After having issued a few rather useless decrees which were supposed to simplify the naturalization application for descendants of German Jewish mothers on a discretionary basis, a non-German resident has finally succeeded in taking the responsible German authority to court. And won!
The details of the case are complex but in summary, a descendant of a German Jewish father, born out of wedlock, applied for naturalization under the non-discretionary regulation of Article 116 II GG and was denied. This was denied due to the fact that whilst the applicant’s father did lose his citizenship due to Nazi persecution, unfortunately his parents were unmarried at the time of his birth.
Said applicant refused to accept the German authority’s decision and objected, presenting legal grounds on why the ruling was unlawful. As the authority refused to reverse the decision, the applicant took matters to the Administrative Court and lost. The applicant then proceeded to the District High Administrative Court. And lost again. Finally, and as a last resort, the applicant took matters to the Federal Constitutional Court.
Where, justice was finally served. After seven years of perseverance, resilience and considerable legal fees, not only were all previous decisions overturned, it was further ruled that the refusal to naturalize children born to German Jewish fathers out of wedlock, and also born to German Jewish mothers who married foreigners was unconstitutional!
This is a groundbreaking decision that is now final and binding!
And therefore, the Bundesverwaltungsamt in Cologne, the relevant authority has issued a statement on their German website:
“Important notice regarding the decision of the Federal Constitutional Court dated 20.05.2020 regarding descendants of German victims of NS-persecution
The group of persons of descendants of German nationals who were deprived of citizenship, who have a direct claim under Art. 116 II GG has been expanded following the Chamber’s order of the Federal Constitutional Court of 20.05.2020 – 2 BvR 2628/28.
According to previous continual ruling of the Federal Administrative Court children who were born in wedlock to Jewish mothers who whose citizenship had been revoked and non-German fathers before 01.04.1953 as well as children born before 01.07.1993 out of wedlock to Jewish fathers who whose citizenship had been revoked and non-German mothers have not been recognized. This restriction is unconstitutional.
From now on and due to said decision the descendants of former German nationals who lost their citizenship due to Nazi persecution who had till date not been considered due to said unconstitutional restriction have a direct claim under Art. 116 II GG.
The Bundesverwaltungsamt will implement this in its practice effective immediately…”
So what does this mean in practice for you?
- If previously you were denied naturalization because your former ancestor / German citizen was female and the next generation child was born before 01.04.1953 – you are now eligible
- If you were denied because your ancestor was born out of wedlock – you are now just as eligible for non-discretional naturalization as any other descendant of a former German who lost citizenship due to persecution!
- It is no longer crucial to provide marriage certificates from pre-war-years in Germany as birth in wedlock is no longer a requirement
- You neither have to prove “basic knowledge of the German language and culture” nor have to file your petition through the back-logged and understaffed German representative office near you, be it an embassy or a consulate
We at GCR are happy to handle your applications under Art. 116 II GG for you!
Please note, we expect a surge in applications to now be filed to the Bundesverwaltungsamt which will probably lead to a further extension of processing time but nevertheless, this is great news!