JUSTICE - No. 68

40 No. 68 JUSTICE children are therefore to be included under reparation aspects.1 2) Who is not entitled to renaturalization according to §15 StAG? Descendants who were not entitled to citizenship under Nazi law (legitimate children of German mothers/foreign fathers; illegitimate children of German fathers/foreign mothers) have a direct claim to renaturalization under Article 116 II GG.2 Since §15 StAG applies only to those who are not covered by Art. 116 II GG, these descendants have no claim to naturalization under §15 StAG. Their claim to renaturalization under Article 116 II GG remains unaffected. Persons who reacquired German citizenship after May 8, 1945, but subsequently relinquished or lost it, are also not entitled to renaturalization. Persons who have been legally sentenced to a custodial or juvenile sentence of two years or more for one or more intentional criminal acts or who have been ordered to be placed in preventive detention as a result of their most recent legally binding conviction, are not entitled to renaturalization pursuant to § 15 StAG. For the sake of completeness, we note that the so-called “generational cut” pursuant to § 4 StAG does not apply to cases under Article 116 II GG and § 15 StAG. The “generational cut” provides that the children of German citizens whose parents were born outside of Germany after December 31, 1999 have no right to naturalization. The background for this is that an unlimited passing-on of nationality only due to the nationality of the parents (so-called iure sanguinis) appears questionable in the absence of a connection to the national community of those persons who are permanently abroad. Accordingly, German citizenship cannot be passed on without a permanent connection to Germany. Since this restriction would be contrary to the purpose of the law of restitution, which is precisely to cover people who fled abroad because of persecution by National Socialism, §4 IV StAG declares that the “generational cut” does not apply in cases of Article 116 II GG and §15 StAG. 3) How is the (re)naturalization claim asserted? The claim for naturalization is made through a simple declaration. The corresponding application must be submitted to the relevant foreign representation within ten years after the amendment to the StAG comes into force. 4) Additional content of the amendment Other issues were also dealt with and expanded in the amendment of the StAG. The legislator stipulated in §12a StAG that naturalization will be excluded in the future if the person in question has been convicted of an antisemitic, racist, xenophobic or other crime against humanity. The length of the sentence is not taken into consideration. This regulation is intended to prevent antisemites and racists, among others, from acquiring German citizenship. Conclusion In summary, the new StAG opens up numerous possibilities for Nazi persecutees living abroad and their descendants to acquire German citizenship. In this way, the German legislature is addressing the increasing interest in renaturalization, and with the amendment of the law, has followed the view of the Ministry of the Interior, according to which it is considered a great sign of confidence if the descendants of emigrated Nazi persecutees express interest in acquiring German citizenship again today. With the newly created law, we identify the potential for the development of more ways to implement this trust in lived reality. n Steffen Kaemper, LL.M. is a lawyer specializing in IP and real estate law, as well as a notary public. He worked for an international law firm in Hamburg, Germany, for several years and is now partner at his law firm, Kaemper &Maiwald (Gueterloh, Germany). Mirco Stellbrink is currently a trainee lawyer and research attorney at the law firm Kaemper & Maiwald (Gueterloh, Germany). 1. BT-Drucksache (Bundestag Printed Matter; i.e. the summary of reasons for a new law), 19/30939, p. 2 (German Parliament Document, Records and reports on the activities of the German Parliament). 2. BVerfG (Federal Constitutional Court), ruling of May 20, 2020, file ref.: 2 BvR 2628/18.

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