Austria offers citizenship to the descendants of Jews who fled the Nazis

Of note, the impact of Brexit on citizenship applications:

Tens of thousands of British citizens are among the many descendants of Jewish refugees who can apply for Austrian citizenship from Tuesday under a new law that campaigners say finally delivers a measure of historic justice for their ancestors’ expulsions under Nazi rule.

About 120,000 Jewish refugees fled persecution after the Nazis took power in Austria in March 1938. The second most common destination after the US was the UK, with up to 20,000 refugees registered in 1945.

Most refugees naturalised in their adoptive countries out of necessity, but the postwar Austrian state had a bar on dual citizenship, so considered them to be foreigners.

Obstacles to former refugees reclaiming Austrian citizenship were lifted in 1993, after the country began its first real debate about its culpability for Nazi-era crimes. Around 10% of survivors took it up. But a law extending the possibility of dual citizenship to descendants eluded its advocates in the Austrian parliament, suggesting a lack of interest in restoring the once 200,000-strong Jewish community, even in principle. One rightwing MP reportedly objected: “Enough has been done for the victims already.”

Source: Austria offers citizenship to the descendants of Jews who fled the Nazis

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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