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“A German can now come to America, obtain his naturalization papers through the operation of our laws, return to Germany and reside there indefinitely as an American citizen, provided he does not reside the requisite time for renunciation in the territories under the jurisdiction of the particular power of whom he was formerly a subject. It is true that such a course vould be a fraud upon the United States, and a fraud upon the German Empire. We should be deprived of the resources of the naturalized citizen towards the support of the state; Germany would be deprived of the right to call upon him for her defense. It is for the interest of neither to perpetuate this. We are ready on our side to remedy it by extending the provisions of the treaty with North Germany over the Empire, as I have already said; but if our proposition will not be listened to, we must await the return of a better reason.'
Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Bancroft, min. to Germany, June 4, 1873,
For. Rel. 1873, I. 292, 293.
Two years' residence in such cases is merely prima facie proof of abandonment of nationality.
Mr. Fish to Mr. Davis, July 30, 1875, MS. Inst. Germany, XVI. 88; same
to same, June 26, 1876, id. 217.
A lady, born in Prussia, came to the United States in 1852, and in 1856 was married there to a native of Bavaria, who had been naturalized in the United States. The pair resided in the United States till 1862, when, with four children, they went to Wiesbaden, where another child was born. In 1864 the husband died; and in 1869 the widow, with her children, went to Frankfort on the Main, where she afterwards resided. In 1875 she applied to the American legation in Berlin for a passport for herself and her five children. The case having been submitted to the Department of State, the Department held that the applicant, though a native of Prussia, became a citizen of the United States by her marriage with an American citizen, but that, if she came within the provisions of Art. IV. of the treaty of Feb. 22, 1868, she was not entitled to a passport; and that a renewed residence of thirteen years in Germany, begun and continued, as was stated, because of “ having no special business to attend to in the United States," appeared to be, “ unless wonderfully explained," evidence of a permanent residence in the country of origin.
Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Davis, min. to Germany, Sept. 22, 1875,
MS. Inst. Germany, XVI. 101.
Your No. 189 is received. It encloses an announcement that hereafter naturalized Germans who have resided in Germany more than two years shall not be forced into the army immediately upon
the expiration of that time, but shall first be offered an opportunity to return to the United States.
“ The Department has not doubted that the construction given to article 4 of the treaty by both Mr. Bancroft and yourself, viz, that a residence of two years did not of itself forfeit naturalization, but that the question of the intent of the persons was then presented and to be decided according to the facts, was the correct one, and you are to be congratulated that a result has been reached which, if it does not concede all you have claimed as to the proper construction of this article, at least abandons a practice of enforcing the opposite construction which has been insisted on by the German military authorities.
It may not be safe or possible, however, to concede that, in every case which may in the future arise, the German authorities may compel the person to depart or to take service in the army. It is hoped, however, that the announcement referred to, and the manner in which the military laws may in the future be enforced, may prevent the recurrence of further questions."
Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Davis, min. to Germany, No. 140, Nov. 5,
1875, MS. Inst. Germany, XVI. 113.
A native of Prussia, born January 22, 1853, obtained in 1869 his discharge from Prussian allegiance and emigrated to the United States. In 1874 he was naturalized, and immediately returned to Prussia. The authorities ordered him to leave, or to resume his original status, but, on the interposition of the American legation, manifested a willingness to permit him, although he was then engaged in business, to reside for two years without molestation. It seemed probable, however, that at the end of that time he would be ordered to resume his allegiance and to perform his duties as a German, or to depart from the country. With reference to this contingency the Department of State said:
“After he shall have resided in Frankfort for such a time, or under such circumstances as may prove fairly a want of intent to return to the United States, he may be held to have forfeited his naturalization. When this occurs it may be immaterial whether he does or does not owe allegiance to Germany, but it would appear at least that he can not longer claim the right to reside in Germany with all the privileges accorded by the treaty of 1868.”
Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Davis, min. to Germany, No. 256, July 13,
1876, MS. Inst. Germany, XVI. 223.
"A naturalized citizen may forfeit his naturalization before the two years mentioned in the treaty have elapsed. To reach this conclusion, however, in such a case, would require clearer proof than is generally to be derived from silence or from want of a general statement of intention to return. However this may be, it would appear that any person applying for a passport may fairly be required to comply with such proper regulations as have been adopted by the legation, and to make such preliminary statements as are demanded in all cases."
Mr. Fish, Sec. of State, to Mr. Davis, min. to Germany, Nov. 1, 1876, JS.
Inst. Germany, XVI. 249.
“A returned naturalized citizen would be regarded by me during the period of two years' residence in Germany, his original country, as standing on the same footing in all respects as a native citizen of this country visiting Germany, and consequently as receiving the protective intervention of this Government as if he were a native.
“ When, however, the residence of a returned naturalized citizen was continued in Germany beyond the two years, the clause of the treaty which permits the German Government to treat such residence as a renunciation of his naturalization in the United States would take effect upon him. Thereafter this Government would regard protective intervention in his behalf not as a matter of course, but as requiring special considerations to make it proper to insist upon his American citizenship notwithstanding his prolonged residence in his native country had exposed him to the operation of this clause of the treaty. A mere reading of the clause of the treaty will, I think, show this distinction to be necessary.”
