Nuremberg Laws 1935

A chart that explains the Nazis’ racial definitions of ‘persons with German blood’, Jews, and persons of ‘mixed race’ based on the Blood Protection Law of 1935. Photo credit: German government, designed by Willi Hackenberger for the Reich Committee for Public Health

In late 1934 top-ranking Nazi officials made it an immediate priority to eliminate Jews entirely from a racially defined ‘German community’. The proposed legislative solution thus aimed for the complete social isolation of Jewish Germans. Known as the Nuremberg Laws, the legislation enacted on 15 September 1935 included two key laws: the Reich Citizenship Law and the Blood Protection Law. The former rendered Jewish Germans mere subjects of the state and revoked their rights as citizens, while the latter prohibited marriages and sexual relations between Jews and non-Jews. Jews were also forbidden to display the Reich flag and the swastika flag.

In addition to the text of the Nuremberg Laws, the PMJ documents presented here chart the Nazis’ legislative attempts during the first months of the regime to achieve what the Nuremberg Laws eventually did 1935. They also offer a look at some of the unintended social and economic side effects of the Nazis’ anti-Jewish policies prior to the enactment of the Nuremberg Laws.

Sample documents
Volume 1  –  document 27
The unimplemented draft of a law ‘for the regulation of the status of the Jews’, 6 April 1933
‘Wild tirades, as much as they are desired by internal German propaganda and correspond to justified feelings of vengeance, endanger the common goal: to take full advantage of the historically unique moment in order to cleanse the German people and to free it from an alien power.’
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Volume 1  –  document 77
Juristische Wochenschrift, 16 September 1933: article on legal possibilities for the annulment of mixed marriages
‘Until quite recently the general view among the people was that the Jew differs from the Aryan only in his religion, and only a very few Volksgenossen understood the interrelatedness of the race question and had knowledge of the significance of so-called race defilement.’
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Volume 1  –  document 146
Discussion at the Staff of the Deputy of the Führer in Munich on 20 December 1934 regarding ‘special legislation on Jews’
‘The concept of ‘Aryan’ and ‘non-Aryan’ appears to have resulted in large population groups of different races being equated with and placed on the same footing as Jewry in the German state.’
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Volume 1  –  document 189
Ministers’ conference on 20 August 1935 concerning the next steps in anti-Jewish policy
‘The effect of the antisemitic upsurge on the economy is catastrophic.’
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Volume 1  –  document 199
The ‘Blood Protection Law’, promulgated in Nuremberg on 15 September 1935, prohibits marriage and extramarital sexual relations between Jews and non-Jews
‘Marriages between Jews and subjects of the state of German or kindred blood are prohibited.’
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Volume 1  –  document 210
The First Regulation to the Reich Citizenship Law of 14 November 1935 defines the term ‘Jew’
‘A Jew cannot be a citizen of the Reich.’
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Volume 1  –  document 212
Pariser Tageblatt, 25 November 1935: editorial regarding the absurdity of the definition of race according to the Nuremberg Laws
‘The lawmaker falls short. He is unable to define the concept of the Jewish race.’
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