We are a group of descendants of German citizens that seek the return of the right granted to our forefathers in 1913, to re-acquire their German citizenship in case of loss due to the old consular registration requirement for germans who lived abroad for a period longer than 10 years. Through a decree signed by Adolf Hitler in 1935, such right was taken away in order to provide the national socialist regime full powers to deprive people of their citizenship rights on political, racial, or religious grounds.

Artikel 116 Wir Auch in German means Article 116 Us Too. This article of the German Basic Law defines the concept of German nationality, and its paragraph 2 grants the restoration of the German citizenship to all people who were deprived of them by the national socialist regime.

Like other groups who were deprived from their rights find support in the article 116, paragraph 2, part 1, sentence 1 of the Basic Law, we believe such provisions can also correct the injustice caused to our German forefathers and their descendants.

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The consular registration

The biggest hurdle in the process to determine the German citizenship for descendants of migrants who left Germany before 1904 is to prove that they had made a consular registration in the German diplomatic representation in their new country of residence. 

When Germany finally became a unified country in 1871, a nationality law was put in place and required all German citizens to make a consular registration if they lived abroad for more than 10 years in order to maintain their citizenship. 

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The nationality law of 1913

In 1913, Germany enacted a new nationality law, which removed the requirement of the consular registration as ground for the loss of the German citizenship.

The new law benefited directly who would come to migrate after 1904, once the requirement for consular registration would no longer be required for German citizens living abroad for longer than 10 years.

It also corrected the problems caused to Germans who had lost their citizenship for not registering by adding new provisions which granted them the right to re-naturalise.

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The National Socialist Decree of 1935

When the Nazis came to power and Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor on January 31st 1933, an authoritarian regime was put in place in Germany, and was responsible for one of the most tragic events in human history.

The Nazis banned parties, persecuted opponents, and deprived people from their citizenships on racial, religious, and political grounds. They reserved to themselves the absolute right to determine who could be a German citizen.

Through a decree signed in 1935, Adolf Hitler revoked the article 31 of the Nationality Law of 1913, and thus deprived former Germans affected by the old consular registration requirement to re-acquire their citizenships.

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Damages to the german communities abroad

Like in the case of the Spätaussiedler (late ethnic German repatriates from Eastern Europe), the WWII days were also very challenging for people of German ancestry all over the world. In Brazil, where the founders of this group are from, German migrants and descendants, even though continents apart, had their lives impacted and saw their mother tongue banned from public places.

It is a dark chapter of Brazilian history, often forgotten by the success of the Brazilian Oktoberfest, the wide use of dialects such as the Hunsrückish in the south, the charming timber frame architecture present in many towns, and names like Gisele Bündchen, Gustavo Kuerten, Robert Scheidt, and Oscar Schmidt representing Brazil during the Rio Olympics opening ceremony.

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After all the effort required to prove one’s ancestor was a German citizen, other aspects such as marital status or gender, can also turn out to be big hurdles when applying for German citizenship.

The year of birth, in both cases, becomes a critical factor and a matter of luck, once a date of birth can determine one’s eligibility.

This creates situations where siblings will have unequal treatment by the German Nationality Act just because of the day they were born.

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Our petition

We are working with a legal assistance in Germany and our aim is to elaborate a petition to be presented to the German government. The petition will be assessed by German Nationality law experts and sent to the German Interior Ministry, which is the government branch responsible for decrees and policies regarding German citizenship.

The petition will cover the following:

As legal fees are expensive, we count on everyone’s help to raise enough funds to cover our expenses. We are also committed to provide total transparency with our management of the funds.


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