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Getting German citizenship/passport

Getting German citizenship/passport

Old Jun 10, 11, 5:04 pm
  #61  
 
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Originally Posted by jugnage View Post
the town no longer exists
So you're saying that it's no longer a place in Germany? As in territories that Germany lost in 1945?

One thing you could do is get in contact with the "Vertriebenenverband" of the area the town was in. They may have some suggestions as to where to find, if there are any, surviving documents.
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Old Jun 11, 11, 12:40 am
  #62  
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Originally Posted by jugnage View Post
Thank you for your rapid response. I apologize for the confusion, so if I might shed more light.

1) yes my grandparents were of Polish nationality

2) My father was born in Germany, has German birth certificate and nationality according to the documents I have, including US Immigration documentation when he arrived

3) My father remained a German Citizen until 2005, when he finally applied for US Citizenship and passport. I started the application process about a year before he applied for the US citizenship.


I am hoping that might help.

Thanks

Thats different. According to this you were born as a child to a German father. I assume you always had a US passport because you were BORN in the US, a ius soli country. Germany is a ius sanguinis country, so even without being an immigtation lawyer, I would expect you qualify for German citizenship. You should, however, consult a specialised lawyer.
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Old Jun 11, 11, 3:37 am
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I have a friend with a similar situation, although he is not interested in dual citizenship. He lives in South Africa and both of his parents were born in Germany (Berlin) approximately during the first world war. His grandparents were all born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His parents left Germany as adults in 1939 and moved to South Africa.

He asked at the German consulate for information about German citizenship. He was told that, at the time, Germany did not recognise birth as automatic citizenship, as some countries do today. This means his parents needed to apply for German citizenship before they left Germany. His family is Jewish, which, of course, makes this even more complicated since it is highly unlikely the Nazi government would have given German citizenship to "foreign" Jews.

The point is that without German naturalisation papers, birth in Germany during that time is simply not enough. In the end, my friend gave up.
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Old Jun 11, 11, 4:25 am
  #64  
 
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Originally Posted by JoostvD View Post
I have a friend with a similar situation, although he is not interested in dual citizenship. He lives in South Africa and both of his parents were born in Germany (Berlin) approximately during the first world war. His grandparents were all born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. His parents left Germany as adults in 1939 and moved to South Africa.
If they were Jewish, and they left Germany during the Nazi period, then they (and their descendants) should come under the special provisions that apply to victims of Nazi persecution. I know several people who obtained German citizenship under those special provisions.
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Old Jun 11, 11, 11:14 am
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Originally Posted by Aviatrix View Post
If they were Jewish, and they left Germany during the Nazi period, then they (and their descendants) should come under the special provisions that apply to victims of Nazi persecution. I know several people who obtained German citizenship under those special provisions.
He was not told about this by the consulate. Do you have a link I can send to him or know where he can get more information about this? Thanks.
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Old Jun 11, 11, 11:21 am
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Aviatrix View Post
If they were Jewish, and they left Germany during the Nazi period, then they (and their descendants) should come under the special provisions that apply to victims of Nazi persecution. I know several people who obtained German citizenship under those special provisions.
From what I understand his parents were not disseized of there citizenship (which is a valid reason) but never were and never applied for German citizenship. Being born in Germany never was (unil the 2000) a valid reason for citizenship.
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Old Jun 11, 11, 1:27 pm
  #67  
 
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Originally Posted by Flying Lawyer View Post
From what I understand his parents were not disseized of there citizenship (which is a valid reason) but never were and never applied for German citizenship. Being born in Germany never was (unil the 2000) a valid reason for citizenship.
I think we may be getting mixed up between two cases now... jugnage's father, and JoostvD's friend.

jugnage's's father was born in Germany, in 1941, to Polish parents who - reading between the lines - were living in Germany as forced labourers. He had German citizenship when he arrived in the USA in 1947. How he acquired German citizenship when his parents' were not German is an interesting question, but he did. (There was no German state in 1947... who would have been responsible for issuing travel documents to German residents at that time?)

JoostvD's's friend was born in South Africa to German Jewish parents who left Germany in 1939. His case appears to be identical to several cases I know of people who were able to acquire German citizenship because their parents were victims of Nazi persecution. JoostvD's, I'm afraid I don't have any web links - this is just something I've always known, ever since I was a child (long before the Internet was invented!) as I have always known people who were in that situation.
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Old Jun 11, 11, 6:10 pm
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Follow-up

After some googling... the previously-mentioned special provisions are in fact laid down in the Constitution (Grundgesetz) - article 116. However, going by the wording of the article it looks like on needs to move to Germany in order to apply.

