Einbürgerung/Citizenship process Prenzlau berg/Pankow

54 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, dj_jay_smith said:

 

 

Please don't cross post!

 

Was she maybe referring to the Einbuergerungstest? Rather than integration course?

 

BTW:  Arguing with a Beamter who is incharge of your process won't help you!  She might not be the sharpest but she is still responsible for your process.

 

 

 

I’m sorry. But the topics have already become crossed as this one was about waiting times at the pankow standesamt became about requirements and einbürgerungstest; while the other became about waiting times.

if there was a delete or edit option, I’d remove the one from the other topic. 

 

I didn’t argue with her at all. Like I said it was all very friendly and I just nodded, but I have a lawyer helping me on the side and she will step in when necessary. Like I said, when lawyers get involved, the Beamter’s boss gets caught too. So it ends up not giving her that much of that sense of petty little power. 

20 minutes ago, swimmer said:

We are almost always required to do the naturalization test.  It would be unusual to be let off but not impossible as per your example.  Higher level language qualification acceptance is indeed possible in the rules  They are pretty rigorous on ticking that  "applicant is demonstrably integrated" box.  They would need to validate the alternative you gave them too of course.

 

100% true that a course participation cert means nothing.  We can all attend a course and it says nothing about our level.  I have one for a C2 course but would not pass the exam.   But C1 is above the language level needed anyway and is not relevant to the naturalization test component.  So it adds nothing. 

 

This is bureaucracy.  They often ask for things that apply to many in the process but do not apply individually to us.  If we do not need the integration course, or have different housing tenure, just deal with it.  

 

 

I agree with you, but I proved the B1 which is the required level for citizenship. It’s from my home country where Goethe doesn’t cost a kidney. It’s just that I continued to study here in a regular school. I never thought of doing the DaF test or anything like it because I freaking have a masters on political science by an accredited german school.  I tick both the box for level of german AND naturalization test waiver. 

 

Once I have all docs, i’ll be submitting them through my lawyer. Not directly myself. 

Seriously. It changes everything. My lawyer herself used to work in a german consulate and she was appaled at how much wrong information her colleagues gave and demanded from people. No one is trained based on the laws they have to use. They just receive a handbook and then it’s every Beamter for her/himself.

 

As foreigners in a foreign land, we naturally tend to bow down to authorities, of course.  That wouldn’t be a problem if authoties didn’t overstep their limits. 

I know it’s money I won’t get back if they don’t fight my lawyer. But if they do, they know they will lose and then have to pay me back everything. Who’s willing to risk that?

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52 minutes ago, swimmer said:

 

100% true that a course participation cert means nothing.  We can all attend a course and it says nothing about our level.  I have one for a C2 course but would not pass the exam.   But C1 is above the language level needed anyway and is not relevant to the naturalization test component.  So it adds nothing. 

 

This is bureaucracy.  They often ask for things that apply to many in the process but do not apply individually to us.  If we do not need the integration course, or have different housing tenure, just deal with it.  

 

yes, I do lose because i will have to take (and pay) for an official certificated test and those ain’t cheap. 

 

Bureacracy doesn‘t mean absolute discritionarity. The requirements are in the law. Not in her head. And that’s how I am dealing with it. With a lawyer. What best way to prove knowledge of German(y) by calling the rule of law card? How ironic. 

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48 minutes ago, CaptainKurt said:

 

yes, I do lose because i will have to take (and pay) for an official certificated test and those ain’t cheap. 

 

25 Euro I think?  It is a machine marked multiple choice exam.   Nothing complex about it.   To become a citizen, we might have to expect to go to a bit of effort to demonstrate integration in a way the state can evaluate and record.   If you see that as a "loss", then citizenship is not for you.  Correct.  You might also want to think carefully about shouting the odds with the ABH about the idea of 25 Euro being a barrier. We do need to show we have financial means to support the lives we want here.   If you escalate to "look, I am a lawyer and I am so well integrated I do not need the integration test", then going on to suggest that a 25 Euro test that most candidates rattle off in 10-15 minutes and score 30+ of 33 is absurdly onerous and pricy might not do much for your credibility on those assertions.

 

Honestly, I think you need to put your lawyer hat on here - adopt all the rigour about precise detail that you would adopt in managing anyone else`s case.  If you were managing someone else`s migration case, you would look at the requirements and the rules in full detail and know them.   You would appreciate a participation certificate is different to an tested assessment certificate.  And so on.   Then you would not need to get so upset, or upset the people you need on-side to approve your application.    I would suggest that - like any lawyer or political science graduate managing a case or issue - you start by reading the BAMF webpages about the naturalisation process.   It confirms almost everything you are questioning.

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2 hours ago, swimmer said:

The B1 certificate is normally mandatory.   No need to force  your certificate on them.  We are almost always required to do the naturalization test.  It would be unusual to be let off but not impossible as per your example.  Higher level language qualification acceptance is indeed possible in the rules, nothing "made up".   They are pretty rigorous on ticking that  "applicant is demonstrably integrated" box.  They would need to validate the alternative you gave them too of course.

 

100% true that a course participation cert means nothing.  We can all attend a course and it says nothing about our level.  I have one for C2 but would not pass the exam.   But C1 is above the language level needed anyway (B1) and is not relevant to the naturalization test component.   So it adds nothing - you lost nothing there.

 

Yes, this is bureaucracy.  That often ask for things that apply to many in the process but do not apply individually to us.  If we do not need the integration course, or have different housing tenure, just deal with it.  Supply the evidence like copy of ownership documents.  We lawyers, public policy and political professionals, senior professionals etc know all about bireaucracy.  And we apply for citizenship all the time here.  Playing the "Don't you know what my job is?"  card don't impress anyone much.

 

 

I think you misunderstood me or maybe I wasn’t clear enough. She asked me for proof of “sufficient German” and I gave her my B1 certificate from Goethe. She said “Ok. B1 is the sufficient German needed”. THEN she went about integration course which lead to the whole “I can have that waived” situation. She agreed and  I got the Einbürgerungstest waived. That’s when she simply reverted her decision and decided that B1 was not enough. The facts happened in the order I described. What she wants now is a B2/C1 OFFFICIAL certificate from a VHS or any other official DaF test center. And those are in the house of the 200€. Probably double if you throw in a crash course to make sure you nailed it (which I’d do if I absolutely had to do it, but I won’t because proving even the State has to abide to it’s own laws is the very core of rule of law). So I’d rather spend with a lawyer than being allowed to have my rights stripped. THAT is what being German is about. Go ask the people from East Berlin if they accepted “no” for an answer of the border control at Bösebrücke after the SED announced visits to the West were allowed as of that moment, on that not-so-far evening of Nov 9th, 1989. 

 

And I guess paying a lawyer is proof enough I have money to care for myself. I've done it other times. Seriously. When you bring a lawyer into the game, they totally change their tone. In fact, probably until the end of the year I will be licensed to practice German law here. I just wouldn't be my own client (all lawyers know that rule). I'd still prefer for my friend to handle it for me.

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Cpt. you are reminding me of Denny Crane (played by William Shatner) from 'Boston Legal.' Just show up at that Amt and say, 'Captain Kurt!' and all of them will go scrambling to give you all that you need. Wishing you all the best because we need to stick up for ourselves as foreigners and not to forget to stick up for ourselves also if/when Eingebürgert/dual citizens etc. because that doesn't mean the struggle here is over. No little tiny voiced immigrant stance. Look them in the eye, shoulders back, confident, pleasant, even charming but go into those offices knowing your stuff too. 

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12 minutes ago, cybil said:

Cpt. you are reminding me of Denny Crane (played by William Shatner) from 'Boston Legal.' Just show up at that Amt and say, 'Captain Kurt!' and all of them will go scrambling to give you all that you need. Wishing you all the best because we need to stick up for ourselves as foreigners and not to forget to stick up for ourselves also if/when Eingebürgert/dual citizens etc. because that doesn't mean the struggle here is over. No little tiny voiced immigrant stance. Look them in the eye, shoulders back, confident, pleasant, even charming but go into those offices knowing your stuff too. 

 

Hahaha. I will confess I’m a trekkie, but not a big fan of Shatner as his acting got worse as he got more famous.

But yes, bringing my lawyer friend with me for my next appointment is not out of the question yet. 

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I think there was a valid reason for the officer to request B2 in the case of CaptainKurt. How did s/he get admitted to the postgraduate programme in political science here in Germany? I suppose all applicants had to pass an official language test beyond B1! I cannot imagine a person with a B1 certificate can study at a German university. Or was the programme entirely taught in English? If yes, how could this be a reliable substitute for the naturalization test? 

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57 minutes ago, ganh yar said:

I think there was a valid reason for the officer to request B2 in the case of CaptainKurt. How did s/he get admitted to the postgraduate programme in political science here in Germany? I suppose all applicants had to pass an official language test beyond B1! I cannot imagine a person with a B1 certificate can study at a German university. Or was the programme entirely taught in English? If yes, how could this be a reliable substitute for the naturalization test? 

 

That’s a valid point. But the StAG is pretty clear that the German lever is B1. Period. 

Which leads to your next point which is correct. It was not in German. But the Einbürgerungstest is about German laws, politics etc. it is NOT about “Geisterwissenschaft“. If my master’s had been about International Relations, it would be valid as a waiver to the test. But the StAG does mention that the grad/post-grad must have been done in German (languange, not necessarily culture, which isn’t exactly what it’s replacing the test with, but that’s the law). 

 

So what should have happened then? She should have said “since your Master’s was not In German, I cannot waive your test, but the command of sufficient German is already proven.”

 

If THAT had been the outcome, I’d definitely wouldn’t be here seeking people who had been through the same. I’d actually just take that stupid test because it is indeed cheap and easy.

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Yes I do not think the language of the qualification would be the issue then, but rather its origin, its appropriateness as one of the typically accepted German education system post-graduate qualifications that is may be acceptable would need to be evaluated.   An "it was in English" line in an obvious opening for them to probe more, hence asking about the B2 probably,  as last poster said.

 

I do not think anyone is doubting your language level from what you say and indeed they cannot (as B1 is the standard needed and you have that cert, so box ticked).    It is the integration bit to be done but as we now confirmed should be straightforward :lol:.

 

The last time I had to do a process in Berlin, I also had a huge row about something I thought I should not have to evidence :ph34r:.    Not as "high stakes"  as this example but I put in a complaint that was heard in due course (given them their due, they seem to have very substantial complaint review process).   Meantime just went again with what they said they wanted and it was quick and easy.   So move on from the initial row.

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How long have you been living in Germany? I wonder if she was thinking through the application requirements from the 6 or 7 year requirements standpoint, rather than the 3 years+spouse of a German standpoint. If that is what happened, then her initial request for an integration certificate (for 7 years), followed by B2 when you didn't have that specific certificate (for 6 years), may make sense.

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11 minutes ago, Zeitbuch said:

How long have you been living in Germany? I wonder if she was thinking through the application requirements from the 6 or 7 year requirements standpoint, rather than the 3 years+spouse of a German standpoint. If that is what happened, then her initial request for an integration certificate (for 7 years), followed by B2 when you didn't have that specific certificate (for 6 years), may make sense.

 

I’ve been living since 5 and a half years now. Out of the last 3 and a half under a same sex partnership. That was clear from the get go, despite her robotic insistence on quoting her hamdbook. 

 

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by the way, despite the Pankow Bürgeramt not displaying any Beamter's email address, and only offering ONE central email, a little bit of googling + her last name got me to the PDF Brochure from 2014 they use as their manual for Einbürgerung. It also has her full work email address. 

 

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 Just giving an update to someone who is planning to apply at B.A Pankow, its getting almost impossible to get the appointment. As soon as the appointments are released, within 10 secs they are all gone (I couldnt even reach the Form for the appointment today). I guess this is due to large number of Brits living in Prenzlauberg who are all applying because of the Brexit. 

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Sjohn,

 

The problems you're experiencing are particular to Pankow... their lack of resources..and resulting poor work ethic.

 

It's nothing to do with Brexit, a large number of British applicants or anything else.

 

My application completed, all boxes ticked, has been on their desk for 14 months.

 

The two ladies in question smoke 30% of their working day, complain about workload for another 30%, nip to the local shops for the next 30%. Leaving 10% to find ingeneous grounds for pushing work on to somebody else's desk or back at you.

 

They simply don't clear any work. And nobody further up the chain has any interest in changing the situation. Other districts in Berlin are nowhere near as bad.

 

Anyone posting here not from Pankow is not well qualified to advise. Not insulting anyone but it's a different level of brain damage here.

 

How far have you got?

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There is a younger guy working there too now.

 

It's almost impossible to get an appointment using the online system. I wrote a letter explaining my situation and got an appointment a few days later. You can also just go there to hand in your application. They might not take it that day but they will give a time to come back to officially hand it in.

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Just so I can confirm I’m not going crazy: I’m 99% sure they asked my partner’s birth certificate, his father’s and his grandfather’s as well (applying as spouse/partner). Despite the entire WTF-iness of it all (my partner is as born-German as it can be and the StAG doesn’t make this requirement 3 generations back, so it can only be a Berlin issue), do they as this from other people as well? They didn’t write this on the list they gave me on my Erstberatung, so I could play dumb (my partner wants me to, but I’d rather not waste time with useless debates. 
 

also, I’ve been considering getting an Anmeldung somewhere else. Ain’t nobody got 18 months for that. Small cities process it in a few weeks. 

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Yes, that's standard procedure (Munich does it too), they need the birth certificates through his male line (if the parents were married, German citizenship was only passed through the male line up till 1975), all the way back to 1914: 

This is the only way to prove his "German-ness" and also what people have to do to get a Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis, which is the only proof for being German.

Having a German passport or Personalausweis is not considered proof.

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33 minutes ago, PandaMunich said:

Yes, that's standard procedure (Munich does it too), they need the birth certificates through his male line (if the parents were married, German citizenship was only passed through the male line up till 1975), all the way back to 1914: is is not considered proof.

When Vierling was born, in early 1978, one of my roommates had just had her second child with her Turkish gentleman friend. 'Well,' she said, 'Now we can get married.  If we married before I had a child, the child wouldn't be German.'  

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9 hours ago, PandaMunich said:

Yes, that's standard procedure (Munich does it too), they need the birth certificates through his male line (if the parents were married, German citizenship was only passed through the male line up till 1975), all the way back to 1914: 

This is the only way to prove his "German-ness" and also what people have to do to get a Staatsangehörigkeitsausweis, which is the only proof for being German.

Having a German passport or Personalausweis is not considered proof.

 

Thanks. Like I said, I won’t dispute it with them, cause it’s not worth this fight. But it’s the sort of thing they could solve by putting citizenship in their shabby birth certificates and IDs (which bears their address! But not their nationality; while us non-EU’ers are expected to carry our bulky and precious passports, since it’s our only valid ID).

This is the sort of thing that would make sense in a country like Portugal where there is a limit of generations to which citizenship can be passed on outside of Portugal and where naturalized citizens do not share the same right to pass it ahead as attributed citizens by birth can (even if recognized natural born Portuguese at a later point in life). Modern Germany doesn’t have this (just as both men and women can also pass German citizenship to their offspring or contribute to the fast track naturalization of their spouses/partners). So proving the spouse is German would have had to suffice. No need to bring the entire family tree into it. 

And then you go and get all the certificates they want and they come in a plain sheet of paper. No watermarks, no holograms, no security features... :wacko:

 

Also, I’m not becoming German through my partner as if I’m being inseminated or something. I’m only fast tracking my request (3 years of residency instead of 8/7/6) because of marriage. It’s the residency which entitles me to apply for citizenship, not his ability to “pass his germanness” to me (which doesn’t exist). But go and try to explain it to a Beamter...

 

PS.: any tips about cities with faster processing times are welcome. A friend of mine made her Ummeldug to her in-laws in Erlangen and she got it in 2 weeks. Then later she “moved back’” to Berlin.

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7 hours ago, CaptainKurt said:

Also, I’m not becoming German through my partner as if I’m being inseminated or something. I’m only fast tracking my request (3 years of residency instead of 8/7/6) because of marriage. It’s the residency which entitles me to apply for citizenship, not his ability to “pass his germanness” to me (which doesn’t exist). But go and try to explain it to a Beamter...

 

That's exactly what you're doing - no German spouse, no German citizenship for you after just 3 years.

 

On 1/26/2019, 9:43:05, CaptainKurt said:

Don't worry, I am a lawyer myself back home.

 

Are you sure you're a lawyer yourself?

Did you graduate one of the accredited universities listed in the Anabin database or in here and then pass the bar examination in Brazil?

 

Because one of the first things lawyers learn is Subsumption, i.e. looking whether all the conditions set down in a clause of the law match with your own case facts, and only if you fulfill all the conditions set down by the law does that clause of the law apply to you.

 

So let's have a look at the law, the Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz:  https://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/stag/index.html

To be exact, let's look at §8 and §9 of the Staatsangehörigkeitsgesetz, in its English translation, to make things easier for you.

 

As the:

  1. spouse (yes, you're a spouse, you prove it with the marriage certificate) 
  2. of a German (so yes, your husband has to prove his "German-ness", he does that with the patrilinear birth certificates reaching back to 1914), and
  3. also fulfilling a few other conditions (which guess what, you also have to prove!)

you are asking for an Ermessenseinbürgerung ("Ermessen" means discretionary, i.e. the state can give it to you, or not, you have no legal claim to German citizenship) in accordance with §9 (1) StAG in conjunction with §8 StAG:

 

  • Section 9
    [Naturalization of spouses or life partners of Germans]

    (1) Spouses or life partners of Germans should be naturalized in keeping with the requirements set out in Section 8, if

    1.  they lose or give up their previous citizenship or a ground exists for accepting multiple nationality pursuant to Section 12 and

    2.  it is ensured that they will conform to the German way of life,

    unless they do not have sufficient command of the German language (Section 10 (1), first sentence, no. 6 and (4)) and do not fulfil any condition that would justify an exception under Section 10 (6).

    (2) The provision pursuant to subsection 1 shall also apply if naturalization is applied for within one year of the German spouse's death or of a ruling dissolving the marriage becoming final and the applicant is entitled to custody of a child issuing from the marriage who already possesses German citizenship.

  • Section 8
    [Discretionary naturalization]

    (1) A foreigner who is legally ordinarily resident in Germany may be naturalized upon application provided that he or she

    1.  possesses legal capacity pursuant to Section 37 (1), first sentence, or has a legal representative,

    2.  has not been sentenced for an unlawful act and is not subject to any court order imposing a measure of reform and prevention due to a lack of criminal capacity,

    3.  has found a dwelling of his or her own or accommodation and

    4.  is able to support himself or herself and his or her dependants.

    (2) The requirements stipulated in subsection 1, first sentence,2 nos. 2 and 4 may be waived on grounds of public interest or in order to avoid special hardship.

 

 

 

This means that you do not yet have a legal claim to German citizenship, which would be the Anspruchseinbürgerung ("Anspruch" means legal claim) in accordance with §10 StAG, which can only happen:

  1. after at least 6 years of residence
  2. and a few other conditions

as you can read up in here:

  • Section 10
    [Entitlement to naturalization; derivative naturalization of spouses and minor children]

    (1) A foreigner who has been legally ordinarily resident in Germany for eight years and possesses legal capacity pursuant to Section 37 (1), first sentence, or has a legal representative shall be naturalized upon application if he or she

    1.  confirms his or her commitment to the free democratic constitutional system enshrined in the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany and declares that he or she does not pursue or support and has never pursued or supported any activities

    a)  aimed at subverting the free democratic constitutional system, the existence or security of the Federation or a Land or

    b)  aimed at illegally impeding the constitutional bodies of the Federation or a Land or the members of said bodies in discharging their duties or

    c)  any activities which jeopardize foreign interests of the Federal Republic of Germany through the use of violence or preparatory actions for the use of violence,

    or credibly asserts that he or she has distanced him- or herself from the former pursuit or support of such activities,

    2.  has been granted a permanent right of residence or as a national of Switzerland or as a family member of a national of Switzerland possesses a residence permit on the basis of the Agreement of 21 June 1999 between the European Community and its Member States on the one hand and the Swiss Confederation on the other hand on the free movement of persons or possesses an EU Blue Card or a residence permit for purposes other than those specified in Sections 16, 17, 17a, 20, 22, 23 (1), 23a, 24 and 25 (3) to (5) of the Residence Act,

    3.  is able to ensure his or her own subsistence and that of his or her dependants without recourse to benefits in accordance with Book Two or Book Twelve of the Social Code, or if recourse to such benefits is due to conditions beyond his or her control,

    4.  gives up or loses his or her previous citizenship,

    5.  has not been sentenced for an unlawful act and is not subject to any court order imposing a measure of reform and prevention due to a lack of criminal capacity,

    6.  has a sufficient command of the German language, and

    7.  possesses knowledge of the legal system, society and living conditions in the Federal Republic of Germany.

    The conditions under the first sentence, nos. 1 and 7 do not apply to foreigners who do not have legal capacity pursuant to Section 37 (1), first sentence.

    (2) The foreigner's spouse and minor children may be naturalized together with the foreigner in accordance with subsection 1, irrespective of whether they have been lawfully resident in Germany for eight years.

    (3) Upon a foreigner confirming successful attendance of an integration course by presenting a certificate issued by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BMAF), the qualifying period stipulated in subsection 1 shall be reduced to seven years. This qualifying period may be reduced to six years if the foreigner has made outstanding efforts at integration, especially if he or she can demonstrate a command of the German language which exceeds the requirements under subsection 1, first sentence, no. 6.

    (4) The conditions specified in subsection 1, first sentence, no. 6 shall be fulfilled if the foreigner passes the oral and written language examinations leading to the Zertifikat Deutsch (equivalent of level B 1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). Where a minor child is under 16 years of age at the time of naturalization the conditions of subsection 1, first sentence, no. 6 shall be fulfilled if the child demonstrates age-appropriate language skills.

    (5) As a rule, the conditions specified in subsection 1, first sentence, no. 7 shall be fulfilled if the foreigner has passed the naturalization test. To prepare for the test, foreigners may participate in voluntary integration courses.

    (6) The requirements of subsection 1, first sentence, nos. 6 and 7 shall be waived if the foreigner is unable to fulfil them on account of a physical, mental or psychological illness or disability or on account of his or her age.

    (7) The Federal Ministry of the Interior shall be authorized, without the need for approval by the Bundesrat, to issue ordinances defining the test and certification requirements as well as the basic structure and contents of the naturalization courses under subsection 5, based on the contents of the orientation course under Section 43 (3), first sentence, of the Residence Act.

 

So you will have to follow the law and bring proof that you fulfill all the conditions set down in §§8, 9 StAG if you want German citizenship after just 3 years in Germany.

 

Or just do the integration course, get engaged in a German Verein (to show your outstanding efforts at integration) and get German citizenship on your own merit after 6 years at the earliest.

 

 

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