Letters to the editor

I am writing to you as it appears that few here in South Africa know about the Article 116 Exclusions Group that is championing the restitution of German citizenship for the descendants of victims of Nazi persecution. 

I am the daughter of a German Jewish mother who left Germany with her parents in 1937 to come to South Africa. They left behind a business, a home, a community and some family to avoid attacks, deportation or death at the hands of the Nazi regime. My great grandparents on my mother’s side arrived in 1939, after being sheltered by a neighbour.  

I have applied over the years for German citizenship as I have always believed that it is my right. I believe that not taking up my citizenship is to legitimise and consent to the Nazi regimes laws that deprived us of our culture, language, history and community. 

 I have been rejected, among other technicalities, because my mother and not my father was German (My father was a Jew of Lithuanian descent).  

For those interested in taking up German citizenship I suggest you go to the Article 116 Exclusions Group.org website and see what we are doing. The people involved are dedicated to this issue as a matter of justice and of the restitution of rights. I have met the founders of the group in London and am so impressed with what has been achieved to date. Our cause has been highlighted in the Guardian Newspaper and on the BBC. 

I would like to start a South African group as part of the main group based in London – if you would like to join please contact me via my e mail hhhenning@gmail.com

The Bundestag has been quite helpful and sympathetic to date but we need as many of us as possible to be able to influence the changes in legislation needed to fully grant us our legal rights. 

Helen Henning

Sun Valley

Cape Town 

To read the editor’s column for December/January click here

To read or download the December/January issue of the Chronicle in PDF click  here

To read the most read article of the November issue, click here

Portal to the Jewish Community: to see a list of all the Jewish organisations in Cape Town with links to their websites, click here

Featured organisation of the month: The Jewish Community Services’ (JCS) activities are centered on relief for the poor and distressed in the Jewish community. They provide a full range of preventative, educative and supportive counselling, statutory services as well as material relief. Visit http://www.jcs.org.za  for more.


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