Mr. Evarts, Sec. of State, to Mr. Luxon, Nov. 21, 1878, 125 MS. Dom. Let.
“ While the intent to remain in the country of birth may be held to exist after two years' continuous residence, it is in reality not so held : without special circumstances showing either an intent to remain permanently or the absence of all intent to return to the United States."
Mr. Evarts, Sec. of State, to Mr. Williams, of House Committee on For
eign Relations, Feb. 7, 1879, 13 MS. Report Book, 310.
Under the treaty of Feb. 22, 1868," the obligation of this Government to protect you, after your return to Germany, will continue only so long as you retain in good faith an intention to return to the United States to enjoy the rights, bear the burdens, and perform the duties of an American citizen. If, as your letter intimates, you go with the intention of not returning, your exposure to be considered a German citizen will date from your arrival in Germany."
Mr. Evarts, Sec. of State, to Mr. Dietz, March 25, 1880, 132 MS. Dom.
With reference to the question whether, under the Bancroft treaties and similar conventions, a naturalized citizen who, by permanent return to the country of his origin, renounces his naturalization, is held to have resumed his original nationality, the following correspondence may be noted:
A question having arisen in 1884 with regard to the legal status of the American-born sons of Germans who, after naturalization in the United States, returned during the minority of such sons to Germany, bringing their children with them, and established there a permanent residence, the German foreign office said: “ As regards the fathers of such sons, no doubt can exist that they are to be regarded as having renounced their naturalization by a longer sojourn than one or two years, pursuant to the treaties regulating nationality of 1868, concluded with the United States." With reference to this statement, Mr. Frelinghuysen, as Secretary of State, said: “We think it clear that the treaty can not of itself convert an American citizen back again to a German, any more than it can make a German a citizen of the United States. There are, it is believed, many persons now in Germany whose sojourn has extended beyond the term of two years without their being called upon to resume German allegiance.” Replying to this statement, Count Hatzfeldt disclaimed, on the part of his Government, " the really untenable assumption " that the naturalization treaties, in providing for the implied renunciation of naturalization, could have "the effect of restoring at the same time the former nationality.” The German Government was, he declared, rather of opinion that the persons who fell within the conditions of Article IV. of the naturalization treaties with the United States were “ to be reckoned neither as American citizens nor as subjects of the Empire, but as individuals without nationality," who were, however, subject to military duty under section 11 of the imperial military law of May 2, 1874.
German foreign office to Mr. Kasson, American min., Dec. 31, 1881, For.
Rel. 1885, 393 ; Mr. Frelinghuysen, Sec. of State, to Mr. Kasson,
1885, id. 417.
feldt's reply, Mr. Kasson afterwards said: “I called the Secretary's
Mr. Bayard, Sec. of State, May 19, 1885, For. Rel. 1885, 416.)
“ There can be no stronger, no clearer manifestation of intent against the animus revertendi than a man's own declaration followed by the establishment of a permanent domicile in the new country of his choice, and the entry into business there, and remaining in that newly chosen country until his death, over twenty-one years later, It is also a resumption of his original nationality and native allegiance. That is a question in regard to which either the United States or Germany may insist upon its own view of, as it may be held respectively by either Government.
“ It is not materially essential to the determination of the present question, but as is stated by Attorney-General Hoar in the case cited above (Vol. 13, Opinions of Attorneys-General, page 90), is usually determined by the country, claiming affirmatively, when the man is found within that jurisdiction.”
Mr. Frelinghuysen, Sec. of State, to Mr. Kasson, min. to Germany, Janu
ary 15, 1885, For. Rel. 1885, 396, 398.
Henry Joseph Revermann, a native of Germany, emigrated to the United States in 1850. He was naturalized in 1856 in Illinois, and continued to reside there till 1871, when he returned to Germany, taking with him a passport for himself and his family as American citizens. Among his family was a son named Ferdinand, who was born in Illinois in 1860, four years after his father's naturalization. After their return to Germany the Revermanns settled at Münster, in Westphalia, where Ferdinand's name was placed on the military rolls. In 1880 his name was stricken from the rolls on the ground that he was born a citizen of the United States. In October, 1884, however, he was informed that by order of the Royal Government at Münster he must either become naturalized in Germany or leave the country. He remonstrated against this action, but the authorities declined to modify the order. He then appealed to the legation of the United States at Berlin, and on October 31, 1884, Mr. Kasson, then American minister, requested a suspension of action till an investigation might be made. In reply to Mr. Kasson, Dr. Busch, of the German foreign office, stated in a note of December 31, 1884, that investigation had shown that the statements made in respect to Revermann were correct, and that the circumstances were similar to those in the cases of George Weigand (Wiegand) and the brothers Oppenheimer, which were presented in the notes of July 6 and November 8, 1881. Prompted by those cases, the Government had, said Dr. Busch, made a close examination of the legal status of the sons of those Germans who, as naturalized citizens of the United States of America, had during the minority of their sons, born in America, returned in their company to Germany to reside there permanently.” As to the fathers, declared Dr. Busch, there could be no doubt that they were to be regarded as having renounced their naturalization “ by a longer sojourn than one or two years, pursuant to the treaties regulating nationality of 1868, concluded with the United States; " but the German Government had no hesitation in recognizing the sons as American citizens. As such, they could