Righting wrongs

  • Home Page
  • Archive

  • Chancellor 

  • Federal Government

  • News

  • Service

  • Media Center

Citizenship Righting wrongs

The German government has adopted a bill to amend the Citizenship Act (Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz). The aim is to make it easier for descendants of individuals persecuted and deprived of their citizenship under the National Socialist regime to acquire German citizenship.

1 min reading time


The bill to amend the Citizenship Act is to make it easier to have German citizenship restored.

Photo: Bundesregierung/Tybussek

The German government accepts the historical responsibility of Germany to those who have suffered disadvantages in terms of citizenship, because they are descendants of people persecuted during the National Socialist era.

Former German citizens, who lost their German citizenship between 30 January 1933 and 8 May 1945 as a result of injustices committed during the National Socialist regime, can have their German citizenship restored. This is already enshrined in the German Basic Law or constitution. The regulation also applies to the descendants of individuals who were deprived of their citizenship, because injustices perpetrated against their forebears meant that German citizenship could not be passed down to them in the usual way from one generation to the next.

Making naturalisation possible

In some constellations with comparable injustices, it has not hitherto been possible for affected parties to have their citizenship restored. They will now be covered by the new legal provisions.

To this end, a new legal basis is to be put in place for the restoration of German citizenship. Descendants of German citizens persecuted by the National Socialists, who now live outside Germany, have not hitherto been entitled to have their citizenship restored under the provisions of Article 116 (2) of the German Basic Law or constitution. In future they will be more easily able to acquire German citizenship.