Refusal of military service and the loss of Polish citizenship in the years 1918 - 1924
The temporary law on universal compulsory military service was in force from October 28, 1918 to November 19, 1924. Under this law, military service was the duty of every citizen of the Polish State and this obligation had to be fulfilled personally.
The obligation to perform active military service started on 1 January of the year in which the obligated person turned 20 and lasted, as a rule, 2 years.
Compared to the later acts regulating the universal military duty, the provisional act on universal compulsory military service of 1918 did not provide for any sanctions in the event of refusal of military service. This means that a person obliged to serve, who, for example, by arbitrarily leaving a unit or a military position, refused to serve, did not lose Polish citizenship.
Two years later, the law of February 20, 1920, on penalties for violating the provisions on general duty of military service, entered into force. This law introduced penal provisions which provided for consistency for people who refused to perform service or attempted to avoid it by other illegal means. The penalties provided for in the act are usually arrest or imprisonment (for the worst offenses up to 10 years imprisonment).
However, the sanction for refusing to serve was still not the loss of Polish citizenship.