Spurred by Brexit, Hundreds of British Jews Seeking German Citizenship

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A man walks though Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, Germany, October 22, 2015.Credit: Reuters

Since the Brexit vote in June, hundreds of British Jews have been looking into how to reclaim German passports decades after they or their forbears were stripped of Berlin's citizenship rights during the Nazi regime.

Normally such petitions run 20 a year, but the figure has risen sharply since the uncertainty brought by the June 23 vote, The Telegraph reported.

Jews whose citizenship was revoked by the Nazis and their descendants are legally entitled to reclaim the credentials under Article 116 of Germany's Basic Law.

The German Embassy in London said they've received 400 enquiries in the seven weeks since the Brexit vote, and a quarter have already applied.

Michael Newman, chief executive of the Association of Jewish Refugees, said there may be more applications when the details of Britain's post-Brexit vote relations with Europe come clear.

"There is a lot of interest in doing it, particularly if living and working in Europe post-Brexit becomes more complicated for Britons," Newman said.

The AJF estimates some 5,000 former Nazi victims live in Britain, not counting their descendants. 

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