First Descendants of Nazi Victims Apply for Austrian Citizenship

Lifestyle & TravelTravel ♦ Published: October 27, 2020; 22:55 ♦ (Vindobona)

After the passing of an amendment that allows descendants of victims of National Socialism to obtain the Austrian Citizenship, the first applications have been received and welcomed by the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC.

HE Martin Weiss, Austrian Ambassador in Washington DC, has welcomed the first two applicants obtaining the Austrian citizenship for descendants of Nazi victims. / Picture: © BMEIA Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äußeres / Mahmoud Ashraf

The Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC, namely Ambassador Martin Weiss and Consul General Sigrid Kodym-Herzberg, welcomed the first applicants to obtain Austrian citizenship for descendants of victims of National Socialism on September 1, 2020.

This was only possible due to a new amendment that was adopted by Austrian law.

About one year ago, in September 2019, the National Council of the Austrian parliament decided unanimously that victims of National Socialism and their descendants can claim Austrian citizenship more easily.

This was decided having in mind Austria’s responsibility with regards to its history and wanting to further reconciliation with the victims of National Socialism.

Since September 1, 2020 eligible descendants of victims of the National Socialist regime can acquire Austrian citizenship by means of a declaration, without having to give up their current citizenship or nationality in return.

Prior to this adjustment to the amendment, only victims of the National Socialist regime were eligible to reclaim Austrian citizenship.

According to the Austrian Citizenship Act, a person shall be deemed “Victim of the National Socialist regime” if, as an Austrian citizen or as a citizen of one of the successor states of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy or as stateless person, with principal residence in the territory of the Republic of Austria, he/she left Austria before May 15, 1955 and because he/she had reason to fear or suffered from persecution by organs of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) and/or the authorities of the Third Reich, or because he/she was subject to persecution or had to fear such persecution for defending the democratic Republic of Austria.

Also, only direct descendants of a persecuted ancestor, i.e. children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren are eligible.

Children who were adopted as minors are also regarded as direct descendants.

Further information can be found here.