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Article Ad­mis­sion of eth­nic Ger­man re­set­tlers un­der the Fed­er­al Ex­pellees Act

The Federal Government acknowledges its responsibility to all the German minorities in Eastern Europe who faced special difficulties due to World War II, started by Nazi Germany.

The Federal Republic of Germany offers them the choice of resettling in Germany or remaining in their country of residence. The Federal Government respects whatever choice they make and offers both social and financial support to the German minorities in their individual settlement areas. Other measures are intended to help them preserve or restore their cultural identity.

Germany also continues to take in ethnic German resettlers. The Federal Expellees Act defines ethnic German resettlers as ethnic Germans who left the republics of the former Soviet Union after 31 December 1992 in the framework of an admission procedure and established their permanent residence in Germany within six months in line with applicable law.

Ethnic German resettlers are Germans within the meaning of the Basic Law who return to the country of their ancestors to live there permanently. Resettlers are admitted to Germany as ethnic Germans if they declared their commitment to German traditional culture in their home country and learned the German language at home.

The Federal Office of Administration is responsible for processing the admission and distribution of ethnic German repatriates.

Emigration of ethnic Germans from Poland, Romania, Hungary and other European countries of the former Eastern Bloc has almost stopped, except for cases of family reunification, partly due to the improved economic and social situation in these countries.

Emigration from countries of the former Soviet Union has significantly dropped over the years. While in the early 1990s up to 400,000 resettlers came to Germany each year for various reasons, by 2016 this number had fallen to 6,588.

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