A new law was passed Friday that allows people who descend from Nazi-persecuted groups to apply for German citizenship. It is part of ongoing efforts by Germany to address the atrocities committed many generations ago.
“I believe that justice was done for my family. “I think my grandfather, who suffered so many, would be proud of the things that have been accomplished today,” Danny Harries, a London resident told Deutsche Welle. His grandfather came to the U.K. via Kindertransport. This was a method of transporting children from Germany, who was sent to live with families, schools, and farms in Britain. Harries, 31 years old, was denied citizenship in the past by a loophole that was closed Friday by the new law.
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German officials have attempted to rectify the persecuting of Jews and other groups such as Communists and Roma. These were stateless ethnic groups that lived throughout Europe under the Nazi government, which existed from 1933 to 1945. Some of its initiatives were cultural, like Berlin’s stumbling stone, small monuments that mark the places where Jews and other people lived before being taken over by the Nazis. The German government issued a similar order in 2019 to Friday’s law, Reuters reported. However, it contained loopholes that denied applicants whose persecuted ancestor was not a German father or, Deutsche Welle reported. These gaps are now closed by the law.