Minderheitenschutzvertrag 1919

Minderheitenschutzvertrag vom 28. Juni 1919 zwischen den alliierten Mächten und Polen

Zweite Polnische Republik


The Principal Allied and Associated Powers, on the one hand;

And POLAND, on the other hand;

Whereas the Allied and Associated Po­wers have by the success of their arms restored to the Polish nation the independence of which it had been unjustly deprived; and

Whereas by the proclamation of March 30, 1917, the Government of Russia assented to the reestablishment of an independent Polish State; and

Whereas the Polish State, which now in fact exercises sovereignty over those portions of the former Russian Empire which are inhabited by a majority of Poles, has already been recognized as a sovereign and independent State by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers; and

Whereas under the Treaty of Peace concluded with Germany by the Allied and Associated Powers, a Treaty of which Poland is a signatory, certain portions of the former German Empire will be incorporated in the territory of Poland; and

Whereas under the terms of the said Treaty of Peace, the boundaries of Poland not already laid down are to be subsequently determined by the Principal Allied and Associated Powers;

The United States of America, the British Empire, France, Italy and Japan, on the one hand, confirming their recognition of the Polish State, constituted within the said limits as a sovereign and independent member of the Family of Nations, and beign [sic!] anxious to ensure the execu­tion of the provisions of Article 93 of the said Treaty of Peace with Germany;

Poland, on the other hand, desiring to conform her institutions to the principles of liberty and justice, and to give a sure guarantee to the inhabitants of the territory over which she has assumed sove­reignty; […]


Article 1.

Poland undertakes that the stipulations contained in Articles 2 to 8 of this Chapter shall be recognized as fundamental laws, and that no law, regulation or official ac­tion shall conflict or interfere with these stipulations, nor shall any law, regulation or official action prevail over them.

Article 2.

Poland undertakes to assure full and complete protection of life and liberty to all inhabitants of Poland without distin­ction of birth, nationality, language, race or religion.

All inhabitants of Poland shall be entitled to the free exercise, whether public or private, of any creed, religion or belief, whose practices are not inconsistent with public order or public morals.

Article 3.

Poland admits and declares to be Polish nationals ipso facto and without the requirement of any formality German, Austrian, Hungarian, or Russian nationals habitually resident at the date of the coming into force of the present Treaty in territory which is or may be recognized as forming part of Poland, but subject to any provisions in the Treaties of Peace with Germany or Austria respectively relating to persons who became resident in such territory after a specified date.

Nevertheless the persons referred to above who are over eighteen years of age will be entitled under the conditions contained in the said Treaties to opt for any other nationality which may be open to them. Option by a husband will cover his wife and option by parents will cover their children under eighteen years of age.

Persons who have exercised the above right to opt must, except where it is otherwise provided in the Treaty of Peace with Germany, transfer within the succeeding twelve months their place of residence to the State for which they have opted. They will be entitled to retain their immovable property in Polish territory. They may carry with them their movable property of every description. No export duties may be imposed upon them in connection with the removal of such pro­perty.

Article 4.

Poland admits and declares to be Po­lish nationals ipso facto and without the requirement of any formality persons of German, Austrian, Hungarian or Rus­sian nationality who were born in the said territory of parents habitually resident there, even if at the date of the coming into force of the present Treaty they are not themselves habitually resident there.

Nevertheless, within two years after the coming into force of the present Treaty, these persons may make a declaration before the competent Polish authorities in the country in which they are resident, stating that they abandon Polish nationality, and they will then cease to be considered as Polish nationals. In this connection a declaration by a husband will cover his wife, and a declaration by pa­rents will cover their children under eighteen years of age.

Article 5.

Poland undertakes to put no hindrance in the way in the exercise of the right which the persons concerned have, under the Treaties concluded or to be concluded by the Allied and Associated Powers with Germany, Austria, Hungary or Russia, to choose whether or not they will acquire Polish nationality.

Article 6.

Ail persons born in Polish territory who are not born nationals of another State shall ipso facto become Polish na­tionals.

Article 7.

All Polish nationals shall be equal before the law and shall enjoy the same ci­vil and political rights without distinction as to race, language or religion.

