The reparation naturalization

The reparation naturalization

In Germany, there are various possibilities for persecutees and descendants of persecutees during the National Socialist era to regain German citizenship. In these cases, the term "Wiedergutmachungseinbürgerung" is used. In principle, reparation naturalization is provided for in the Basic Law in Article 116 (2). It is an expression of Germany's historical responsibility.

The naturalization possibilities for reasons of reparation, were extended by the change of the nationality law (StAG) since 20.08.2021 by the §§ 5 and 15 StAG and covers now also cases, which go beyond the regulation area of the article 116 paragraph 2 GG.

Reparation Naturalization under Article 116(2) of the Basic Law

In the light of Germany's guilt during the National Socialist regime, the German Basic Law itself provides for the possibility that persons and their descendants who have lost their German citizenship may regain it.

The need to redress National Socialist injustice has been given constitutional expression in the Basic Law. Article 116 (2) of the Basic Law gives victims of Nazi persecution and their descendants who were deprived of their German citizenship between January 30, 1933 and May 8, 1945 the right to be naturalized again. For this to happen, the deprivation must have been for political, racial or religious reasons. If this is the case, the persecuted person and his or her descendants are entitled to receive German citizenship.

Detailed and further information on the right to re-naturalization under Article 116(2) of the Basic Law can be found here.

Reparation naturalization according to § 5 StAG

The new version of § 5 StAG extends the reparation naturalization since 20.08.2021 by a new group of people and allows them to obtain German citizenship on application.

Section 5 of the German Nationality Act was created against the background of gender-specific discrimination against women. It is intended to compensate for the disadvantages under nationality law that have arisen as a result of this discrimination.

Due to various legal discriminations of women and also of illegitimate families, it happened until 1975, especially in the constellation that the woman was a German citizen, but the man was not, that the child and also the woman lost the German citizenship or did not acquire it by birth.

§ Section 5 StAG is now intended to give persons who have suffered disadvantages with regard to their German citizenship as a result of this discrimination the opportunity to acquire German citizenship by application.

This possibility is limited for 10 years after the entry into force of § 5 StAG. This newly created period thus runs until 19.08.2031.

Detailed and further information on the possibility of re-naturalization by application according to § 5 StAG, can be found here.

The Reparation Naturalization according to § 15 StAG

§ Section 15 StAG, like Article 116 (2) of the Basic Law, allows for reparation naturalization for victims of the National Socialist regime. The difference between reparation naturalization under Section 15 StAG and Article 116(2) GG is that Section 15 StAG covers a significantly larger group of persons.

Against this background, a kind of catch-all provision was created in the form of Section 15 StAG. It is intended to cover cases that fall outside the scope of application of Article 116 (2) of the Basic Law, although they have a comparable unlawful content.

Thus, in addition to Article 116 (2) of the Basic Law, Section 15 of the Basic Law grants persons who were persecuted by the National Socialist regime on racial, political or religious grounds, and who suffered disadvantages under citizenship law as a result, the right to obtain German citizenship through naturalization. § In comparison with Article 116 (2) of the Basic Law, Section 15 of the German Nationality Act (StAG) also includes, in particular, cases in which German citizenship has never existed. Thus, with regard to citizenship, the situation is to be restored that would have existed without Nazi persecution.

Detailed and further information on the possibility of re-naturalization according to § 15 StAG can be found here.

In case you consider yourself as a person entitled to naturalization in the sense of §§ 5, 15 StAG or Art. 116 para. 2 GG, please do not hesitate to contact us. As experienced lawyers in migration law, we will advise you on your options and help you to apply for naturalization within the framework of the redress process.