The unimplemented draft of a law ‘for the regulation of the status of the Jews’, 6 April 19331Staatsarchiv Nürnberg, Sammlung Streicher, Nr. 129. This document has been translated from German.
Letter, signed Dr Rudolf Becker,2Dr Rudolf Becker (b. 1886), lawyer; from 1921 Ministerialrat in the Prussian Ministry of Finance, where he worked in 1931 in the first department of finance; head of the section for academic administration, 1939; Ministerialdirigent, 1940. Berlin, from 6 April 1933, sent confidentially by Deputy of the Führer Heß3Rudolf Heß (1894–1987), retailer;member of the Thule Society; joined the NSDAP in 1920; participated in the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923 and consequently served a prison term in Landsberg am Lech; Hitler’s private secretary; Deputy of the Führer, 1933–1941; sentenced to life imprisonment at the Nuremberg trials, 1946; committed suicide while in prison in 1987. to Gauleiter Streicher, undated, with enclosure (carbon copy)4In the left-hand margin of the first page of the original is the handwritten note: ‘Party comrade Streicher. I have arranged that you be invited to future meetings of this working group. Heß.’ Becker later sent another copy of the document to Vicco von Bülow-Schwante in the Reich Foreign Office: PA AA, R 98 472. On the drafting of the law, see Uwe Dietrich Adam, Judenpolitik im Dritten Reich (Düsseldorf: Droste, 1972), pp. 33–38.
Introduction to the Jew Law.
The attached draft of a law for the regulation of the status of the Jews, along with enclosures, is the product of a working group in conjunction with the undersigned, consisting of Oberregierungsrat Dr Diels (current head of the Political Police),5Dr Rudolf Diels (1900–1957), lawyer; head of department in the Prussian Ministry of the Interior, 1930; chief of the Gestapo Central Office (Gestapa), April 1933–April 1934; Regierungspräsident in Cologne, 1934–1936, and in Hanover, from 1936; SS-Oberführer, honorary rank, 1939; arrested in 1944 following the assassination attempt of 20 July; interned, 1945–1948. Dr Lippert (current state commissioner for Berlin), Dr Meier (director of the German Moving Pictures Syndicate),6Dr Alexander Meier, after 1951 Meier-Lenoir (1896–1961), lawyer; member of the German People’s Party (DVP), 1929–1933; joined the NSDAP in 1933; employed from 1926 by the insurance firm Frankfurter Allgemeine Versicherungs-AG; from 1930 lawyer in Berlin and member of the board of Syndikat-Film GmbH; its general manager, 1933–1936; from 1943 lawyer and notary in Wiesbaden; after 1945 chairman of the Federal Association of Hesse for those Injured due to Foreign Occupation. Oberregierungsrat Dr Ziegler (Ministry of Propaganda),7Dr Wilhelm Ziegler (1891–1962), historian; after 1933 section head in the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda (RMfVuP); honorary professor of modern history, politics, and the Jewish question at the University of Berlin, 1941; specialist for Jewish affairs (Judenreferent) in the literature department of the RMfVuP, 1943; state commissioner for the furtherance of the zone frontier districts (Staatskommissar für die Förderung der Zonengrenzkreise) in the Hessian State Chancellery, 1953–1956; author of works including Die Judenfrage in der modernen Welt (1937). Major Fischer (association head), and as specialists Dr Schulz8Dr Edgar Hans Schulz, author of works including Judentum und Kriminalität (1934) and (with Rudolf Frercks) Warum Arierparagraph? Ein Beitrag zur Judenfrage (1934). Footnote in the original: ‘Contributed to the work “Die Bevölkerungs- und Berufsstatistik der Juden im Deutschen Reich” [Population and Occupational Classification of Jews in the German Reich], published in 1930.’ The reference is to: Heinrich Silbergleit (ed.), Die Bevölkerungs- und Berufsverhältnisse der Juden im Deutschen Reich, part 1: Freistaat Preußen, Tabellen (Berlin: Akademie, 1930). from the Prussian Statistical Office and the well-known writer and ethnologist Dr von Leers. The result of the workshops and independent work has been summarized by the undersigned with the haste necessitated by the urgency of the circumstances. A few deviating suggestions by individual contributors on individual points had to be shelved for the sake of coherence, but the work itself led the participants to reach a broad consensus in practice on all essential points.
