Number of American Jews reclaiming German citizenship spikes

Since Donald Trump was elected US president, Germany's New York consulate has seen an increase in citizenship applications under Article 116, which allows former nationals and their descendants to reclaim citizenship.

(DW) -- American Jews, it seems, want out. Or at least, they want the option of out.


Seventy-five percent of the Jewish community voted for Hillary Clinton in the November 2016 election, many spurred by rhetoric coming from Donald Trump that recalled Germany before the Nazis took power.

"We can confirm that there has been a perceptible increase in the number of people claiming German citizenship under Article 116, Paragraph 2 of the German Basic Law," said Bradford Elder, a spokesman for the German consulate in New York. The city has the largest population of Jews in the US, and is second only to Israel in the world.

Article 116, Paragraph 2 of the German Basic Law allows people who were stripped of their German citizenship between 1933 and 1945 to reclaim the passports revoked by the Nazis. That right also applies to their descendents.

Between 50 and 70 people in New York applied for German citizenship in the years 2014 and in 2015, according to the consulate. That figure jumped to 124 alone in November 2016, the month of the US presidential election, and it has climbed every month since then, according to the data provided to DW by the German consulate. In March 2017, 235 people applied to reclaim their or their ancestors' German citizenship.

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