Special rules on renaturalisation apply for victims of persecution by the Nazi regime who were deprived of their German nationality on political, racial or religious grounds between 30 January 1933 and 8 May 1945. Within the framework of reparations, these persons and their descendants are entitled to be naturalised under Article 116 (2) sentence 1 of the Basic Law.
Detailed information on this topic can be found on the website of the Federal Office of Administration.
Federal Constitutional Court decision 2 BvR 2628/18 of 20 May 2020 has made it possible for more people to claim citizenship under Article 116 (2) sentence 1 of the Basic Law.
With immediate effect, the term “descendants” within the meaning of Article 116 (2) sentence 1 of the Basic Law also includes
- children born in wedlock prior to 1 April 1953 to mothers who were forcibly deprived of their German nationality and foreign fathers
- and children born out of wedlock prior to 1 July 1993 to fathers who were forcibly deprived of their German nationality and foreign mothers.
Persons affected by this ruling, whose applications for naturalisation under Article 116 (2) sentence 1 of the Basic Law have previously been rejected in line with the case law at that time, may submit a new application; no special form is required. The Embassy/ Consulate General will be happy to assist you.
Basis for entitlement under section 15 of the Nationality Act (StAG) (new rules introduced in August 2021)
The Fourth Act Amending the Nationality Act, which entered into force on 20 August 2021, has created a new legal entitlement to renaturalisation for persons who lost or were denied their German citizenship due to Nazi persecution and who are not already entitled to restoration of citizenship under Article 116 (2) of the Basic Law (section 15 of the Nationality Act). This entitlement to naturalisation also applies to all descendants of such persons.
Under section 15 of the Nationality Act, persons who gave up, lost or were denied German citizenship between 30 January 1933 and 8 May 1945 in connection with persecution on political, racial or religious grounds are entitled to naturalisation:
- Persons who gave up or lost their German citizenship before 26 February 1955, for example through acquisition of foreign citizenship upon application, release upon application or marriage to a foreigner
- Persons who were excluded from lawfully acquiring German citizenship through marriage, legitimisation or the collective naturalisation of ethnic Germans
- Persons who were not naturalised upon application or were generally excluded from naturalisation which would otherwise have been possible upon application, or
- Persons who gave up or lost their ordinary residence in Germany, if established before 30 January 1933 or, if they were children at the time, after that date.
Further information on naturalisation for descendants of victims of Nazi persecution, as well as the relevant application forms, can be found on the website of the Federal Office of Administration:
If you have questions regarding applications and the legal framework, please get in touch with the German missions in the UK.