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Kate Connolly – Descendants of Jewish refugees seek German citizenship after Brexit vote

Descendants of the tens of thousands of German Jews who fled the Nazis and found refuge in Britain are making use of their legal right to become German citizens following the Brexit vote.

German authorities have reported a twentyfold increase in the number of restored citizenship applications – a right reserved for anybody who was persecuted on political, racial or religious grounds during the Nazi dictatorship, as well as their descendants.

About 400 applications from the UK are being processed by the authorities and 100 further inquiries that will “very probably” lead to applications are in the pipeline, it is understood. The usual annual figure is about 25.

Michael Newman, the chairman of the Association of Jewish Refugees, said that his organisation had fielded hundreds of inquiries. But he added that the process of applying for citizenship of a country that treated their ancestors so badly was a “considerable psychological challenge” for many.

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