After the Brexit referendum, British writer Natasha Walter was urged by her mother to apply for German citizenship. In revisiting the wartime experiences of her family, the fragile state of present-day Britain became painfully clear

After the 2016 referendum, something new popped on to my to-do list, usually appearing somewhere after Take back library books and before Book dentist appointment: Apply for German citizenship.

My mother had been the first to bring up the idea. Because of the referendum, she felt our family should take up the right that Germany granted in 1949 to those, mainly Jews, who had been stripped of their citizenship under the Third Reich. “You should get yours and the children’s,” she said. At first, I was dismissive. I work every day with refugees in London and their yearning to remain has made me vividly aware of the luck I already have in having British citizenship.

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