JUSTICE - No. 68

39 Summer 2022 n consideration of its past, Germany has a special responsibility toward Israel, and the Jews in Germany and the world. The German legislature is attempting to meet this responsibility through legal amendments that address the injustices committed. For example, on March 30, 2021, the law “on combating right-wing extremism and hate crime” was passed. It states, inter alia, that an offender's antisemitic motives are to be taken into account as inhuman motives and goals when assessing punishment of a guilty party. In addition to combating antisemitism, another focus in this context is on redressing the injustices of National Socialism that are still being felt today. This includes, in particular, the renaturalization of persons who fled Germany between 1933 and 1945 as a result of National Socialism. In order to enable these individuals to regain German citizenship, Article 116 II of the German Constitution (Grundgesetz GG) provides that former German citizens who were deprived of their citizenship for political, racial or religious reasons between January 30, 1933 and May 8, 1945, as well as their descendants, are to be naturalized again upon application. In order to be eligible for renaturalization under Article 116 II of the Constitution, the persons concerned must have been formally denaturalized during the National Socialist era. Since not all people who fled Germany for political, racial, or religious reasons between 1933 and 1945 were also formally expatriated, the scope of application of Article 116 II GG is limited and does not cover other constellations with comparable injustice. In order to remedy this, the Federal Ministry of the Interior for Construction and Home Affairs published a decree on August 30, 2019 stating that the descendants of Nazi persecutees who suffered disadvantages in terms of citizenship law, but who do not fall under the framework of Article 116 II of the Constitution due to the lack of formal expatriation, can obtain German citizenship. The naturalization requirements were reduced to a minimum for those persons who underwent Nazi persecution. Proof of the ability to support oneself was dispensed with altogether. The previous required language level was reduced to a basic knowledge of German and in addition, only a basic knowledge of the legal and social order and living conditions in Germany was required. Fulfillment of the minimum requirements would be assessed through a personal interview in a foreign mission but without an in-depth examination, and it would be free of charge. This waiver was adopted by the Parliament (German Bundestag) on June 24, 2021 in the form of an amendment to the Nationality Act (StAG), which came into force on August 20, 2021. In addition to creating and consolidating a legal basis for entitlement for those affected, the anchoring in the law is also intended to make clear the symbolic significance of the entitlement to renaturalization for victims of Nazi persecution. The New Regulation 1) Who is entitled to renaturalization? According to §15 StAG, all persons who due to a lack of formal expatriation during the National Socialist era have no claim under Article 116 II of the Constitution and who, for political, racial, or religious reasons renounced or lost their German citizenship before February 26, 1955; or were excluded from legal acquisition of German citizenship by marriage, legitimation or collective naturalization of German nationals; or were not naturalized after filing an application or were generally excluded from naturalization which would otherwise have been possible if an application had been filed; or who gave up or lost their habitual residence in Germany, if this had already been established before January 30, 1933 or, as a child, even after this date, are entitled to renaturalization. The entitlement to naturalization also extends to all descendants of the persons concerned. This also includes children who were adopted before January 1, 1977, and were not able to acquire German citizenship as a result of the adoption, but were affected by persecution in the same way as natural children. These The Facilitation of Naturalization for Descendants of Nazi Persecutees I SteffenKaemper andMirco Stellbrink

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