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Austria Holocaust citizenship for Holocaust Survivors and Descendants

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When the Nazis took over Austria in 1938, close to 120,000 Jewish individuals fled persecution. Most refugees were naturalised in the countries they fled to out of necessity. However, after the war, the Austrian state barred dual citizenship, which meant these individuals who fled persecution lost their Austria citizenship.

The old pathway of gaining Austrian citizenship descendants of Holocaust had was required their ancestors to have left Austria prior to May 1945. Only descendants of these persecuted individuals who left on time were eligible for applying for regaining Austrian citizenship.

In addition, only descendants of male Austrian holocaust survivors could apply to regain Austrian citizenship. Children of Austrian citizen mothers who were born before September 1983 were also not eligible for Austrian citizenship.

The Amendment to citizenship law

In September of 2019, an amendment was adopted by the Austrian National Council to the Austrian Citizenship Act (section 58c) to include Holocaust Austrian citizenship. Per the amendment, the following categories of individuals can apply for Austria Holocaust citizenship:

  • Austrian citizens and individuals who had citizenship of Austro-Hungarian Monarchy’s successor states
  • Stateless individuals with primary residence being in Austria who left Austria prior to 15 May 1955 owning to persecution by the Nazi regime
  • Descendants of the persecuted individuals in direct descending line.
  • Adopted children of individuals who left Austria due to Nazi regime’s persecution. The adoption should have happened when the individual was a minor.

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