Nationality Law of the German Empire and States

July 23rd, 1913


Borders Discrimination & Inequity

The basis of the Nationality Law of the German Empire and States (RuStAG), which came into force on 22 July 1913, is the jus sanguinis (Right of blood).

According to the law, a child can only acquire German citizenship if one of the parents has it. The objective hereby is to guarantee the construct of an “ethnic-cultural” homogeneity of the nation, and, amongst other things, to limit the immigration in particular of Eastern European minorities. With regard to the colonial history of Germany, a legal base is established that “being German” is connected to the construct of “being white”. Nevertheless, with the start of the First World War, the process of nationalization is facilitated in order to recruit a large number of voluntary soldiers. Not until the year 2000, the law is replaced by the “German nationality law” (StAG) (LINK, Amendment of the German Nationality Act, 1999-2000).