Serving two masters



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Leaving Berlin

It is difficult to add anything to what you have written, as this is such an interesting and thoughtful article I almost feel I should not say anything. What a delight to read such good writing is my reaction. Thanks.
My great grandparents were born in Germany, so I don't see this argument as relating to me, as it is a long way back, and ancestry would only make me one quarter German by blood ancestry, which could not be said to be German, but it was still interesting, the idea of right of blood (hope I read that correctly) ties to German citizenship. I have to agree with you, that what is in your heart matters. It really does, I think, but having said that: for dual citizenship, if a person who was an immigrant gave up their other citizenship, and things did not go well for them in Germany, they might wish they could return and maybe they could not. In New Zealand, where I am now, it is very quickly appreciated what it means to be in one country or another by law - and citizenship is law. A person has to live by the law of whatever country they are a citizen of. So a piece of paper is useless in one way, but in another, not useless, as without that piece of paper you have no legal status and legal status determines how a person is treated. It could be argued; the law is everything, in this regard, as what a person says or believes can be ignored, but a passport cannot be. In reading the article though, it was very interesting, as it captured so well the idea of two different countries: each country is so different in its own ways: NZ and Germany for example: very very different. I can't imagine being a citizen of both,myself. So, how could a person be a citizen of two countries: surely it would be a conflict of interest, unless the two countries were very very similar maybe, but since every country is so unique, how could that be?

As for my background: I stayed in Berlin for three months earlier this year, and it was very interesting. Now, I am back In NZ. The laws are different, the noise is different, the people I see are of different views or seem to express a different cultural view, that I do not, personally speaking, think I share in many ways. The thought I had in leaving Berlin was: ''now I am not on German soil anymore''. It was really sad....why? I am not German, and I am not now likely to apply for German citizenship, but nuances, as you mention, are very interesting: what makes a person German?

By Katrina Wood (previously Julie Wood. I changed my name by deed poll in NZ in 2005 from Julie to Katrina)

Katrina Wood more than 7 years ago

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