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The Nuremberg Laws

1935

The Nuremberg Laws were two laws which excluded the Jews from German life, as well as took away some of their natural rights. They were first declared at the annual Nazi rally held in Nuremberg in 1935. At that rally, Hitler delivered a speech about the Jewish controversy to unite party activists and state officials to deal with the Jewish issue. Subsequently, on September 15, 1935 the two laws were approved.

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The first law, Reichsburgergesetz (Law of the Reich Citizen), was designed to deprive Jews of their German citizenship. Only Germans or those with related blood were considered citizens of the Reich from then on. The second law, Gesetz zum Schutze des Deutschen Blutes und der Deutschen Ehre ( Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor), or simply Blutschutzgesetz, forbade marriage or sexual relations between Jews and those of German blood. This law also prohibited the employment of German maids under the age of forty-five in Jewish households. Jews were not even allowed to raise the German flag. This law basically stated that the purity of German blood was absolutely necessary in order to preserve the German people.

On account of these laws German Jews lost their independence from night to morning. Jews were no longer allowed to vote or hold public offices since they were no longer considered citizens of the Reich. The Nuremberg Laws also made it more difficult for the Jews to go out into public places such as the theater or shops. Jews were not even allowed to seek medical attention anymore. Soon thereafter all Jews were recognized by the big red "J", which was short for "Jude," that was stamped on their passports. "Jews Forbidden" signs also went up all over Germany, which made it very difficult for the Jews to get service or lodge in hotels. The Nuremberg Laws were only the beginning to the Nazi policy of Anti-Semitism. The Nuremberg Laws paved the way to the Holocaust, which showed people how far Germans would go to "cleanse" their nation.


Sources:

Hoyt, Edwin P., Hitler's War (New York; McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1988)

Guinn, Robert P., The New Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago; Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc, 1992)

Gutman, Israel, Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (New York; Macmillan Publishing Company, 1990)

Ring, Trudy, International Dictionary of HistoricPlaces (Chicago; Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, 1995)

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