For Jews in post-Brexit Britain, German citizenship is no longer verboten


n this Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016 photo, author Thomas Harding shows passports of his grandparents in London. Harding is doing what other descendants of Holocaust victims would find unimaginable: applying for a German passport. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
On this Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016 photo, author Thomas Harding shows passports of his grandparents in London. Harding is doing what other descendants of Holocaust victims would find unimaginable: applying for a German passport. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Thomas Harding is doing what other descendants of Holocaust victims would find unimaginable: applying for a German passport.

By Danica Kirka | The Times of Israel

When Britain voted to leave the European Union in June, the 48-year-old author had to make a decision that was never necessary in a borderless Europe — should he request the restoration of German citizenship stripped from his family by the Third Reich? He needed only a few hours to make up his mind.

“This is more than the practical. This is also about something for us, or for me. It’s about something spiritual, it’s about reconciliation,” he said. “It’s about acknowledging the truth of the horrors of the past but also about trying to build a better future together, and as a European, that’s what I hope to do.”

One of the complicated realities of the UK’s pending divorce from the 28-nation EU is that many Britons whose ancestors came from other parts of Europe are claiming citizenship in other member states so they can retain ties to the continent. Inquiries about passports are up at the German, Austrian and Polish embassies in London.

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