SWISS
CITIZENSHIP
239
Für heute aber
ists
genug,
sonst
necken mich meine Alten
zu
viel,
weil ich
ohne Antwort
so
viel schreibe.
Herzliche Grüße
&
auf frohes Wiedersehen!
Ihr
Albert.
SWISS CITIZENSHIP
Einstein had been stateless for almost four
years
(see
Doc.
16)
when
he
began
the
intricate
process
of
applying
for
Swiss
citizenship
toward the end of
1899.
He
com-
pleted
it well
over a
year
later.
According
to his
sister,
Einstein's decision
to be-
come a
citizen
was
prompted
by
his
admiration for the
Swiss
confederation's
political
system.[1]
More
practical
reasons
may
have
played
a
role
in
the
timing
of his decision:
he
was
nearing graduation,
and
Swiss
citizenship
would make
positions
in
the
civil
service, including
teaching positions,
available
to him.
He had also saved
enough
money
to
pay
the
required fees[2]
and
met
the federal
and Zurich cantonal residence
requirements.[3]
Anyone
who
acquires
cantonal and
municipal citizenship automatically
becomes
a
Swiss citizen. But
an
application
for the former
two
can
only
be
made with the
approval
of the Federal Council
(Bundesrat),
the
highest
executive
in
the confedera-
tion.[4]
Einstein
requested
that
approval
on
19
October
(Doc.
60),
enclosing
a
certi-
ficate
of residence and
good
conduct
(Doc.
59).
These
were
the
first in
a
sizable
collection of documents
pertaining
to his
citizenship application
that
accumulated
in
various
government
dossiers
over
the
next
sixteen months.
On
27
November
1899
the cantonal
police
submitted the
required report
of
good
conduct,
dated
9
November, to
the Federal Prosecutor's
Office
(Bundesanwaltschaft),
which
noted
that
the
report
was "günstig."[5]
Hermann Einstein
gave
the notarized
permission required
of
a
minor's
guardian,[6]
which Einstein transmitted
to
the
Depart-
ment
of
Foreign
Affairs
(Politisches Department)
(see
Doc.
62).
The Federal Council
[1] She states
that
he
did
not
become
a
citi-
zen
for
utilitarian
reasons,
but "mit der inner-
lichen
Übereinstimmung
seiner
politischen
Überzeugung
mit dem Geist der schweizeri-
schen
demokratischen
Verfassung"
(see
Winteler-Einstein
1924,
pp.
19-20).
[2]
He had been
saving money
from
his
allowance
during
his
years
at
the ETH
(ibid.,
pp. 17,
20; Kayser 1930,
p. 53).
[3] Two
years
of
regular ("ordentliche")
res-
idence
were
required
(Sammlung 1877, p. 511,
states
the
federal
requirement;
Gemeindegesetz
1875,
p.
530,
states
the cantonal
requirement).
[4] See
the
Swiss federal statute
of
3
July
1876,
Article
4
(Sammlung
1877,
p.
511).
[5] The cantonal
police report
of
9
Novem-
ber
by
Corporal
Emil
Schlumpf,
the
covering
letter of
27
November
by
Dr. Johann
Stoessel,
director of the Cantonal
police,
and the
"fa-
vorable"
report
of
the Prosecutor's
Office
are
all in
Sz-Ar,
E
21/23560.
[6]
His
declaration of
10 January
1900
is
in
ibid.
The
stipulation
appears
in Schweizer-
isches
Bundesblatt
32,
no.
47
(6
November
1880):
272.
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