Austrian Holocaust descendants to be eligible for citizenship from September 1

Applicants will be required to file paperwork at the country's consulate in London


The descendants of Austrian Holocaust survivors will be able to gain Austrian citizenship from September 1 as part of an “ongoing endeavour for reconciliation with all those who suffered”.

The Austrian Consulate in Israel published guidelines on its website on Sunday, adding that fees would be waived for the process.

Austrian citizenship will now be more “widely extended” as a result of a 2019 amendment to the country's existing citizenship law, which had previously prevented the children and grandchildren of Austrian Jews from reclaiming citizenship stripped during the Nazi-era.  

Previously, only those who had once held Austrian citizenship were able to reclaim it.  

The consulate stated that from September 1 “all direct descendants of victims of Nazi-persecution in Austria will be eligible to claim Austrian citizenship, while keeping their present nationality”.

The provisions apply to all who were citizens of Austria or stateless former citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire residing in Austria in March 1938.

Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in March 1938, and following the end of the Second World War it was occupied until 1955.  

This will include the descendants of Austrian mothers, who before September 1983 were prevented from passing on their nationality to claim and inherit Austrian citizenship.

Descendants will be able to file their claims as of September 1 by filling out an online questionnaire and providing requisite documents. 

British applicants will be required to file paperwork at the consulate in London. 

There are no known numbers of the number of British Jews with Austrian citizenship, or how many in Britain may be eligible. There are approximately 8,000 Israelis with dual Austrian citizenship.

It is known, however, that 1,500 Israelis have contacted their consulate to express interest in receiving Austrian citizenship through the expanded eligibility criteria.  


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