For my family, not everything is fixed, here in my beautiful Hamburg.

I would like to share a personal problem, a part of history that me and my family are waiting to be fixed. It’s about our history in Hamburg, and our status, because of cold bureaucracy.

[Explenation of the bureaucratic situation in German added to the end of this post**]

My father’s parents, Helga and Bernard, fled Hamburg and went to Palestine because of the Nazi government in 1936.
My Grandmother Helga was born in 17.1.1915 in Hamburg. Her father Georg was a wealthy man, also her mother. The family lived in Hamburg for several generations. Not Quiddjes at all.

The story is long and interesting. A book was written on Helga’s brother this year (sommer in Brandenburg by Urs Faes), and we are about to publish a book about her sister (The story of the book in my blog https://baruchfamily.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/it-all-began-with-a-picture/ ), and we have many documents and evidence about their life in Hamburg. I will be happy to expand.

Today 7 Stolpersteine for members of the family are embedded in the asphalt here in Hamburg.

My grandmother married my grandfather at 1936 to get a certificate to go to Palestine, escaping from the Nazis.
Her father Georg, sister Marion and brother Rolf, were murdered in Auschwitz and Minsk.
My grandmother gave birth to six children (One for each million, she used to say). One of them is my father.

Bernard and Helga married

Her husband, Bernhard came as a child from Poland to Hamburg and lived here for more than 10 years.
Both – Helga and Bernard came back to Hamburg:

After the establishment of the diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany, they came back to live in Hamburg. As an active community member, Helga she wrote in Stern Magazine and participated in many projects.

In 1967, Helga tried to get back her German citizenship based on Article 116 II GG.

She found out that she was not entitled to get back her citizenship because of law § 17 Nr. 6 of the Reichs- und Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz (RuStAG) of 22.07.1913.

This old law states in § 4, that a child that is born in a marriage,
gets the German citizenship, only if its father is a German citizen.
And § 17 states, that a German woman looses her citizenship, if she marries an alien

Karl-Heinz Karch.

This discriminatory law claims that a woman who married a non-German cannot get back her citizenship.

The authorities claim that she does not deserve to get back her citizenship according to Article 116 II GG. as they claim that the Nazi regime in Germany was not the reason for revoking her citizenship.

Finally, the authorities agreed to give her citizenship on a special term that she was not able to pass this citizenship to her offspring. (12 of Erstes Gesetz zur Regelung von Fragen der Staatsangehörigkeit (1. StARegG) from 22.02.1955).

My father’s request for a German passport, as given to all sons of German citizens after taken from them by the Nazis, was declined by the German embassy.
This is, as I understand, because of a racist and women discriminating law, that was abolished after the Nazi-Era, declaring that if the mother married a non-German, her children are not eligible for German citizenship.

 

My grandfather lived in Germany for years and ran away, like my grandmother, from the Nazis.
When the war was over and the Nazis were gone – they both got back their German citizenship.

We applied for German citizenship as allowed by law to families that lost theirs because of the Nazi-Era.
at the German embassy in Tel Aviv the request was approved, and then suddenly after few weeks, they send us a detailed answer about canceling the given approval, documents are attached. (The request was for one of my grandmother’s sons, and they are replying to him).

As I see it, this answer does not go hand in hand with the need to fix the wrongdoings of the past. German citizenship was taken from the descendants of a family with very long roots in this city.
It was taken from us because of an antisemitic Nazi-law.

From what I see in their answer, three points are problematic:

“since your mother got married to a Polish man in 1936, she automatically lost her German citizenship.“
So her citizenship was taken from her, during the Nazi-Era. The fact that a German citizen is losing her citizenship because she is marrying a non-German is a discriminating law that was already canceled, but for some reason, the law allows to discriminate you by the old law, if you were born or married a non-German in the wrong year.

