Restored Citizenship According to Article 116 II Basic Law


Former German citizens who were persecuted on political, racial or religious grounds between 1933 and 1945 can be re-naturalised. The same goes for their descendants.

Article 116 II Basic Law

“Former German citizens who between 30 January 1933 and 8 May 1945 were deprived of their citizenship on political, racial or religious grounds, and their descendants, shall on application have their citizenship restored. They shall be deemed never to have been deprived of their citizenship if they have established their domicile in Germany after 8 May 1945 and have not expressed a contrary intention.”

The above-mentioned group includes primarily German Jews and members of the Communist or Social Democratic Parties.

The Situation between 1933 and 1945

Two regulations resulted in a depravation of citizenship between 30.01.1933 and 08.05.1945:

  1. According to the “Law on the Revocation of Naturalisations and the Deprivation of the German Citizenship” of 14.07.1933, individual Germans were deprived of their citizenship by finding their names listed in the “Reichsgesetzblatt” (Reich Law Gazette).
  2. The larger group of Germans were deprived of their citizenship with the “Eleventh Decree to the Law on the Citizenship of the Reich” of 25.11.1941, which stipulated that Jews staying outside of Germany at the time could not be German citizens - by this regulation, all Jewish German citizens who had fled from Germany before in the years earlier were affected.


Upon the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, it was stipulated in the “Grundgesetz” (Basic Law) that the persons affected and their descendants will have their citizenship restored if they wish.

The requirement for naturalisation is that citizenship was indeed taken from them according to the above listed politically and racially motivated measures. By contrast, a person who had emigrated and applied for a foreign citizenship earlier had already lost German citizenship according to § 25 Citizenship Law, see here

Applying for Re-Naturalisation

  • The application is free of charge
  • Required documents: The number of documents required depends on whether you yourself experienced emigration and the deprivation of your citizenship, or whether you are a descendant.
    Please read this information sheet provided by the citizenship authority where you will find information on the process, the required documents and assistance in filling out the forms.
  • Application form:
    You are not obligated to use a special application form, however, we provide and recommend using these applications forms as they indicate what information is needed to facilitate and thus expedite processing of your application in Germany.
  • Please contact your German Mission to make an appointment for launching your application.

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