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12 JEHL 154 (2021)
German Citizenship versus Protectorate Membership in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (1939-1945)

handle is hein.journals/jeuhisl12 and id is 383 raw text is: Abstract
As a direct consequence of the Nazi occupation of the Czech lands in 1938-48, the institution of German citizenship (i.e., Reich citizenship
as established by the Nuremburg Race Laws) was introduced in the Czech lands. Pursuant to newly promulgated German laws, ethnic German
inhabitants of the Czech lands became citizens of the territorially expanding Reich in two phases, in 1938 and 1939. In the occupied Czech lands,
ethnic Germans acquired the status of privileged citizens, but nonetheless their rights were signficantly restricted by the totalitarian power of the
Nazi state. In autumn 1939 more than three million people living in the Sudetenland, including come Czechs, became German citizens. After the
establishment of the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia on 15 March 1939 the institution of German citizenship penetrated the Czech interior,
where ethnic Germans comprised only 2 % of the population. For the Czech inhabitants of the Protectorate, the occupiers created a citizenship status
known as Protectorate membership because, in the eyes of the Germans, the Czechoslovak state, and hence Czechoslovak citizenship, had ceased to
exist. Czechs, who became Protectorate members, were denied apolitical rights<< and the right to govern their own country. They became mere inhabit-
ants of a territory. In 1939-45 two legal systems, one for Germans and one for Czechs, and two analogous administrative and judicial systems
existed side by side in the Protectorate. Legal historians refer to this unusual situation as legal dualism.
Keywords: Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia; Third Reich; citizenship; political rights.

1. Introduction
Nazi Germany's expansionism at the expense of Czechoslo-
vakia in 1938 and 1939 resulted in the introduction of the in-
stitution of Reich citizenship throughout the entire territory of
the Czech lands. More than 3,400,000 Czechoslovak citizens
became Reich citizens.' The vast majority were ethnic Germans
from the Czechoslovak borderlands [the Sudetenland], which
were annexed by Germany on the basis of the Munich Agree-
ment in autumn 1938. To a lesser extent, members of the Ger-
man minority from the Czech interior also became Reich citi-
zens after the establishment of the Protectorate of Bohemia and
Moravia in spring 1939.
The occupying Germans introduced in the newly founded
Protectorate the institution of Protectorate membership for
former Czechoslovak citizens who did not acquire German
citizenship. Protectorate membership, which was primarily
intended for Czechs as well as people of Jewish descent per-
secuted under Nazi racial laws, was an important part of the
highly complicated mechanism of legal dualism that the Na-
zis established in the Protectorate. From spring 1939 onward,
two legal systems existed side by side in the occupied Czech
interior, a German one and a Protectorate one, the latter of

which was based on Czechoslovakia's prewar legal system.
Analogously, there were also two administrative systems in
place.2
Citizenship, whether in the form of German citizenship or
Protectorate membership, in the occupied Czech lands governed
political rights, and it also determined the career opportuni-
ties and social status of different members of Protectorate so-
ciety. Citizenship status determined which inhabitants of the
Czech lands had to perform military duty,3 it dictated in which
state enterprises or public administration systems the inhabit-
ants of the Protectorate could work (Reich or Protectorate), it
defined to whom certain laws applied (German or Protectorate
legislation), and it delineated the authority of administrative
bodies and courts (again Reich or Protectorate) over different
groups of inhabitants. Citizenship status also played a major
role in the rationing system.
In contrast, all inhabitants of the Protectorate regardless of
their citizenship status were required to work, were subject to
the jurisdiction of Reich security forces in matters of political
offenses and were represented internationally by the Reich's
diplomatic missions. There were exceptions for citizens of other
states that Germany recognized as subjects of international law,
that is, Slovakia and Hungary.

* JUDr. Frantisek Emmert, Ph.D., Department of the History of the State and Law, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.
1 GRONSKY, J., Komentovan6 dokumenty k dstavnim de6indm Ceskoslovenska. Praha, 2005, p. 293-297.
2 About the law in the Protectorate, see e.g. SCHELLE, K., TAUCHEN, J., Recht und Verwaltung im Protektorat Bihmen und Mahren. Munchen, 2009.
s This duty applied only to Reich citizens.

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