(Austria) Austria to Grant Citizenship to Descendants of Victims of Holocaust #general
Jan Meisels Allen
As reported in several international newspapers, last week the Austrian
Parliament voted unanimously to give descendants of the Holocaust who fled
the country before 1955, eligibility for citizenship under the new law. The
amended change in the law is the date of 1955 rather than 1945, the year
World War ll ended. Previously only Holocaust survivors were eligible for
citizenship. The reason 1955 is important is because the definition of a
victim of Nazi persecution has been extended to include people who left the
country for up to ten years after the end of the Second World War. This
allows those interned in concentration camps who did not leave immediately
after the end of the war can now regain their nationality. The law becomes
effective September 1, 2020.
The bill was originally voted by a broad majority last May as previously
reported, but due to former Chancellor Kurtz's coalition collapsing earlier
this year its passage was prevented. As reported, children, grandchildren,
and great- grandchildren of those who fled may apply for citizenship.
The only people prevented >from Austrian citizenship are those convicted of a
violent crime or financial misdemeanors or those with "a negative attitude
towards Austrian democracy."
Descendants of nationals >from other countries of the now defunct
Austro-Hungarian Empire who lived in Austria are also eligible. Today that
is >from the Czech Republic to beyond Croatia in 1918.
The bill also makes an exception to strict rules about dual nationality,
granting passports without the need to reside in Austria or give up previous
All parties agreed to the law.
I have no more information on this other than what was reported. Please do
not ask me for any for any further information. If you need more information
contact the Austrian General Counsel in your county.
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee