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Should Germany Introduce Citizenship Tests?

DW-WORLD readers this week commented on plans by some German states to introduce citizenship tests for immigrants. Most agreed that such a test would be a good idea.

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Must new Germans know more about their adopted country than the colors of the flag?

The followi n g comme n ts reflect the views of our readers. Not all reader comme n ts have bee n published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for le n gth a n d appropriate n ess of co n te n t.

I do agree that every country should test the people that wish to move into that country. If they do not wish to integrate and abide by the laws and rules of the country, then they can always go back to where they came from. I am from USA and we have lots of immigration and lots of illegals here. Immigration should be allowed but you want to make sure they are not going to be a burden on your country and citizens, there is more than enough of that already. -- Gle n n Rabb, Dallas , Texas , US

Hi, I am an American that has been living over five years in Germany. A citizenship test has to somehow be relevant to what is happening today. That Bismarck united Germany under a common umbrella is important, but naming the line of succession of the kaisers from 1700 until 1918 seems a little crazy. -- A n dy Spor n er

These tests are a good idea. Foreigners coming into Germany should be expected to understand the culture, rules, and customs of the host country. Such knowledge is required if there is to be peaceful integration and if foreigners want to have a successful experience in Germany. -- To n y Alba n ese , US

I am Canadian and have lived in France for eight years. I agree with citizenship tests in principle, but they must be fair, and only test knowledge that someone with a grade 10 education would have. I believe that Canada has a test which includes questions about the history and culture of the country, which I think is appropriate. One hundred questions is outrageous. -- Pe n n y Douglas

When a person joins a new society, it is necessary that they accept the social mores. It is the responsibility of the government to assure that they do, or else the social climate is diminished by conflict at its lowest levels. -- CA McSha n e

It's a good idea to raise the bar and ensure incoming potential citizens know about their future country, its history, customs and laws. After all they are about to pledge allegiance and should be seeking citizenship to be part of the system and a fully fledged contributor. -- Ross

Living in Canada; where our immigration policies are very liberal, we have certain sectors of the country that use the English language as a second language and they keep their native language and customs alive within their tiny community. I believe that if a person has a strong desire to become a citizen of another country they should put forth the effort to learn the language, customs etc. -- shampow

I find it somewhat good to have a citizenship test, but worry about how extensive the coverage it would be. It should cover only some very important information like important historical events, social and political system or demographic information, and language competence. Questions like "the number of universities in Germany" or "the top sprinter in Germany" should be avoided. -- cha n ailie

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  • Date 22.03.2006
  • Author Compiled by DW staff (win)
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/88yv
  • Date 22.03.2006
  • Author Compiled by DW staff (win)
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/88yv