Vienna city hall and flags Austria

Austria’s Citizenship Law for Nazi Victims & Descendants Explained!

Austria passed a law that extends Austrian citizenship to descendants of Nazi persecution victims. Here is everything you need to know.

Germany’s Nazi Regime held power over various European countries from 1933 to 1943. Millions fell victim to the regime’s inhumane actions during their time in power. Austria was one of the countries that showed incredible support for the regime. In the few years leading up to 1938, Austria faced economic stagnation, political dictatorship, and intense Nazi propaganda.

In 1938, German Troops entered Austria to support Austrian citizens and government enthusiastically. The next day, Austria was incorporated into Germany. Shortly after, Hitler’s Third Reich was put onto the people of Austria. Countless citizens lost their lives or fled due to emigration to escape the Nazis. These Nazi victims then lost their citizenship as most of them never returned to their home country.

Even today, the victims still are not considered citizens of Austria. Likewise, those who are the descendants of the Austrian victims who fled the country during this period were never rightfully granted Austrian citizenship either.

However, Austria’s parliament finally passed a new law that extends Austrian citizenship to descendants of the Nazi Regime. This law is called the Citizenship Law Amendment Act 2018 and was finally put into effect on January, 9th of 2021. The law is applied to people worldwide as long as there is proof that they are descendants of Nazi persecution victims.

What Does This Mean for Me?

The law grants “simplified access” to Austrian citizenship to descendants of Nazi victims. This means if you have a parent or great-grandparent who was an Austrian-Jew who was persecuted during WWII, you may be eligible to reclaim your Austrian citizenship through a much easier process than others applying for citizenship who do not meet the requirements of this new law. Completing this process will entitle you to an EU passport, and all the benefits that come along with it.

For over 75 years since World War 2, rightful citizenship to the descendants has not been recognized. This law will ultimately eliminate the ongoing injustice that has resulted from the Nazi Regime. There are many other countries offering citizenship for descendants of Nazi victims, as well.

What Does “Simplified Access” Mean?

Most foreigners applying for Austrian citizenship have to go through an extensive process that involves various obstacles and can take years to complete. To have simplified access allows foreigners that were prosecuted or their descendants to skip many parts of the extensive citizenship application process.

Foreigners wanting citizenship through these measures only need to prove that they are descended from another ancestor who the Nazis prosecuted. Applicants need to have unobjectionable documents given as proof. The exact stipulations of the law are as follows:

The applicant is in direct descending line the descendant of a person who went abroad before 15 May 1955,

      • because they had reason to fear or suffered persecution by organs of the NSDAP or the authorities of the Third Reich, or
      • because they were exposed to persecution or had to fear such persecution because of her advocacy of the democratic Republic of Austria

How Does EuroPassport Help?

At EuroPassport, we help our clients and their families acquire their European citizenship through ancestry. Our legal and genealogical experts help you source all the required documents and build a case with the highest chance of success for your citizenship application.

If you are interested in exploring whether you may be eligible to acquire your Austrian citizenship under these new laws, learning more about the application process, or have more general questions—View oru FAQs or contact us today.

Have more questions about the process and whether you may be eligible? Check out our FAQs or contact us today to learn more.