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The Genealogical Research Division of

Jews Who Received Haitian Nationality in Absentia

Introduction by Nolan Altman


Under President Sténio Vincent, Haiti’s immigration policies were relatively liberal. Beginning in 1937, Haitian diplomats issued several hundred entry visas for Jewish refugees from Germany. In 1938, the Haitian foreign minister offered to take in 50,000 Jewish refugees. However, this offer is rescinded in January 1939, following intervention by the US Department of State, which fears that the refugees will travel onward from Haiti to the US.

In May 1939, President Vincent decrees that naturalization in absentia is to be permitted at Haiti’s consulates. This is, however, contingent on proving an amount of capital to be invested in Haitian agriculture and industry – the necessary sum grows ever larger. This too means that only a comparatively small number of Jewish refugees find permanent sanctuary in the Caribbean country. For most refugees from Europe, Haiti serves only as a transit country on their way to the US.

This is a list of those the succeeded in obtaining citizenship in absentia according to the May 1939 President Vincent decree.  However, where indicated, many had their citizenship in absentia rescinded in August 1942 by the Decree Law of August 5, 1942.  Quoted in Bulletin des lois et actes, 15 Septembre 1942-15 Septembre 1943 pp 154-155.


This database consists of 130 individuals who obtained Haitian citizenship in May 1939.

The fields in the database are:

  • Surname
  • Given Name
  • Maiden Name
  • Spouse’s Name
  • Lost Haitian Nationality
  • Haitian Consulate Location
  • Dates – Dates could represent date of request for Haitian nationality, date at which a Letter of Naturalization was delivered to the person by the Justice Department of Haiti, or date at which the Justice Department of Haiti published an announcement on the official journal “Le Moniteur”.
  • Comments



The original source of the material is the book, “Haiti’s Jewish History” by Joseph Bernard, Jr. We thank him for making his list available to JewishGen. We’d like to thank Eric Feinstein, a JewishGen volunteer, for finding this information.

We’d also like to thank Mike Kalt, Html Volunteer, for placing this description online, and to Nolan Altman, Director of Special Projects and Coordinator of the Holocaust Database, for his continued devotion and dedication to JewishGen's important work.

June, 2021

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