Within one year of coming to power, top Nazi officials had introduced various animal welfare measures that included bans on vivisection and animal slaughter without anaesthetic. People who violated these laws were even threatened with internment in a concentration camp. These laws and decrees, stipulating that animals should be protected for their own sake, would remain in force nearly unchanged for some 30 years after 1945 in the Federal Republic of Germany.
An examination of policies towards animals not only offers unusual insights into daily life under National Socialism, but also sheds light on antisemitic discrimination and exclusion. The PMJ documents presented here reveal, for example, how Nazi policies made kosher slaughtering difficult or impossible and went hand in hand with other measures to exclude Jews from society by denying them membership in organizations for animal breeders.