Thursday, March 27, 2014

Citizenship claims

The Spanish and Portuguese Parliaments have passed new laws to extend citizenship to Jews who can prove that their ancestors were resident in those countries at any time.  I thought I would compile a list of countries around the world that we could legitimately apply to for citizenship under the same conditions, that our Jewish ancestors formerly lived there.  Of course, in each country our ancestors left because they were in danger of being killed because they were Jews.   Either that or they were forced to convert to Christianity and then be killed.

So let's start out with Spain, where my mother's ancestors came from, they were Sephardic Jews. In 1492 those Jews who would not willingly convert to Christianity were expelled from Spain and all their goods were confiscated and shared between the Church and the Crown, those that were not stolen by their neighbors.  Most of the Jews who settled later in Holland, where my ancestors lived for 300 years, came via Portugal, and when they were expelled from there between 1498 - 1505 they moved via Bordeaux, France, to Holland.  So I could claim Spanish, Portuguese, French and Dutch citizenships.  My father came from Zhitomir in the Ukraine, that was then part of Russia, where his father was a vintner and his family was forced to flee around 1904 when he was a baby, and they arrived in London via Danzig, that was then Prussian territory.   So  I could claim Ukrainian and/or Russian citizenship.

My wife's family came from Poland, her mother from Radom, and they came via Holland where they lived for some time before moving to England, so she could claim Polish and Dutch citizenship.  Of course, we both have British citizenship, having been born there and we both have US and Israeli citizenship.  So adding them all up, between us, we could claim Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, British, American and finally Israeli, that's ten.  Talk about wandering Jews.  But, to tell the truth I don't want the citizenship of any country that treated my ancestors, my grandparents and parents in such a disgusting way.  I am happy to retain only Israeli citizenship, the buck stops here.


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