Welcome

Naturalization for individuals whose families were persecuted by the Nazi-Regime due to their political, racial, or religious beliefs

01.09.2021 - Article

A. Renaturalization acc. to Art. 116 II Basic Law

Fussball-Fans bilden mit farbigen Folien eine deutsche Flagge (c) picture alliance/dpa
Deutsche Flagge© picture alliance/dpa

Special rules on renaturalization apply for victims of persecution by the Nazi regime who were deprived of their German nationality on political, racial or religious grounds between January 30th 1933 and May 8th 1945.

Within the framework of reparations, these persons and their descendants are entitled to be naturalized under Article 116 II Basic Law.

Detailed information on this topic can be found on the website of the Federal Office of Administration/BVA. Information in English will follow in due time.

Please note:

The Federal Constitutional Court decision 2 BvR 2628/18 of 20th May 2020 has made it possible for more individuals to claim citizenship under Art. 116 II Basic Law.

With immediate effect, the term “descendants” within the meaning of Art. 116 II Basic Law also includes:

  • children born in wedlock prior to April 1st, 1953 to mothers who were forcibly deprived of their German nationality and foreign fathers
  • and children born out of wedlock prior to July 1st, 1993 to fathers who were forcibly deprived of their German nationality and foreign mothers.

Persons affected by this ruling, whose applications for naturalization under Art. 116 II Basic Law have previously been rejected in line with the existing case-law, may submit a new application; no special form is required.


B. Section 15 Citizenship Law

The Fourth Act Amending the Nationality Act, which entered into force on August 20th 2021, has created a new legal entitlement to renaturalization for individuals who lost or were denied their German citizenship due to Nazi persecution and who are not already entitled to restoration of citizenship under Art. 116 II Basic Law. This entitlement to naturalization also applies to all descendants of such individuals.

Under Section 15 of the Nationality Act, individuals who surrendered, lost or were denied German citizenship between January 30th 1933 and May 8th 1945 due to persecution on political, racial or religious grounds are entitled to naturalization.

This ruling applies to:

  1. Individuals who surrendered or lost their German citizenship prior to February 26th 1955, for example through acquisition of foreign citizenship on application, release on application or marriage with a foreigner, or
  2. Individuals who were excluded from the legal acquisition of German citizenship through marriage, legitimization or collective naturalization of Germans due to their ethnic origin, or
  3. Persons who were not naturalized following application or who were generally excluded from naturalization that would otherwise have been possible upon application, or
  4. Persons who surrendered or lost their habitual abode in Germany if this was established prior to January 30th 1933 (in the case of children, also after this date).
  5. Descendants of the above-mentioned individuals

More detailed information on naturalization for descendants of victims of Nazi persecution can be found here. Information in English will follow in due time.

Top of page