Curtis Shouse Mr. Neuburger Eng. Comp 101-132 15 November 2011 Research paper Nuremberg Laws During World War II there were many travesties committed by the German Government, the Holocaust being the biggest one. There were many things that led up to the extermination of Jews, one of those things were the Nuremberg Laws. In Germany, there was a lot of antiSemitism. Jews were not only hated by Hitler, but a very large segment of the German population. According to United State Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) the Nuremberg laws were created at the Nazi’s annual rally at Nuremberg in September 1935. The two major laws were the Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of
Nazis marching

German Blood and German Honor. These laws effectively eliminated many of the Jews rights such as holding office in government, eliminating their right to businesses. The Nuremberg Laws were a major step in

legally persecuting the Jews. This allowed many of the travesties to happen and helped lead up to the mass extermination of the Jews. (Background: Nuremberg Race Laws)


Anti-Semitism in pre-war Germany helped led up to many of the events of the Holocaust. According to the Danish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, there was a lot of anti-Semitism even before Hitler took power. Jewish beliefs contradicted many Christian beliefs and were blamed for the death of Christ. Jews were the scapegoat of many tragedies in history such as the plague and for Germany losing World War I. Hitler used these existing antiSemitic views among the German people to gain power and to start anti-Semitic propaganda that led to more hate of the Jewish people. To Hitler and the Nazis, the Jews were not just a religion but a race that he thought wanted to gain power to harm the Aryan race. A popular idea was that the Jews
Nazi propaganda

were involved in spreading capitalism and socialism, something that many writings tried to prove. Hitler used these myths to help him gain

support for punishing the Jews. As Hitler gained power anti-Semitism became more and more widespread and propaganda became common in Germany and German controlled countries. (Anti-Semitism) According to the Jewish Virtual Library,there was a conference of ministers held on August 20, 1935. The reason for the meeting was to discuss the effects of targeting the Jews for persecution. Although some argued that such actions would hurt Germany economically, there was a general consensus that a firm policy was the best course of action. The following month at the annual Party Rally in Nuremberg, two laws were created. One of the laws was The Law for the Protection of German blood and German Honor. The second law was The Reich Citizenship


Law. There were many other local laws that varied by region, however, these two laws solidified the legal persecution of Jews and removed most of the rights of Jewish citizens. The Nazis did not define a Jew as part of a religion, rather, it was thought by the Nazis to be a race. If three out of four of a person’s grandparents were Jewish, the person was thought of as a full Jew even if they did not practice Judaism. A person could also be considered a Jew if they looked or acted like a Jew. (The Nuremberg Laws) According to the Jewish Virtual Library, The Reich Citizenship Law took away the rights of citizenship away from Jews. In article one of the law it defined the requirements of being a citizen. In article two it addressed those who were partially Jewish to be considered a citizen. In article three it says that only a Reich citizen could vote in political affairs or could hold office. In article four it says that a Jew cannot be considered a citizen. It required those that were Jewish had to retire as officials. It did stipulate, however, that if they served during the world war they would receive their pension until the age limit. In article five it defined what was required to be considered a full Jew.

Reich Citizenship Law eich-citizen-law.jpg

Articles six and seven described certain exemptions provided by the Fuhrer and Reich Chancellor. (The Reich Citizenship Law: First Regulation)


The second Nuremberg Law was the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor. According to the Holocaust Research Project, Section one states that marriages between German citizens and Jews are forbidden. This includes marriages made outside of the country. Section two forbade marriage or sexual relations between German citizens and Jews. Section three stated that Jews could not hire female German citizens under the age of forty five as domestic workers. Section four stated that it was illegal for Jews to wear the national colors. Jews had to instead display Jewish colors. Section five stated the punishments for defying the laws. The punishments included hard labor, imprisonment, and a fine. Section six detailed who was responsible for enforcing the law. Section seven said that the law became effective the day after “promulgation”. (Law for the Protection of German
Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers poster /Large/7503009.jpg

Blood and German Honor) The Mischling caused many problems for Hitler and

the Nazis. According to Walter S. Zapotoczny, Mischling meant “half-caste, mongrel or hybrid”. The term became associated with those who were half Jewish, although it could be associated with other mixed races as well. The Nuremberg laws created the new racial categories: the half Jew, and the quarter Jew. These were also called a Jewish Mischlinge of the first degree or the Mischlinge of the second degree. Nazi scientists could not identify by blood the differences between Germans and Mischlinge. The Nazis used church and local court records to identify someone’s race. Although the Mischlinge did not face all of the problems that full Jews faced, they did lose some of their rights. They could not serve in positions of authority and they were


closely scrutinized. Mischlinge citizens faced a constant battle in fitting in with society. They always had to prove that their German side completely prevailed over their Jewish side. In an attempt to be considered normal, many enlisted in the military. Hitler gave many exemptions for Mischlinge Germans. It was believed that Hitler granted so many exemptions because he sympathized for the Mischlinge based on his own potential Jewish ancestry. (The problems the Mischlinge Presented the Nazis) The Nuremberg Laws were very popular among ordinary citizens. According to, German citizens accepted the “pseudo-scientific and medical theories” provided by the Nazis. There were no mass protests and

Political Cartoon

the public seemed to be unaffected by the blatantly racist policies of the Nazis.

(Nuremberg Laws) The world was mostly unsympathetic to the problems that faced the Jews. Most of the world did not want to get into another conflict and had restrictions of how many Jews could immigrate to their countries. If stronger actions were taken against the Nazis earlier on, many lives could have been saved. The Holocaust was one of the world’s greatest tragedies and it truly changed the world forever. The Nuremberg laws were a major stepping stone for the events that led up to the extermination of the Jews. It is important that the world learns from the Holocaust so that more can be done to prevent future genocides.


Works Cited "Anti-Semitism." The Danish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. Web. 22 Nov. 2011. "Background: Nuremberg Race Laws." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Web. 22 Nov. 2011. "Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour .Holocaust Research Project.." Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team. Web. 22 Nov. 2011. "Nuremberg Laws -" ENotes - Literature Study Guides, Lesson Plans, and More. Web. 22 Nov. 2011. "The Nuremberg Laws." Jewish Virtual Library - Homepage. Web. 22 Nov. 2011. "The Reich Citizenship Law: First Regulation." Jewish Virtual Library - Homepage. Web. 22 Nov. 2011. Zapotoczny, Walter S. "The Problem the Mischlinge Presented the Nazis." Web. 22 Nov. 2011