File No. 351.117/103

Chargé Bliss to the Secretary of State

No. 3724

Sir: I have the honor to report the case of one Leon Karger who recently invoked the good offices of the Embassy to obtain the cancellation of his name from the French military rolls. This the French Government finally consented to do in response to the Embassy’s representations, as Karger’s case plainly fell under one of the categories of exemption from military service recognized by the French authorities. The circumstances of the case are as follows:

Leon Karger, whose mother was a German subject, was born in Paris on March 22, 1894, the son of Nathan Karger, of Russian origin, who was naturalized as an American citizen on November 21, 1877. Leon Karger, after opting before the French Consul General at New York for the American nationality, upon obtaining his majority, set out for France. Upon reaching Paris he was requested to present himself before the Bureau de Recrutement; he thereupon appealed to the Embassy.

After the case had been explained at the Foreign Office, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs notified the War Office that Karger had established his claim to American citizenship and as such was no longer liable to military service in France.

[Page 274]

For the information of the Department, I enclose herewith the following extract from the French military law under the heading, “The Sons of Foreigners.”

Are considered French, but with the faculty of repudiating their French status in the year following their majority:

Children born in France of foreign parents born abroad who, upon reaching their majority, are domiciled in France;
Minor children of a foreigner who has become a naturalized Frenchman;
Minor children of a Frenchman who, having lost his nationality, becomes reinstated as a French citizen;
Children born in France of a foreign father born abroad and of a mother born in France.

The names of such persons may be removed from the French military rolls even after the Council of Revision, if they repudiate their status as Frenchmen.

I have [etc.]

Robert Woods Bliss