Note by John Zube

      The Cosmopolitan Union

Note by John Zube

This is my rough translation of the German original, an advertisement in a German magazine (Radikaler Geist), in 1930. This association was suppressed by the Nazis before it could grow to any considerable size.

I know of only three former members.

  1. Werner Ackermann, who signed for it, later managed to escape the Nazis and was among other things a writer in South Africa, still under considerable restrictions there. His earlier correspondence with Ulrich von Beckerath, mainly on minority rights, filled two arch lever files and is presumably lost. Beckerath’s part of it was burned in an air raid in 1943.

  2. Ulrich von Beckerath, 1882–1969, who, I suspect, greatly assisted in this draft. It very much looks like his style for proposing new associations.

  3. My father, Kurt Zube, 1905 -1991.

With Hitler’s rise to power this association was, naturally, dissolved. It had about 60 members. Beckerath reported that even after it had existed for a considerable time, many members were still shocked when they were brought to realize that it implied a competitive juridical court system as well. They had automatically assumed that a territorial State would always exist to provide them with such services — or disservices. My father, presumably, first learned to know Ulrich von Beckerath in this association and suggested to me, back in 1952, that I pay him a visit. I did, and it greatly changed my life and my ideas for the better. He influenced my thinking much more than my father, any schooling, training or general reading did. I’ve never met, heard about or read about another person who was so full of constructive and rightful ideas in the social sciences. That may have been one of the main reasons why he remained largely unknown.

The Cosmopolitan Union

Membership in the Cosmopolitan Union is free. Its members support — without any personal obligation — the following basic demands of the Cosmopolitan Union:

  1. Everyone has the right to secede from the State (compare: withdrawal from a church).

  2. Cosmopolites (people who have voluntarily renounced their State membership) possess the right to migrate, settle, and work everywhere.

  3. Persons who have lost their nationality against their will may, by simple option, become either Cosmopolites or members of a State.

  4. The State recognizes as rightful a condition of non-membership and recognizes Cosmopolites as an international minority according to modern international law.

  5. The State respects the independence of a protective association for Cosmopolites and recognizes its right to conclude treaties. This protective association may open branches with consular rights.

  6. Cosmopolitan passports and personal documents issued by the protective association to its registered members are to be recognized by all State departments.

  7. In case of war Cosmopolites are to be considered as neutral foreigners. The State has neither in peace nor during times of war a right to infringe freedom and property rights of Cosmopolites. Cosmopolites may not be forced to serve in the armed forces or auxiliary war services of a State, to contribute to war taxes or other expenses connected with a war effort.

  8. Nobody may be coerced in any form and under any pretence to retain his nationality, not even in wartime.

  9. The State respects the independence of cosmopolitan benevolent and mutual benefit associations like welfare centres, insurance companies, banking institutions, associations for legal protection, archives, educational and training institutions, hospitals, homes for aged people, etc. The State will not force any institutions or services upon Cosmopolites which the Cosmopolites are willing and capable to supply themselves or which they do not desire.

  10. The State will investigate further demands resulting from the above fundamental principles of the Cosmopolitan Union. Upon application by their protective association it will enter into negotiations concerning an extension of the treaties concluded between them. Regulations concerning the detailed application of the above principles, including rules for the period of transition, will be worked out between the State and the Cosmopolitan Union.