They were first and foremost concerned with carrying out practical work directly which could facilitate the rapid completion of an immediately effective and politically feasible law on Jews by the appointed ministers and leaders.9It is unclear for whom this draft law was intended. Uwe Dietrich Adam surmises that Göring was the intended recipient. Uwe Dietrich Adam, ‘An Overall Plan for Anti-Jewish Legislation in the Third Reich?’, Yad Vashem Studies, vol. 11 (1976), pp. 33–55, here p. 39. However, from the document reproduced here one can presume that the intended recipient was Heß. 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, which has openly and secretly ruled it in its own house in ways that constituted an existential threat. On the other hand, excessive compromises and weakness of expression would not be understood by the people. It was our task to overcome this dilemma through the right arrangement of content and form. While formulating the content and drafting this law, the contributors were constantly aware of the great danger of world public opinion, which before, during, and after the war proved to be oft underestimated and, in truth, the most dangerous enemy of our people. The majority thus saw with some concern how a purely tactical and in many cases aimlessly waged feud against the Jews, with numerous localized, almost all too enjoyable isolated successes, but without the decisive and long-term general cleansing of the hundredfold camouflaged Jewish powers and influences, has met with a resistance in the world that endangers the decisive breakthrough. ‘A man’s greatness can be measured by his enemies’ is German arrogance, not German strength conscious of its responsibility for the German past and future! That is why we are of the opinion that, in the face of an international Jewish power whose threat cannot be overestimated, it is necessary to create the legal foundation with quietly gathered strength and to make the appropriate administrative arrangements in order to force out both professed and surreptitious Jewry from all positions of authority overnight and throughout the entire spectrum of national character (spheres of culture), German administration (public and legal spheres), and the German economy (especially finance and the control of German land). Only actions that have been completed can surmount resistance! And this is particularly the case if these completed actions have been carried out faultlessly, in a clear and determined manner, yet free of the petty and vindictive torment of the soul of a slave, unbefitting of the German, indeed in recognition of the fact that, in practice, this overall cleansing of alien elements, which is crucial because the German psyche – weakened by thousands of its own afflictions – only has a limited capacity to absorb alien culture, may mete out a harsh and partially undeserved fate to these strangers, which should thus be mitigated if possible! For this reason, any injurious formulations have been avoided in the attempt to compensate for hardship, with a degree of pecuniary damage occurring as a result! We can be all the more uncompromising when it comes to what matters to us. It is a case of looking at the overall picture.
The colleagues of the undersigned remain imbued with the conviction that in the end the battle will be decided on the spiritual plane by greater moral strength. Yet the German’s natural spiritual disinclination towards harsh violence may not lead to the misrecognition that Germany as a land of means has constantly had to endure a – previously insufficiently recognized – migration of eastern Jewry to the attractions of Western civilization, and that in the last century more Jews have stayed in Germany and come to power through Germany’s own faults (growing materialism in the Wilhelmine period) than the German stomach can digest. For this reason, alongside the internal dethroning of Jewish powers through change and reflection, the healthy surgical cut, which removes or contains the superfluous, remains unavoidable.
Readers will have differing views about the particulars of the drafted law, in accordance with individual vitality, that it is biological optimism to think that one can do away with foreign entities without violence. But he who peruses the law should not forget that it is not a matter of what he thinks he is capable of, but of what one can in quiet contemplation expect the German people to digest mentally and spiritually right now! Some of its implementation can and must be left to administrative practice, but without a legal foundation it will remain mired in aimlessness and will fail in the long term owing to the good-naturedness and ‘guilelessness’ of the German people, on the one hand, and the repeated resistance from outside, on the other. Revolutions cannot be put on ice. That is why it is necessary to seize the moment and to definitely establish what is possible! – In order to provide an overview of the proliferation of Jewry, though this lags considerably behind their exercise of power, among the crucial occupations and functions of the German national corpus, which shows the legislator where to intervene and what the intervention requires, the enclosed ‘Historical and Statistical Material for the Law on Jews’ has been produced by Dr Schulz, whose preliminary academic work demonstrates his exceptional expertise in this area, in consultation with the undersigned.10The ‘Amendments to “Historical and Statistical Material for the Law on Jews” VI–VIII’ included commentaries and tables on the proportion of Jewish workers in different sectors of the economy according to the census of 1925, the edict of Friedrich Wilhelm III regarding the naturalization of Jews in Prussia from 11 March 1812, and a compilation of Prussian laws pertaining to Jewish emancipation passed between 1806 and 1883: PA AA, R 98 472. An hour devoted to the attached tables is time well spent and fortifying. Further clarifications of the individual provisions of the draft law, which as the basic law of the German people intentionally refrains from juridical language, will, due to urgent necessity, follow tomorrow.
signed Dr Rudolf Becker.
