This is the third article in a series about the documents useful to get the Polish Citizenship. After covering the documents proving Polish descent and family ties, this one covers the documents which can’t do the job themselves but still help a lot to recreate your ancestors’ history.
Union of Poles Card / Legitymacja Związku Polaków
In most of the countries where Poles are a minority, branches of Union of Poles or other fraternal organisations are created. These organisations are meant to represent the Poles politically, lobby for them, run social activities, or in any other way integrate and support Poles abroad.
The document itself cannot be a base for the certification of citizenship, as it doesn’t provide any vital info, nor it was given to people based on their nationality. Nevertheless, logically most of the people who had ties with Polish fraternal organisations were of Polish origin.
Look for a card with an inscription “Związek Polaków w ….”
Polish Military Mission of Liquidation ID card
Many post-WWII Polish emigrants were soldiers who also fought abroad, some of them took part in military missions. In general, the military documents are quite useful because as we’ve already written in the previous article (link), to be a Polish soldier you had to be a Pole. It is the same in this case, however you cannot base your claim for certification your citizenship only on this document.
The reason behind the lesser utility of this document is a general problem with all the documents issued abroad, by foreign governments, Polish organisations abroad, etc. because it is always hard to verify on what basis they were issued. To use an example – a consular passport – a document issued by an institution abroad has to be verified. We need to be sure that it was issued with all the necessary formal procedures, but also if there is a proof that the person owing such a passport was for sure a Polish Citizen. We have to remember that most of them were issued during quite turbulent time, when it was hard to obtain all the necessary documents, and it just has to be double-checked.
Certificate of receipt of Virtuti Militari / Zaświadczenie ws. otrzymania Virtuti Militari
Before we analyze why it is useful for the procedure let’s say a few words what is Virtuti Militari.
The War Order of Virtuti Militari is Poland’s highest military decoration for heroism and courage in the face of the enemy at war. It is also one of the oldest in the world still in use.
Therefore, once again we have a document that is certifying great courage of a soldier, a Polish soldier we should add, as it has been given to the Polish soldiers only. If any of your ancestors received Virtuti Military it is not only a good document to use during the procedure, but also a great honour for your family. Also for Lexmotion if you will decide to work with us.
Certificate of being a prisoner of war / Zaświadczenie o byciu jeńcem wojennym
Yet another military document that can be useful on the same basis as the others above. In the document it is written that “It is hereby declared, that the former prisoner of war mr. ………., born in ……. in, ID no. ……, on the basis of the order issued by the President of the Republic of Poland of July 3, 1945 on the extension of the scope of partial demobilization, was indefinitely released from the Polish Armed Forces outside Poland on June 15, 1947.”
Analogies are just obvious, the officer was a Polish soldier, who fought abroad and became a prisoner of war, later released, and did not come back to Poland. But to be a Polish soldier he had to be a Pole. And this is the most important if you want to get Polish citizenship. Yet again we must be very careful with other cases, as it might as well had been just a person captured during war but did not serve in the army, could have been a civilian on a battlefield, member of the resistance movement. Therefore, as you see, the Departament may be sceptical regarding this kind of document and we should have something stronger in hand.
Polish Resettlement Corps Emigration/Repatriation Permit – Zezwolenie na emigrację lub repatriację.
Last but not least we add a document that was authorizing permission for a Polish citizen to move to another country after the war. The story behind this document is actually quite interesting, because of the organisation that had issued it. So what was the Polish Resettlement Corps? British Government formed it in 1946 for members of Polish Armed Forces who had been serving with the British Armed Forces and did not wish or did not have a chance to return to Poland. Even though Polish soldiers fought courageously with the Allies, the Yalta conference has lead to establishing a Soviet puppet government, the Polish Committee of National Liberation and communist regime. All the soldiers who fought in the west, along with those loyal to the Polish government in exile, were left with an apparent choice of returning to Poland and face persecution or remaining in the west. Out of approximately 250,000 soldiers, only 105,000 took the decision to return to Poland.
If you would be searching through your ancestors’ documents the headline for that document is as follows:
POLSKI KORPUS PRZYSPOSOBIENIA I ROZMIESZCZENIA
POLSKA SEKCJA PRZYSPOSOBIENIA I ROZMIESZCZENIA – A.T.S.
ZEZWOLENIE NA EMIGRACJĘ LUB REPATRIACJĘ
The logic behind using this document in the procedure is similar to most of the military documents – to fight in Polish Armed Forces you had to be Polish.
You’ve got other documents? Not sure if you have documents strong enough to secure yourself Polish Citizenship?
Firstly, read our post about the strong documents that can themselves get you through the procedure. However, there is no better way to be sure if you are able to get the Polish Citizenship Certificate than to take our free eligibility test and show us the documents you have. This way you have the legal experts who made countless successful procedures on your side, and what is also important – who are based in Poland and act quickly if there will be a need to search for documents or take other necessary action.