I’ve been keeping this to myself for awhile now – close to a year – but now, I can officially say that as of yesterday…
I AM A DUAL AMERICAN/GERMAN CITIZEN.
It all started last summer.
My grandparents had their German citizenship revoked when they left the country during World War II. Under the current citizenship and naturalization laws of the country, if your grandparents were born in Germany and had their citizenship taken away by the Nazis, you can qualify for German citizenship. So, after much inquiry, while visiting home last summer, my dad, sister and I paid a visit to the German Embassy in Washington to submit our credentials. We had our driver’s licenses, our American passports, our birth certificates, and my grandmother’s kennkarte with the big ANNULLED stamp on it. All we needed was my parents’ marriage certificate (easy enough to get) and my grandparents’ marriage certificate (easier than we thought; it was a matter of the embassy calling Berlin to check the national or regional archives, and sure enough it was there) so the ball got to rolling sometime in October, when that document showed up.
Fast forward to yesterday, when we all got emails from the German Embassy, saying that our naturalization certificates were available for pickup, and that when we get them, we can put in applications for passports. They are going to be holding some sort of ceremony on June 2, but since I won’t be able to be there and they must be handed over in person, I’m going to see if they can send it to the German Consulate in Chicago or the Honorary Consul in Minneapolis so I can get it without having to trek out to DC.
And that’s how I became a naturalized German citizen.
So, a la David Letterman, here is a list of 10 Things That I Can Do Now Because I’m German:
10. I have someone to root for in Eurovision and FIFA.
9. I can have beer whenever I want.
8. I actually have a reason to celebrate Oktoberfest now.
7. I am allowed to laugh at Kate McKinnon’s Angela Merkel impressions on SNL and feel no remorse.
6. I can roll my eyes at Americans.
5. If I get pulled over for speeding, I can say…”Sorry, officer, I’m used to the Autobahn.”
4. I can make up long and funny words.
3. German food.
2. I have expanded my job options, infinitely. Being a German citizen also makes be a citizen of the European Union, which means I can live and work almost anywhere in Europe without a hassle, and travel visa-free.
1. “Don’t shoot, I’m German!”
I guess the next step is to go back and visit again. Well, after I get my certificate and passport. We’ll see. But I guess until then, I’m still the same old That’s So Jacob.
Deutsch-Burger. Tee hee.