She lost her citizenship because of a Nazi, “Arian blood” law.
She married before going to Palestina, and that was the only way to go to Palestina (As a couple) – Partially, they were married because of the Nazi anti-Jewish laws. They had to. To flee the genocide.
My grandfather lived in Germany for 13 years (before the war). Enough time to get a citizenship. He never got one (this is what they say) and it pretty much makes sense, as a Jew, he would never get one from the Nazis.

But last, is the overall point:

My family lived in Hamburg for hundreds of years. They were respectable people. One escaped, and everything he had including his nationality was taken from him. All the others were killed in the camps.

How, an erasing of a family, cannot entitle their direct descendants to get back what was taken from them – their right to be a citizen in their original Heimat.

I currently live in Hamburg. Working and in love with this city, their city, my city. But there is something missing, and I believe that its need to be corrected. I believe that this is a fight worth taking, to convince the Hamburg Senate to change their decision and give back what was taken from the family.

The Israeli lawyer that is handling German citizenships didn’t want to take this case because he “Needs my good relations with the German authorities”.
So, I am looking for a person who is not afraid, who see’s the justice in this case, and is willing to give it a good fight.

I will be thankful for any help and will be happy to add any more information.

Adding a small video that was broadcasted on NDR a few weeks ago with me, telling a small part of the family story.
http://www.ndr.de/fernsehen/sendungen/das/Ein-Israeli-auf-Spurensuche-in-Hamburg,israeli100.html

Until then, me and my dog, in Hamburg, waiting.

Der junge Israeli Lior Oren im "Park Fiction" - Hamburg .

Der junge Israeli Lior Oren im "Park Fiction" - Hamburg .

Der junge Israeli Lior Oren im "Park Fiction" - Hamburg .
Thanks for reading.

Sincerely,

Lior Oren.

* After posting, I learned from Karl-Heinz Karch that the law is actually older than the Nazi era, and it is even more problematic:

“The problem you and your father are very probably dealing with,
concerning getting German citizenship, is not a racist Nazi-law, but
twenty years older, the “Reichs- und Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz” of
the German Empire, of July 22, 1913, which is in clear contradiction
of the legal equality of women and men.

This old law states in § 4, that a child that is born in a marriage,
gets the German citizenship, only if its father is a German citizen.
And § 17 states, that a German woman looses her citizenship, if she
marries an alien” 


** Some context for those proficient in German by Matthias Grimm: 

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/staatsangehoerigkeitsposse-wie-die-bundesrepublik-mit-artikel-117-eine-juedin-abwimmelt-a-549981.html

“Butterfields Antrag auf Einbürgerung wurde abgelehnt. Der Grund: Ihre Großmutter hatte im falschen Jahr geheiratet und im falschen Jahr eine Tochter, Caseys Mutter, bekommen: 1947. Auch das steht im Grundgesetz: Frauen, die bis 1953 einen Nichtdeutschen heirateten und mit ihm Kinder bekamen, können ihre deutsche Staatsangehörigkeit nicht vererben.

Artikel 117, der auch auf von den Nationalsozialisten ausgebürgerte Jüdinnen angewandt wird, schreibt ein antiquiertes Recht fort: Väter durften ihre deutsche Staatsangehörigkeit an ehelich geborene binationale Kinder vererben. Deutsche Mütter durften das nicht. Das geht auf das Reichsstaatsangehörigkeitsgesetz von 1913 zurück, das Frauen als bloße Anhängsel ihrer Männer sah.

Mit anderen Worten: Wäre Caseys Großvater deutscher Jude gewesen, könnten die Kinder und Enkel Deutsche werden. Da ihre Großmutter deutsche Jüdin ist und im falschen Jahr heiratete, wird der Enkelin, die sich als Deutsche fühlt, der deutsche Pass verwehrt.”


 

Photos copyrights:

HAMBURG / 30.04.2015

Der junge Israeli Lior Oren an seinem Lieblingsplatz im “Park Fiction” oberhalb der Landungsbrücken – 30.04.2015 – Hamburg . Er arbeitet in Hamburg und kam mit seinem Hund “Schwitzi” aus Tel Aviv nach Hamburg . Teile seiner Familie wurden in Hamburg deportiert .

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