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The ministry also changed the loyalty declaration, which new immigrants must affirm to receive citizenship.

By United with Israel Staff

New immigrants to Germany seeking citizenship will now be required to affirm that they accept Israel’s right to exist, and to tolerate the presence of Jews in the country, the German Interior Ministry announced last week.

On Thursday, Germany’s Interior Ministry announced that it has modified the naturalization process for gaining German citizenship, with the goal of cutting down the time required to become a citizen while also imposing tighter conditions for citizenship.

“In response to increasing antisemitism in Germany, the list of questions in the naturalization test has been expanded,” the Interior Ministry said Thursday.

“New exam questions have been added on the topics of antisemitism, the right of the state of Israel to exist and Jewish life in Germany.”

At the same time, the Interior Ministry has streamlined the immigration process, dropping the requirement that new citizens must surrender their citizenship to their previous home country, and lowering the residency requirement for immigrants employed in Germany from eight years to five.

Among other changes, the ministry changed the loyalty declaration, which new immigrants must affirm in order to receive citizenship.

The questionnaire now includes two questions related to “Germany’s special historical responsibility for the National Socialist unjust regime and its consequences, especially for the protection of Jewish life.”

One of the new questions asks prospective citizens: “Which action relating to the State of Israel is forbidden in Germany?”

The correct answer is “publicly calling for the destruction of Israel.”

However, according to a statement by an Interior Ministry spokesperson to Deutsche Welle, if an applicant incorrectly answers the question, they would not be automatically rejected, but would instead be questioned further regarding their views to ascertain whether they reject Israel’ existence and if so, whether it is based on an “antisemitic attitude.”

“If an applicant questions Israel’s right to exist, for example, the citizenship authorities can question in the naturalization process whether such statements are based on an antisemitic attitude.”

By contrast, the German state of Saxony-Anhalt requires naturalization applicants to affirm their acceptance of Israel’s right to exist.


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