Full-text resources of CEJSH and other databases are now available in the new Library of Science.
Visit https://bibliotekanauki.pl


2008 | 1(84) | 75-96

Article title



Title variants

Languages of publication



The article treats about the issue of German citizenship in the context of nationality (i.e. affiliation to the State) of the Federal Republic of Germany, affected by the political consequences of World War II. The main question in this respect is the continuity or discontinuity of German statehood after the collapse of the Third Reich. The problem was further complicated by the political situation - division of the country into two German states and the transfer of one-third of the territory of the former Third Reich to the Polish state. The issue of German nationality has developed in three dimensions: citizenship of the FRG, citizenship of the GDR, and matters related to nationality and citizenship of the German resettlers in 1945-89. These problems are linked to the restoration of German citizenship to former citizens of the Third Reich who were deprived thereof in result of discriminating Nazi legislation, as well as the adoption in the Basic Law (of the Federal Republic of Germany) of the notion of a German, under which some political rights of citizens were granted to ethnic Germans. Apart from some detailed provisions concerning the nature of securing the right to citizenship, including inter alia constitutional prohibition against deprivation thereof, the Basic Law does not govern the issue of German nationality which is regulated by the Act of 1913 on German Nationality (with many further amendments). The legal basis is provided also by a group of legislation concerning the consequences of the war (the Acts of 1955 and 1956 regulating nationality issues), consequences of the division of the country into two German states (the Act of 1967 on Citizenship of the GDR) and also the laws and treaties to naturalise inhabitants of certain areas annexed in 1939-1945, and finally laws and treaties relating to the unification of the two German states in 1990. Particularly complex is the question of citizenship of German resettlers who left Poland in result of Potsdam conference and repatriation process after 1950. German legislation addresses this problem, in a manner that is controversial and provocative from the perspective of Polish-German relations. First of all, it causes the collision of norms (positive and negative), thereby interfering in Poland's ruling powers. Maintenance of this line of solutions until today is met not only with political criticism from Poland, but is also considered by the German doctrine of law as outdated and inconsistent with the 'ratio legis' of the Basic Law.





Physical description

Document type



  • M. Muszynski, Uniwersytet Kardynala Stefana Wyszynskiego, Wydzial Prawa i Administracji, ul. Wóycickiego 1/3, 01-938 Warszawa, Poland


Document Type

Publication order reference


CEJSH db identifier

YADDA identifier

JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.