'More descendants of Jews who fled Nazis seeking German citizenship after Brexit'

While some British Jews seeking German nationality are doing so due to economic concerns, others are worried about an upsurge of extremism and racism.

July 5, 2016 09:50
1 minute read.
Brexit EU UK Flags

Participants hold a British Union flag and an EU flag during a pro-EU referendum event at Parliament Square in London, Britain June 19, 2016.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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A rising number of descendants of Jews who settled in the United Kingdom after fleeing Nazi persecution are seeking German citizenship in the wake of the contentious British referendum to leave the European Union, the London-based Independent reported on Monday night.

While the Brexit vote has spurred an increase of British nationals seeking citizenship in the remaining 27 EU member states, members of the UK’s Jewish population are also among those inquiring about alternative citizenship.

The report stated that dozens of Britons from various walks of UK society have sought German citizenship in the past week, while only two or three UK nationals sought German nationality per year in the past.

The German Embassy in London has reportedly seen an uptick in the amount of requests for details on citizenship from descendants of refugees living in the UK, including people whose Jewish families escaped the Nazis.

The Independent noted that while most Jewish refugees from Nazi rule arrived in Britain shortly before and after WWII, some in the now largely assimilated community are concerned about the after effects of the historic Brexit vote. Some British Jews are seeking German nationality due to economic concerns, while others are worried about an upsurge of extremism and racism.

Under Germany’s law on “restored citizenship,” former German citizens and their descendants “who were persecuted on political, racial or religious grounds” by the Nazis “between January 30, 1933 and May 8, 1945,” can have citizenship restored upon application.

According to the Independent, British Jews from such a background are not expected to encounter too many difficulties when seeking German citizenship now.

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