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Article 116 II of the Basic Law

Artikel 116 des deutschen Grundgesetzes

Artikel 116 des deutschen Grundgesetzes, © Auswärtiges Amt

Artikel

Naturalization for those who lost their German citizenship in connection with National Socialist persecution, and their descendants

Article 116 II of the Basic Law reads:

“Former German citizens, who between January 30, 1933 and May 8, 1945 were deprived of their citizenship on political, racial, or religious grounds, and their descendants, shall on application have their citizenship restored. They shall be deemed never to have been deprived of their citizenship if they have established their domicile in Germany after May 8, 1945 and have not expressed a contrary intention.”

What does it mean to be “deprived of German citizenship on political, racial, or religious grounds?”

During the National socialist regime, German citizens were deprived of their German citizenship in two ways:

  • German citizens of Jewish faith who had their permanent residence abroad on or after 27 November 1941
    (based on 'Eleventh Decree to the Law on the Citizenship of the Reich' of 25 November 1941),

  • Individual deprivations which were published in the Reich Law Gazette
    (based on the Act on Revocation of Naturalizations and Deprivation of German Citizenship of 14 July 1933)

Which descendants can apply for it?

Legal descendants of those deprived of their German citizenship might have a claim for naturalization. Each descendant has an individual claim, subject to eligibility. It is thus possible for (great-) grandchildren to apply, even if their parents decide not to. Children under 16 require parental consent.

Federal Constitutional Court decision 2 BvR 2628/18 of 20.05.2020 has made it possible for more people to claim citizenship under Article 116 II of the Basic Law.

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

  • children born in wedlock prior to 01.04.1953 to mothers who were forcibly deprived of their German nationality and foreign fathers,

  • and children born out of wedlock prior to 01.07.1993 to fathers who were forcibly deprived of their German nationality and foreign mothers.

Persons affected by this ruling, whose applications for naturalization under Article 116 II of the Basic Law have previously been rejected in line with the existing case-law, may submit a new application; no special form is required. The Consulate General will be happy to help.

What happens if I have meanwhile acquired another citizenship by application?

Anyone who after being deprived of their German citizenship acquired a foreign citizenship by application is entitled to have their German citizenship restored. This also applies to their descendants.

Those who acquired a foreign citizenship before being deprived of their German citizenship, might be eligible to apply according to § 15 of the German Citizenship Act .​​​​​​​

How do I apply?

The competent authority for all applicants from abroad is the Federal Office of Administration (“Bundesverwaltungsamt”). You have the possibility to submit your application with the German Embassy in Dar Es Salaam.

  1. Read the information sheet carefully.
  2. Compile the required documents as per the information sheet.
    If you lack any of the documents, please apply for them at the issuing authorities (also see: Family Research/Genealogy). For documents on the arrival or naturalizations in Tanzania, contacting the National Archive in Dar es Salaam (www.nyaraka.go.tz) and/ or the Tanzanian Immigration Department might be helpful.
  3. Fully complete the application form and sign it (scroll down for the English Version).
    Every applicant needs to fill out a separate application form. For children under 16 years, the application needs to be signed by all legal Guardians.
    If you base your claim on your great-grandparents, please also fill out “appendix V” (Anlage V).
  4. Get in touch with the Embassy via consular-team@dare.diplo.de and request an appointment and bring all documents as originals to your appointment. You are welcome to provide a Scan of documents to ensure that everything is complete and to avoid several trips. We advise to only forward complete applications.

The consular officer will pre-check your application and then forward your application to the Federal Office of Administration for processing.

Information concerning data protection with regard to the processing of your application

Fees

The application is free of charge.


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