What nationality is my Grandmother - addition/clarification

Debby Gincig Painter

Unfortunately the two remaining Aunts now have Alzheimer's and so I rely on notes, info from Dortmund Archives, and a cousin for the following:

In response to below questions:
My Grandparents were considered stateless on their WWII ID cards and deportation records. My Grandparents moved to France after they were married in about 1924 and unsure what their citizenship status was there - hence my original post. My mother and her sisters were born in France, so French citizens.

Family still in Germany were French in 1921, Prussian in 1936, French in 1941. 

An Uncle who survived (born in Germany) was considered French Jew by the Germans on papers as well as his displaced person ID but it was later changed to German Jew by US officials because of a letter from Dortmund (1949) stating his parents were both German.

Debby Painter

To the original poster - 

It is not entirely clear from your wording, so I'm asking this for clarification: In 1941, who was considered stateless by the French government? Was it your mother and your sisters? Or was it only your father from Poland? Also, can you clarify which individuals were deported in 1941, and which were able to stay in France?

It sounds like the German government considered your mother to be a French citizen simply because she was born on territory in 1905 that was ceded to France after WW I. However, it seems like the French government in 1941 considered your mother to either be a German citizen (because she was born in territory at the time part of Germany in 1905) or stateless because she and her family had fled Germany for France.

Eva Lawrence

Until well after World War 2, a woman automatically took the nationality of her husband. While this may not have been the case under French law it was certainly the case under German law. By marrying a Polish husband, your grandmother became a Polish citizen in the eyes of the German authorities, irrespective of where she was born, unlike her children, who were born in France under French rule. 
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.

Lorraine Minor

You might be interested in reading the book "House of Glass" by Hadley Freeman. She discusses the citizenship status of Jews who immigrated to France after WWI and what happened to them during WWII.

Lorraine Minor

David Harrison <djh_119@...>

A Great Grandfather who was naturalised in England applied before the start of WW1 and included a son who was killed in France before the papers were completed.  Children were on the list but not the wife who was assumed with the husband.  likewise with a Grandfather on the other side just after WW1; he died during WW2 (but not from the war), I was told by an Archivist at Kew (London) that if his widow had not died within the year her implied naturalisation would have lapsed.  So, check at a relevant Archive.
David Harrison
Birmingham, England