Robin Prior describes the legal process that saw him finally granted German citizenship, as the grandson of a German Jewish refugee
I am the grandson of a German Jewish refugee who has recently been granted German citizenship. In 2017, after learning that I might be eligible for a German passport, I applied. Unlike the egregious cases mentioned in your article (Who is German? Families of Jews who fled Nazis fight to be citizens, 10 July), I was successful, but only after lawyers submitted my case in an unconventional way – based upon my grandfather’s circumstances, not my mother’s.
Like Barbara Hanley, whose case most closely mirrors mine, it was my mother who was the German (technically she was stateless – mum was born in London, in 1937, to a Jewish German man and a non-Jewish German woman, both of whom had already been stripped of citizenship). Initially, my lawyers said I would not be entitled to citizenship on the basis of my mother’s status (had she been born a boy I would have had no problem). But by citing my grandfather’s experience they thought I would be accepted. So it proved. I think the fact I used a law firm to make the application helped, as did the fact my grandfather was quite well known in the art world of the time.
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