The documents in this section, found in archives in Germany and the Unites States, mark the various stages of the Grunwald family's difficult emigration. Through these papers, we see how the Grunwalds' German citizenship was first qualified and then stripped away completely, as it was from all German Jews, and how they established American citizenship after arriving in their new home. 

German Passport (Reisepass)

On October 5, 1938, the Reich Ministry of the Interior invalidated the passports of all German Jews, requiring that their documents identify them as Jews, separate from the rest of the German population. Trude Grunwald's German passport, which she received in Wuppertal on January 25, 1939, bears two telltale signs: the first, and most prominent, is the red "J" stamped on the first page, which marks her as a Jude, or Jew. The second is the name that appears on the passport, "Gertrud Sara Grunewald," in accordance with a law passed in August 1938 demanding that Jewish women with first names of "non-Jewish" origin (like Gertrud) append the name "Sara" to their given names. 

This passport documents the weeks before the Grunwald family emigrated to the United States. The stamps show that Trude exchanged reichmarks for US dollars (in the amount of $4) on February 7, 1939; received an immigration visa from the American vice consul at Stuttgart on February 8, 1939; and arrived in Hamburg on February 15, 1939. From their ship manifest, we know that the family set sail for New York that same day.


German Citizenship Annulment

These index cards document the annulment of the Grunwald (then Grunewald) family's German nationality, as a result of the Reich Citizenship Law, one of the Nuremberg Laws of 1938. The law decreed that Jews in Germany were not citizens but “subjects of the state.” The index cards, photographed in 1959 at the Berlin Document Center, contain each individual's name, date of birth, birthplace, occupation, and last address.

U.S. Naturalization

Fred and Trude Grunwald's US naturalization files consist of three documents each: a Certificate of Arrival, a Declaration of Intention, and a Petition for Naturalization. The Certificates of Arrival, dated June 28, 1939, verify that the Grunwalds entered the country four months prior. The Declaration of Intention documents, dated July 12, 1939, state the Grunwalds' intent to become permanent American citizens, renouncing their allegiance to any foreign governments. The Petition of Naturalization papers, filed on May 5, 1944, serve as formal applications for citizenship. Dr. Irving Frisch and his wife, Florence Frisch, signed these documents as witnesses to the fact that the Grunwalds had lived in the United States for five years, thus meeting the requirements for citizenship.

Chicago Manual of Style
citation for this page
"Citizenship Documents." Loss and Restitution: The Story of the Grunwald Family Collection. Los Angeles: Hammer Museum, 2017. https://​​collections/​grunwald-center-collection/​loss-and-restitution-the-story-of-the-grunwald-family-collection/​grunwald-family-history/​citizenship-documents/​.