Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Fast Forward

Minneapolis Holocaust Survivor Reclaims His German Citizenship

At 85 years old, a Holocaust survivor living in Minneapolis became a German citizen.

Fred Amram described the re-naturalization ceremony September 25 at the Germanic-American Institute in St. Paul as “bittersweet.”

Born in Nazi Germany in 1933, Amram was stripped of his citizenship at 2 years old, when the anti-Semitic Nuremberg Laws were enacted, the Bemidji Pioneer reported. Four years later, his family fled to the United States and became American citizens.

Amram, an emeritus University of Minnesota professor and author, learned in 2016 that Germany was offering re-naturalization for those who lost their citizenship. He talked to family, friends and other Holocaust survivors, ultimately deciding to become a dual citizen.

“It’s sweet that we are building bridges, we are speaking about atoning, we are speaking about making amends,” Amram told the Bemidji Pioneer. “And yet it’s bitter in that the Holocaust happened. To me, it’s bitter that my citizenship was taken away, my birthright was taken away.”

He said he’s still angry over the death of his cousin, Aaltje, who was sent to the gas chambers in the Auschwitz concentration camp, MPR reported. Amram plans to continue living in the U.S., but with his new citizenship, he said he hopes to stand up against the conservative political party.

“In Germany, like in so many other countries, there is a growing right wing and if I can do a teeny part in standing up against that right wing, if I can do a teeny part in saying ‘No, we really are brothers and sisters,’” Arman told MPR. “Cool, that’s what I want to do.”

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.