The number of American Jews applying for German citizenship has spiked since Donald Trump became president, according to the German consulate in New York.
German law allows Jewish people whose passports were revoked by the Nazis – between 1933 and 1945 – to reclaim their citizenship. This right also applies to their descendants.
In November 2016, in the month Trump was elected, 124 people Jews in New York filed applications at the German consulate, more than double the number in both 2014 and 2015. In March, 235 people applied for citizenship.
"We can confirm that there has been a perceptible increase in the number of people claiming German citizenship under Article 116, Paragraph 2 of the German Basic Law," Bradford Elder, a spokesman for the German consulate in New York, told Die Deutsche Welle. New York has the largest population of Jews in the world, second only to Israel.
75% of Jews living in the US voted for Hillary Clinton in the presidential election and many are worried about what the future will hold under the Trump administration.
Anti-Semitic incidents are up by 86% so far this year, according to data released by the Anti-Defamation League. In February, 100 gravestones in a Jewish cemetery in Missouri were vandalised and Jewish community centres across the US received bomb threats.
Trump has done little assuage the fears of the Jewish community, by refusing to fire Sean Spicer for his Holocaust denial and by keeping Steve Bannon on as a senior advisor.
The hostility towards Jews in the US has prompted many to apply for a German passport.
"The tone of this country at this point in time is disturbing," Larry Klein, whose parents came to the US as refugees from Nazi Germany, told NPR. He said that an increase in hate speech against Jews made him ring up the German consulate and ask for an application form.
"A country like Germany which, you know, has this history that obviously my family's well aware of, espouses the beliefs and philosophy that actually is the way I'd like a country to behave," he said.
Linda Heuman, whose great-grandparents died in concentration camps, said that she had been thinking about applying for years, but was finally prompted to do so when Trump became president.
"I just instantly felt like I needed someplace else to go. I have that somewhere in my history, like that visceral knowledge," she said. "With racism on the rise and anything might happen so, so that was my motivation for finally getting around to filling out the paperwork." She plans to spend several months in Germany this year to find out more about her ancestors.