A little late, Germans planning to yank Hitler's citizenship

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BERLIN -- Adolf Hitler should be stripped of German citizenship, according to MPs from the state that awarded it to him 75 years ago, aiding his rise to power.

The MPs hope such a move will bring redemption for the city of Braunschweig which, they claim, has been wrongly blamed for appointing Hitler as a civil servant on February 26, 1932. The appointment made Hitler, who was born in Austria, a German national, meaning he could run in the presidential election a few weeks later.

The city “keeps getting labelled as the place that helped Hitler get his German citizenship”, said Isolde Saalmann, a local MP. “But the city was Social Democrat at the time.” It was the state of Braunschweig, which was a Nazi stronghold and which was replaced by Lower Saxony after the war, that had turned Hitler into a German, she said. “That should be clarified. This is in no way intended as a way to belittle history by saying ‘see, he wasn’t a German’,” said Ms Saalmann. “That would never be my intention as a Social Democrat.”...

The idea of rescinding Hitler’s citizenship came up during discussions over its 75th anniversary. It was suggested that as Braunschweig, along with other German cities, had withdrawn honorary citizenships from Nazi leaders after the war, maybe Hitler’s nationality could now be taken back as well.

Legal experts doubt whether this would be feasible. The German constitution forbids rescinding citizenship if that would make the person stateless. Hitler’s being dead also poses a potential snag, as an official from Lower Saxony’s Justice Ministry pointed out.

Hitler never took up his duties at Braunschweig and soon took indefinite leave. He had been stateless since 1925 when, at his request, his Austrian citizenship was annulled. It took seven years for him to become officially “Germanified”.

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