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LEHMANN v. ACHESON

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA


February 6, 1953

LEHMANN
v.
ACHESON, Secretary of State

The opinion of the court was delivered by: CLARY

Albert Hermann Lehmann, plaintiff, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 2, 1921, of parents who were Swiss nationals, acquired dual nationality under the laws of the United States and of Switzerland. In 1924, at the age of three years, he was taken by his mother to live with her in Switzerland, his father continuing to reside in the United States. The father was naturalized in Philadelphia in 1928. In 1939, at the age of eighteen years, plaintiff registered for service in the Swiss Army under the compulsory military service laws of that country. He never registered as an American citizen with the American Consulate, although the record of this case indicates that the preponderant majority of American citizens residing in the consular district of Switzerland in which he lived had a record of such registration. After physical examination preparatory to entering into the Swiss Army in 1941, when Switzerland was completely surrounded by countries at war, he testified that he made a visit to the American Consulate in Basel, Switzerland, his home city, and made casual inquiry at that office as to whether he could enlist there for service in the United States Air Force. He was informed that the Consulate could not enlist anyone for service in the United States Army and further that if he desired to enlist to go through France to Spain and make his own way to America for that purpose. He testified that he then stated to a clerk at the Consulate that he had been born in the United States, but when asked for proof of such birth not only failed to furnish it but failed to inquire how he could establish his American birth. His testimony indicates that he then knew and had known for many years of his dual nationality. Thereafter, in July of 1941, he entered the Swiss Army and served therein during the years and for the following periods of time: 1941 School of Recruits 118 days 1941 Active service 27 " 1942 " 156 " 1943 " 61 " 1944 " 102 " 1945 " 34 " 1947 Refresher course 13 "

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