Do not publish.11Handwritten note by Rudolf Heß.
Draft Law for the Regulation of the Status of the Jews.12For a critique of this draft law, see Doc. 48, May 1933.
I. Jew, half-Jew, Jew spouse.
§ 1. A Jew as defined by this law is someone:
(a) who subscribes to the Mosaic faith,
(b) whose parents or all grandparents have subscribed to the Mosaic faith, even if they or some of them have later renounced the Mosaic faith,
(c) who is the offspring of those named under (a) and (b).13On the various definitions of the concept of a ‘Jew’, see the Aryan Paragraph of the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, Doc. 32, 11 April 1933, and the First Regulation to the Reich Citizenship Law, Doc. 210, 14 Nov. 1935.
§ 2. Half-Jews as defined by this law are:
Children of marriages, one part of which is a Jew in the sense of § 1 of this law, insofar as they do not subscribe to the Jewish faith.14On the definition of the so-called Mischlinge according to the Nuremberg Laws, see the First Regulation to the Reich Citizenship Law, Doc. 210, 14 Nov. 1935.
Whoever is a half-Jew and marries a Jew or a half-Jew again becomes a Jew, as do his offspring, as defined by § 1.
§ 3. A Jew spouse as defined by this law is whoever is married to a Jew (male or female) in the sense of § 1, or is no longer married but has children from such a marriage.
II. Jew Registry.
§ 4. Every Jewish man or woman in the sense of § 1 of this law must be entered into the ‘Jew Registry’ provided by the police in his or her area of residence by 1 July 1933 at the latest.15On the unsuccessful attempts by the Gestapo and the SD to set up similar registers, see Docs. 188, 17 August 1935, and 288, 12 July 1937.
Those Jews who are not entitled to the rights of German citizenship are not subject to this obligation to register (see §§ 19 and 20).
Every half-Jew of the male or female sex in the sense of § 2 must be entered into the ‘Half-Jew Registry’ provided by the police in his or her area of residence by 1 July 1933.
Every Jew spouse of male or female sex in the sense of § 3 of this law must be entered into the ‘Registry of Jew Spouses’ provided by the police in his or her area of residence by 1 July 1933.
Registration is free of charge.
III. The ‘Association of Jews in Germany’.
§ 5. All Jews as defined by § 1 of this law are upon registration automatically members of the ‘Association of Jews in Germany’.16The Tenth Regulation to the Reich Citizenship Law, (4 July 1939) compelled all Jews to become members of the Reich Association of Jews in Germany, which was controlled by the ReichMinistry of the Interior, specifically the Gestapo: Reichsgesetzblatt, 1939, I, p. 1097.
The ‘Association of Jews in Germany’ is a corporation under public law.
Membership of the ‘Association of Jews in Germany’ can be verified by instigating legal proceedings. Legal proceedings can be brought against anyone whose affiliation with Jewry is determined in accordance with § 1.
§ 6. Every four years, the members of the ‘Association of Jews in Germany’ shall, in secret direct ballot and in accordance with the detailed instructions of the ‘People’s Warden’ (see § 7), elect a ‘Jewish Council’. The latter shall not comprise more than twenty-five persons. The elected must be confirmed by the ‘People’s Warden’.
The ‘People’s Warden’ is authorized to convene and dissolve the ‘Jewish Council’. The ‘Jewish Council’ will establish its own by-laws; it will meet at least once annually. Its decisions are subject to approval by the ‘People’s Warden’.
The ‘Jewish Council’ can appoint commissions and individuals to fulfil its functions; their activities are to be monitored by the ‘People’s Warden’.
IV. The ‘People’s Warden’.
§ 7. The Reich Chancellor appoints the ‘People’s Warden’ to safeguard the German people from the Jewish threat, to monitor the ‘Association of Jews in Germany’, to protect the Jews and safeguard their rights. He reports directly to the Reich Chancellor. He is responsible for the implementation of this law and its supplementary and executing provisions. In particular, he instigates the legal proceedings regarding the determination of Jewishness (see § 5).
