The Nuremberg Laws 1935

The Nuremberg Laws 1935
The Nuremberg Laws 1935

The Nuremberg Laws 1935 – 15 September 1935

The Nuremberg Race Laws are passed by the German parliament (Reichstag).

The Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor were the two pieces of legislation that made up the Nuremberg Race Laws. Both regulations were passed during a special session of the Nazi-controlled Reichstag in Nuremberg, Germany. Many of the racial theories that underlay Nazi ideology were formalized through these laws, which also provided the legal framework for Germany’s systematic persecution of Jews.

Antisemitic sign reading, in German, "Juden sind hier unerwunscht" (Jews Are Unwanted Here). —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Hans Frankl
Antisemitic sign reading, in German, “Juden sind hier unerwunscht” (Jews Are Unwanted Here). —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Hans Frankl

The Nuremberg Race Laws defined a “Jew” as someone who had three or four Jewish grandparents, rather than someone who had particular religious values. Many Germans who had never practiced Judaism or had not done so for a long time were still susceptible to legal persecution as a result of these regulations. Even persons who converted to Christianity but had Jewish grandparents could be considered Jews.

Moved by the understanding that purity of German blood is the essential condition for the continued existence of the German people, and inspired by the inflexible determination to ensure the existence of the German nation for all time, the Reichstag has unanimously adopted the following law, which is promulgated herewith:

Article 1

Marriages between Jews and subjects of the state of German or related blood are forbidden. Marriages nevertheless concluded are invalid, even if concluded abroad to circumvent this law. Annulment proceedings can be initiated only by the state prosecutor.

Article 2

Extramarital relations between Jews and subjects of the state of German or related blood are forbidden.

Text of the Reich Citizenship Law of September 15, 1935, and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor of September 15, 1935 (Nuremberg Race Laws). —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park
Text of the Reich Citizenship Law of September 15, 1935, and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor of September 15, 1935 (Nuremberg Race Laws). —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park

Article 3

Jews may not employ in their households female subjects of the state of German or related blood who are under 45 years old.

Article 4

Jews are forbidden to fly the Reich or national flag or display Reich colors.
They are, on the other hand, permitted to display the Jewish colors. The exercise of this right is protected by the state.

Article 5

Any person who violates the prohibition under Article 1 will be punished with a prison sentence.
A male who violates the prohibition under Article 2 will be punished with a jail term or a prison sentence.
Any person violating the provisions under Articles 3 or 4 will be punished with a jail term of up to one year and a fine, or with one or the other of these penalties.

Article 6

The Reich Minister of the Interior, in coordination with the Deputy of the Führer and the Reich Minister of Justice, will issue the legal and administrative regulations required to implement and complete this law.

SEE ALSO:

Hitler’s Rise to Power (1933);

The Nuremberg Trials (1945);

The International Criminal Court (2002).

SOURCES:

The Nuremberg Laws 1935

The Law Book: From Hammurabi to the International Criminal Court, 250 Milestones in the History of Law (Sterling Milestones) Hardcover – Illustrated, 22 Oct. 2015, English edition by Michael H. Roffer (Autor)

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