World War II wreaked havoc on the societal stability of German cities. Many people were forced to flee the country in an attempt to avoid capture and confinement. Some of the people who fled Germany as a result of the events taking place leading up to and during World War II came to the United States.
The descendants of these immigrants have recently sought to reinstate their German citizenship. German law does include a provision allowing these people to petition for the reinstatement of their citizenship. The provision is referred to as Article 116.
An experienced attorney can help you determine if you meet the basic criteria to qualify for the reinstatement of your own German citizenship.
1. Proof of Heritage
An individual petitioning for the reinstatement of their German citizenship must be able to prove their heritage. Only those individuals who are of German-Jewish descent, or have German ancestors of Jewish heritage, can successfully apply for citizenship under Article 116.
Additional proof will be required to show that these ancestors were forced to flee Germany for their own safety during the Nazi regime.
Your attorney can help you gather the documentation you will need to prove your heritage in court.
2. Proof of Naturalization
Many of the German citizens who fled Germany under the Nazi regime ended up staying in the countries where they sought refuge.
Since citizenship reinstatement is designed to cater to the descendants of these individuals, you must be able to show that your ancestors naturalized in another country during the approved time period.
Any ancestors that naturalized in another country before or after World War II cannot serve as the foundation for your Article 116 petition.
An attorney will be able to help you access the immigration and naturalization forms you need to present in court.
3. Proof of Ancestors' Backgrounds
If you are able to prove that your ancestors fled Germany under the Nazi regime and were naturalized in another country during the approved time period, you are well on your way to a successful Article 116 petition.
The last basic criteria that must be met is providing proof that your ancestors were of German descent and Jewish heritage.
Only German-Jewish individuals who fled Germany can pass their German citizenship on to their descendants.
An Article 116 attorney will be able to coordinate with government officials and religious leaders to obtain documentation proving your ancestors' backgrounds as you file for the reinstatement of your German citizenship.