Germany Eases Citizenship Rules for Descendants of Nazi Victims #germany

Jan Meisels Allen




The German Government has agreed to a draft law to naturalize some descendants of Nazi victims who were previously denied citizenship.


While Germany has long allowed descendants of persecuted Jews to reclaim citizenship, the lack of a legal framework meant many applicants were rejected before a rule change in 2019.


Some were denied because their ancestors fled Germany and took on another nationality before their citizenship was officially revoked. Others were rejected because they were born to a German mother and non-German father before 1 April 1953.


The difficulties for some in using ancestry claims for citizenship came into focus partly due to the sharp rise in number of applications from Britons evoking Nazi persecution of their ancestors after the UK voted to leave the EU. From 43 such applications in 2015, the number soared to 1,506 in 2018, according to ministry figures.


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Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee