Jews Who Fled Nazi Germany Can Have Citizenship Reinstated

Acting on a suggestion by the Central Welfare Agency of the Jews in Germany, the Social Democrats in the Bonn Parliament introduced a clause in the new West German nationality act which entitled refugees who fled Germany to escape Nazi persecution to reinstatement of their German citizenship if they so demand. The nationality act was subsequently adopted. The present nationality status or residence of Germans thus demanding their citizenship will have no bearing on their rights.

The Central Welfare Agency also suggested that Jews from Danzig and the former German-speaking areas of Czechoslovakia be entitled to apply for German citizenship, provided they reside in Germany and have not been naturalized elsewhere. This stipulation, which would benefit only a handful of people, was aimed at preventing a recurrence of recent cases where the German police sought to expel as “undesirable aliens” Jews who were once residents of Danzig or the Sudetenland and recently came to Germany from Israel or other countries. Despite these two aspects of the law, the major aim of it was to give German citizenship to all “ethnic Germans” whom Hitler took under his wing.

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