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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