German Citizenship Applications From Nazi-era Refugees in U.K. Spike post-Brexit Vote

Spokesman for German pro-business party Free Democrats says the increase 'clearly related to the Brexit referendum'

Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP), holds up his passport as he speaks in front of a backdrop of a British Union flag, also known as a Union Jack, and a EU flag, during a news conference for the EU referendum "Leave" campaign in London, U.K., June 22, 2016.

The number of applications for German citizenship from former Nazi refugees residing in Britain has dramatically increased since the 2016 Brexit referendum, according to reports from German publishing company Funke-Mediengruppe. 

To really understand Israel and the Jewish world - subscribe to Haaretz

Most applicants are either former refugees from Nazi Germany or their descendants, according to the reports on Friday.

Konstantin Kuhle, a spokesman for the German pro-business party Free Democrats (FDP), said the increase was clearly related to the Brexit referendum and showed that "many people in the United Kingdom feel close to the EU."

The number of so-called "repatriation applications" received by German offices in Britain increased from 59 in 2015 to 3,731 since 2016, the reports said.

Under German law, any former German national whose citizenship was revoked due to persecution during the Nazi regime has the right to reclaim German citizenship. This law also applies to the descendants of former German refugees.