Foreigners cannot pick new German names: court 法庭裁示:外國人不可取新德文姓名

Tue, Jun 26, 2012 - Page 10

A German court has refused to allow a family to shed their “foreign-sounding” names for new German ones they said would protect them from discrimination and aid integration into a country becoming attractive for immigrants.

The family, living in Germany under asylum after fleeing Azerbaijan, were given the opportunity to take on German versions of their names, some of which carry Islamic associations, the administrative court in Goettingen, in the state of Lower Saxony, said in a document.

But the family refused this offer, wanting instead to pick completely new German names with the goal of preventing any discrimination in finding work that could arise from an overly complicated spelling or connection to Islam.

“The fact that a surname is of foreign origin, or does not sound German, cannot alone be routinely presented as an important reason for a change of name,” the court ruled.