Mr. White to Mr.
of the United States,
July 27, 1897
(Received August 13.)
Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 4, of the
17th ultimo, and the Department’s reply, Instruction No. 38, July 6 (7),
I have the honor to inform you that the embassy is in receipt of a note
from the Imperial foreign office, dated July 23, 1897, a copy of which,
with translation, is herewith inclosed. From this note it appears that
the German Government confirms its former opinion—that Meyer, being born
in the United States of German parents, the proof of whose
naturalization in America was not forthcoming, was to be regarded as a
German subject and therefore could be held for military duty. Although
the principle [Page 201] is not
relinquished, the aim in this particular case has been accomplished by
the discharge of Meyer as “unfit for service,” and as the Department
suggests (No. 38, July 6, 1897) that it may not be useful to push the
discussion further in this instance,” no further communication in the
case will be addressed to the Imperial foreign office unless specially
ordered by the Department.
I am, etc.,
[Inclosure in No.
Rotenhan to Mr. White.
Referring to the notes of April 30 and June 30, 1897, the undersigned
has the honor to inform his excellency the ambassador extraordinary
and plenipotentiary of the United States of America, Mr. Andrew D.
White, that the request to release Alfred Meyer from service in the
German army has again been thoroughly investigated. If the request
in the note of April 30 last was based on the statements made in the
case of Ferdinand Revermann in a note to the foreign office dated
December 31, 1884, it must be stated that this case in a legal sense
was different from that of Alfred Meyer. With Revermann it was the
case of an American citizen who was born after his father was
naturalized in America, and who therefore never possessed German
nationality, and on his coming to Germany was to be solely regarded
an American citizen. With Alfred Meyer, on the other hand, the
acquisition of American citizenship was based solely on his birth in
the United States, while the naturalization of his father in America
could not be proved. According to investigations made, the latter
remained a Prussian subject until the time of his death. His son,
therefore, also possesses German nationality by descent, and if
through his birth in Baltimore he is considered by the American side
as at the same time an American citizen, it can only be stated that
through his double nationality he will have to fulfill his duties
toward both countries.
Touching the legal point of this so-called subjets mixtes, this
question has been more thoroughly treated in the case of Wizemann,
and the undersigned begs to refer to his note of the 23d ultimo.
If Alfred Meyer is to be regarded as a German subject according to
the laws prevailing in Germany on whom the regulations of the treaty
of February 22, 1868, can not be applied, he can not be liberated
from performing his military duty in Germany.
While the undersigned therefore is not, to his regret, in a position
to comply with the request made, he avails himself, etc.,