Differences of religion, creed or con­fession shall not prejudice any Polish na­tional in matters relating to the enjoyment of civil or political rights, as for instance admission to public employments, functions and honors, or the exercise of professions and industries.

No restriction shall be imposed on the free use by any Polish national of any language in private intercourse, in com­merce, in religion, in the press or in publications of any kind, or at public mee­tings.

Notwithstanding any establishment by the Polish Government of an official lan­guage, adequate facilities shall be given to Polish nationals of non-Polish speech for the use of their language, either orally or in writing, before the courts.

Article 8.

Polish nationals who belong to racial, religious or linguistic minorities shall en­joy the same treatment and security in law and in fact as the other Polish natio­nals. In particular they shall have an equal right to establish, manage and control at their own expense charitable, religious and social institutions, schools and other educational establishments, with the right to use their own language and to exercise their religion freely therein.

Article 9.

Poland will provide in the public educational System in towns and districts in which a considerable proportion of Polish nationals of other than Polish speech are residents adequate facilities for ensuring that in the primary schools the instruction shall be given to the children of such Po­lish nationals through the medium of their own language. This provision shall not prevent the Polish Government from making the teaching of the Polish language obligatory in the said schools.

In towns and districts where there is a considerable proportion of Polish natio­nals belonging to racial, religious or linguistic minorities, these minorities shall be assured an equitable share in the enjoyment and application of the sums which may be provided out of public funds under the State, municipal or other bud­get, for educational, religious or charita­ble purposes.

The provisions of this Article shall apply to Polish citizens of German speech only in that part of Poland which was German territory on August, 1914.

Article 10.

Educational Committees appointed locally by the Jewish communities of Poland will, subject to the general control of the State, provide for the distribution of the proportional share of public funds allocated to Jewish shoots in accordance with Article 9, and for the organization and management of these schools.

The provisions of Article 9 concerning the use of languages in schools shall apply to these schools.

Article 11.

Jews shall not be compelled to perform any act which constitutes a violation of their Sabbath, nor shall they be placed under any disability by reason of their re­fusal to attend courts of law or to perform any legal business on their Sabbath. This provision however shall not exempt Jews from such obligations as shall be imposed upon all other Polish citizens for the necessary purposes of military service, national defense or the preservation of public order.

Poland declares her intention to refrain from ordering or permitting elections whether general or local, to be held on a Saturday, nor will registration for electoral or other purposes be compelled to be performed on a Saturday.

Article 12.

Poland agrees that the stipulations in the foregoing Articles, so far as they affect persons belonging to racial, religious or linguistic minorities, constitute obliga­tions of international concern and shall be placed under the guarantee of the League of Nations. They shall not be modified without the assent of a majority of the Council of the League of Nations. The United States, the British Empire, France, Italy and Japan hereby agree not to withhold their assent from any modification in these Articles which is a due form assented to by a majority of the Council of the League of Nations.

Poland agrees that any Member of the Council of the League of Nations shall have the right to bring to the attention of the Council any infraction, or any danger of infraction, of any of these obligations, ad that the Council may thereupon take such action and give such direction as it may deem proper and effective in the circumstances.

Poland further agrees that any difference of opinion as to questions of law or fact arising out of these Articles between the Polish Government and any one of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers or any other Power a Member of the Council of the League of Nations, shall be held to be a dispute of an internatio­nal character under Article 14 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. The Po­lish Government hereby consents that any such dispute shall, if the other party thereto demands, be referred to the Perma­nent Court of International Justice The decision of the Permanent Court shall be final and shall have the same force and effect as an award under Article 13 of the Covenant.

Minderheitenschutzvertrag 1919, in: Dziennik Ustaw Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej [Gesetzblatt der Polnischen Republik], Nr. 110 (1920), Pos. 728, S. 1933-1946. 
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Minderheitenschutzvertrag 1919, in: Herder-Institut (Hrsg.): Dokumente und Materialien zur ostmitteleuropäischen Geschichte. Themenmodul "Zweite Polnische Republik", bearb. von Heidi Hein-Kircher. URL: https://www.herder-institut.de//digitale-angebote/dokumente-und-materialien/themenmodule/quelle/12/details.html (Zugriff am )