legation at Washington having informed a naturalized citizen of the United States of Russian origin, who sought permission to revisit his native land, that “ every one who left Russia before his enlistment in the army on his return to that country must serve his term, which is five years," the Russian Government, in response to an inquiry by the United States, stated that the five years' military serv. ice was “not in lieu of the penalties established by article 325 of the Penal Code for unlawful abandonment of Russian subjection. All the subjects of the Empire, without distinction of religion, are held to serve during that time under the flag."
Count Lamsdorff, Imp. ministry of for. aff., to Mr. Hitchcock, U. S. min.,
Dec. 8/20, 1897, For. Rel. 1897, 438, 439.
“ I have the honor to inform you that it is a punishable offense under Russian law for a Russian to become a citizen of any other country without Imperial consent, and that, consequently, this Government can not encourage American citizens whom the law might affect to expect immunity from its operations if they place themselves within its sphere.