Anyone wanting to go down that route will probably need to do some research on what is required in practice (e.g., whether one needs to be physically present in Germany for any length of time, or whether it is sufficient to register a place of residence with the German authorities)
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Old Jun 12, 11, 4:09 am
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Aviatrix View Post
I think we may be getting mixed up between two cases now... jugnage's father, and JoostvD's friend.

jugnage's's father was born in Germany, in 1941, to Polish parents who - reading between the lines - were living in Germany as forced labourers. He had German citizenship when he arrived in the USA in 1947. How he acquired German citizenship when his parents' were not German is an interesting question, but he did. (There was no German state in 1947... who would have been responsible for issuing travel documents to German residents at that time?)

JoostvD's's friend was born in South Africa to German Jewish parents who left Germany in 1939. His case appears to be identical to several cases I know of people who were able to acquire German citizenship because their parents were victims of Nazi persecution. JoostvD's, I'm afraid I don't have any web links - this is just something I've always known, ever since I was a child (long before the Internet was invented!) as I have always known people who were in that situation.
It is always difficult if you do not have the facts.

I understood that jugnage's's father was born in Germany. His grandparents may well have been Polish, however, they may have been of German origin because plenty of Germans were forced to become Polish after WW1. This might explain his German citizenship. And of course there was a German state in 1947. The Deutsche Reich never seized to exist. It was controlled by the four powers, however, it still was Germany. So this does not constitute a problem at all.

I understood that JoostvD's's had grandparents with a passport from the successor states of the Austro-Hungarian empire and lived in Germany. This does neither make them nor him - despite his parents being bron in Berlin - German.

This is more than complicated and you need the full set of facts. Just an example: A good old friend of mine was born 1916 in the so called "Sudetenland" as a son to an Austrain-German father and an Austrian Hungarian mother, both Jewish. He fought in WW2 with the Czech resistance and emigrated to the UK in 1968. At the end of his life he had Austrian, Hungarian, German, Czech, UK und Israeli passports.
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Old Jun 12, 11, 7:18 am
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Two questions that I have long wondered about: 1. what happened to the Jews who already had German nationality after the Nürnberg Laws of 1935? and 2. how many documents both in Germany and also the occupied countries survived after the bombings and fighting of the Nazis, British and Americans? Even in 1940 both sides had already started bombing non-military buildings. Certainly some city buildings must have been destroyed either on purpose or by accident.
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Old Jun 12, 11, 7:27 am
  #71  
 
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Originally Posted by Flying Lawyer View Post
The Deutsche Reich never seized to exist. It was controlled by the four powers, however, it still was Germany. So this does not constitute a problem at all.

The reason I brought up the question of "who would have issued travel documents in 1947" is that certain official documents were issued by the occupying powers rather than the German authorities in those days. I know this because I have seen documents that were issued to my father.

My thinking was that maybe jugnage's father was issued German documents in error by an Allied officer who didn't know any better. ("Born in Germany? Must be German!")
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Old Jun 14, 11, 10:20 am
  #72  
 
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German Citizenship

Everyone,

My apologies for the delayed response. All of these questions had forced me to revisit my documentation.

My father did have German citizenship when he immigrated to the United States. As I mentioned earlier my fathers' parents were polish and relocated to Germany as forced laborers. That is how my father was born in Germany.

When reading the letter fro the German consulate in Cologne, they had rejected my application because I needed the following:

"details and a map of the place of birth of my grandfather"

That town in Poland no longer exists and apparently the records may have been destroyed during the war. Is there any recommendation on how I might obtain that information.

Thank you
Greg
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Old Jun 14, 11, 12:54 pm
  #73  
 
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1. I recommend a good lawyer. Especially the knowledge which documents can substitute which documents in such cases, can really improve your chances of succeeding.
2. Since you have also polish ancestors you should consider getting the Polish citizenship. Since Poland is a member of the EU you have the most important rights in Germany as a Polish Citizen
3. If you really want to stay with your plan you should consider to take a look at parish registers (Kirchenbücher). Some of them were copied to microfilm and are available today.
4. A surprisingly large number of files has survived. You should at least write a letter to the city hall of the polish city and ask. However, especially in small cities you should write it in polish and expect to pay some few.
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Old Jun 14, 11, 1:02 pm
  #74  
 
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jugnage - when you say that the town no longer exists, do you mean the whole town was razed to the ground and never rebuilt?
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Old Jun 14, 11, 7:20 pm
  #75  
 
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I have no interest in the pursuit of a German citizenship, but this has been one of the most interesting and informative threads I have ever read. Very enjoyable.
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