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German passport

Germany’s Bundesverfassungsgericht (Federal Constitutional Court) on Wednesday ruled that “If a law mandates the state to grant citizenship, this right must be fulfilled without discrimination against illegitimate children,” in the case of children of unmarried Jewish parents whose citizenship was revoked by the Nazis, Deutsche Welle reported.

(Can you say, “Bundesverfassungsgericht?”)


According to the German constitution, people whose citizenship was revoked for “political, racial or religious reasons” by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945 can apply to have their German citizenship restored, and this also applies to their descendants. However, the law does not specifically define the reference to “descendants.”

The plaintiff in the case is an American woman, 53, whose father was a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany. He became a US citizen and had his daughter out of wedlock with her American-born mother. The woman applied for German citizenship but was refused because she was an “illegitimate” child.

The Constitutional Court now ruled that Germany’s constitution treats all children equally, no matter their parents’ marital status.

The judges suggested that the government’s refusal of citizenship may be a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.


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