Monday, March 12, 2007

German lawmaker wants to strip Hitler of citizenship

In a move that some may see as shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, German state legislators are trying to strip Adolf Hitler of his German citizenship.

Hitler, who has been dead for almost sixty-two years, was Austrian by birth, and was only granted German citizenship in 1932, a year before he became chancellor of the country. For seven years before that, having been granted release from his Austrian citizenship, he was officially stateless.

Now Isolde Saalmann, a deputy in Lower Saxony's state legislature, has put in motion an attempt to rescind the citizenship – which was granted in Braunschweig, the city that Saalmann represents.

We want to clear this up once and for all.

Ms Saalmann said: 'If the state of Lower Saxony as the legal successor of the then free state of Braunschweig distances itself from it, it could be helpful. We want to clear this up once and for all.'

But she added: 'This should never serve to play down history along the lines of "Look, he wasn't a German at all." That would never be my intention.'

However, others are sceptical of the practicality of her plan. An anonymous justice ministry official told Der Spiegel: 'Dead is dead. You can't take anything more away then.'

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