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(Germany-UK) Germany Relaxes Nationality Law for Descendants of Nazi Victims

Jan Meisels Allen
 

Germany announced that descendants of those who were persecuted by the Nazis will find it easier to regain Germany citizenship. Plans were announced late this week to revise the Nationality law creating new categories of eligibility. The new categories include descendants of women who were forced to emigrate after marrying non-German men. This is being done by decree rather than legislation by the German interior Minister. Some are concerned that by doing this by decree may take longer than by legislation.

 

The German constitution states descendants of Jews or others who were persecuted either religiously or politically, have the right to have their German citizenship reinstated. However, many have been told they are not eligible because their parents or grandparents were forced to flee abroad and their claims were made through a female descendant or because of adoption.

 

This change in policy is partly due to a UK-based group that lobbied the German government for liberalizing the citizenship laws for descendants of those persecuted by the Nazis. Article 116 is that part of the German nationality law regarding whom may restore their German citizenship. Part of the issue is for those who due to BREXIT want to maintain their ties to continental Europe and after the BREXIT referendum were denied but now would be able to reapply and get approval.

 

To read more see:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/29/germany-to-ease-citizenship-law-for-descendants-of-nazi-victims

 

Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee