Citizenship until further notice? Refugees and revocation of nationality in the 20th century

Prague, November 19-20, 2019
Venue: Villa Lanna (V Sadech 1, 160 00 Prague 6)
Organized by:
Claire Zalc, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris
Michal Frankl, Masaryk Institute and Archives of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague

Statelessness has been recognized as one of the major maladies of the 20th century. Historians, lawyers, political philosophers and others took a critical aim at the the exclusionary power of the nation state and decried the position of those stripped of their passport and rights. A stateless refugee, without state protection and possibly relying on a “Nansen passport”, become the symbol of exclusion from polity. The revocation of citizenship was no inconsequential step and could equal to decision about life and death.

Yet the processes and decision making behind becoming stateless were mostly studied on a national level, for instance for refugees from Nazi Germany or the denaturalizations by Vichy France. Moreover, the scholarship leaned towards European and – with the troubled exceptions of the Soviet or Romanian denationalization – mostly “Western” nation states with only a limited amount of comparative research exploring the phenomenon globally, in its colonial dimensions, and over a longer temporal span. The workshop will bring together scholars to discuss mass denationalization in the 20th century from a comparative and transnational perspective, combining macro- as well as microhistorical approaches.

Programme Citizenship_until_further_notice_program

November 19, 2019

9:30 – 10:00
Claire ZALC (Paris) / Michal FRANKL (Prague)

10:00 – 11:20
Revocation – a companion of modern citizenship?
Chair: Rudolf KUČERA (Prague)

Eric LOHR (Washington, DC): The Soviet Great Denaturalization in Historical Context

Yaron JEAN (Beersheba): A System without Order: Travel Documents and Mass Statelessness in Europe after World War I

Coffee break 11:20 – 11:40

Categories of exclusion I
Chair: Ágnes KELEMEN (Prague/Budapest)

Alina BOTHE (Berlin): „Staatenlos durch Ausbürgerung“ – The de-naturalization of naturalized Jews with Eastern European heritage in Germany from 1933 onwards

Claire ZALC (Paris): How to denaturalize Jews under the Vichy France (1940-1944)? The administrative routinization of everyday anti-Semitism

Lunch 13:00 – 14:00

14:00 – 16:00
Categories of exclusion II
Chair: Věra HONUSKOVÁ (Prague)

Elif BECAN (Paris): “Although he is of Christian religion…”. Deprivation of citizenship in post-Ottoman Turkey and the case of Sabri Mahir Bey

Ion POPA (Manchester): Churches and the Revocation of Nationality for Jews: The Case of the Romanian Orthodox Church and Its Patriarch/Prime Minister Miron Cristea

Maggie PAUL (Adelaide): Insecurization and the Citizenship regime: Politics of insecurity around Bangladeshi Migrants in India

Coffee break 16:00 – 16:20

16:20 – 17:40
(Dis)Loyalty and citizenship
Kateřina KRÁLOVÁ (Prague)

Ibrahim KAYA (Istanbul): Denaturalization of ‘Escapees’ in Times of Coup D’Etat in Turkey

Nikola KARASOVÁ (Prague): The Revocation of Greek Citizenship of Greek Civil War Refugees: The Case of Czechoslovakia

November 20, 2019

9:30 – 10:50
Stateless trajectories 1
Chair: Thomas CHOPARD (Paris)

Nathalie MOINE (Paris): Successful emigrant entrepreneurs, siblings’ trajectories and the impact of the denaturalization policy in Vichy France

Vincent ARTUSO (Luxembourg), Jakub BRONEC (Luxembourg), Georges BÜCHLER (Luxembourg), Marc GLODEN (Luxembourg), Denis SCUTO (Luxembourg): Six Jewish stateless families between the millstones of the Luxembourg authorities

Coffee break 10:50 – 11:10

11:10 – 12:30
Stateless trajectories 2
Chair: Dieter HECHT (Vienna)
Marie BOSSAERT (Rome): “I would like to get my true nationality – the Italian one – back: applications for Italian citizenship and protection during the occupation of Istanbul (1919-1923)”

Sima VELKOVICH (Jerusalem): Polish citizenship as a way to freedom: changing personal story in the documents of Jewish refugees from the USSR right after WWII

Lunch 12:30 – 13:30

13:30 – 15:30
Contesting denaturalization
Chair: Claire ZALC

Ségolène PLYER (Strasbourg): Ascribing Czechoslovakian citizenship to ex-Wehrmacht soldiers? Practices regarding the repatriation of prisoners of war after 1945 at the Ministry of Interior in Prague

Laure BLÉVIS (Paris): Nationality revocations and Immigrants judicial appeals in post WWII France

Michal FRANKL (Prague): “Appalling moral blow.” Polish Jews appeal the 1938 revocation of citizenship

Coffee break 15:30 – 15:50

15:50 – 17:10
Colonial and post-colonial dimensions

Laura Maria FREY (Basel): Disputed Citizenship. Black families in Germany, 1918-1933

Luan STAPHORST (Port Elizabeth): Between Revoking and Invoking Citizenship: the problematic intersection of Apartheid South Africa, Pass Laws and the Post-Colonial Condition

17:10 – 17:50
Conclusion and final discussion

The workshop is supported by the Czech Science Foundation, project “Citizens of the No Man’s Land”, no 18-16793S, and the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (France) TREMPLIN project, no 18-ERC1-0003-01. It is organized in cooperation with the ERC Consolidator project “Unlikely refuge?” ( and the ERC Consolidator project “LUBARTWORLD”.

To participate, please register via email at

Citer ce billet
AFEBalk-2 (2019, 4 novembre). Citizenship until further notice? Refugees and revocation of nationality in the 20th century. AFEBalk. Consulté le 30 mai 2024, à l’adresse