The ‘People’s Warden’ decides: (a) on the amount of self-taxation by the ‘Association of Jews in Germany’,
(b) on the maintenance of schools and other institutions of the ‘Association of the Jews in Germany’,
(c) on those matters to be placed under the remit of the ‘Association of Jews in Germany’.17In line with the proposal made here, the Gestapo had control over the Reich Association as of 1939: ibid.
The ‘People’s Warden’ is a political official of the Reich. In this capacity, he is not beholden to the trust of the ‘Association of Jews in Germany’.
The ‘People’s Warden’ possesses police authority over the members of the ‘Association of Jews in Germany’ in every region.
§8. The ‘People’s Warden’ can:
(a) for the exercise of his office demand the submission of all official and commercial documents by the relevant authorities and persons at all times, have anyone interrogated, and
(b) require every Jew to register with the police,
(c) prohibit books and printed works by Jews,
(d) confiscate or prohibit the display of artworks in order to protect the German people from moral degradation,
(e) prohibit, entirely or temporarily, Jewish customs that endanger public peace and security,18The Law and the Regulation on the Slaughter of Animals (21 April 1933) prohibited the slaughter of animals prescribed by Jewish tradition: Reichsgesetzblatt, 1933, I, pp. 203 and 212. See also the discussion in Berlin regarding the Feast of Tabernacles, Doc. 136, 21 Sept. 1934.
(f) prohibit provocative luxury, publicly unbecoming and pretentious displays of wealth, and ostentatious behaviour by Jews,
(g) dissolve Jewish clubs and associations.19On the dissolution of Jewish clubs by the Gestapo, see, for example, Doc. 148, 27 Dec. 1934.
§ 9. The ‘People’s Warden’ can order all measures that appear necessary for the protection of German citizens from Jewish abuse of laws and economic power. To this end he can:
(a) issue public warnings about certain persons,
(b) prohibit the import of foreign Jewish printed materials from abroad,
(c) order punitive educational measures for Jewish youths whose behaviour endangers the morality of the people,
(d) establish institutes for the study of the Jewish question and impose a mandatory contribution on the ‘Association of Jews in Germany’ for their maintenance.
V. Legal status of Jewry.
§ 10. The members of the ‘Association of Jews in Germany’ enjoy the protection of the Reich via the German representations abroad.
§ 11. Members of the ‘Association of Jews in Germany’ are permitted to pursue a profession or a trade with the following restrictions:
(a) They are not allowed to serve as civil servants or employees of the Reich, state, or local authorities. Insofar as they hold such an office or perform such work at the time that this law enters into force, they are to be dismissed and granted an appropriate pension or a fair severance payment. The granting of a pension shall be waived if it is obvious that they have grossly abused their office to the detriment of the German people. This is to be decided by the proper disciplinary authorities.20The stipulation was implemented the very next day with the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service: see Doc. 29, 7 April 1933.
(b) They cannot be members of the Reichswehr or Reich Navy.21On 28 Feb. 1934 the Reich minister of the army decreed that § 3 of the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service would apply to soldiers of the Reichswehr, thereby excluding Jews: ordinance published in Klaus-Jürgen Müller, Das Heer und Hitler: Armee und nationalsozialistisches Regime 1933–1940 (Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1969), pp. 592–593. Nor shall they in the future be subject to mandatory military service; an alternative service is not incumbent upon them.22The Military Service Law (21 May 1935) excluded Jews from active military service: Reichsgesetzblatt, 1935, I, pp. 609–614. The provision of § 11(a) sentences 2–4 applies correspondingly.
(c) They cannot be directors of the Reichsbank, Golddiscontbank, Rentenbank-Kreditanstalt, Deutsche Genossenschaftskasse, Reichskreditgesellschaft, or of independent companies of the Reich, of the regions or of municipalities (e.g. Viag, Reichselektrowerke, gas and electricity plants, etc.). Furthermore, they cannot be directors or branch managers of large banks or such banking companies of which the public is a substantial stakeholder, nor can they be directors of land and real estate surveyors.
(d) They cannot be editors-in-chief or editors of German print periodicals, teachers at private schools (with the exception of Jewish schools), producers or directors of theatres, film institutes, or broadcasting companies, nor managers of publishing houses of cultural significance.
(e) The number of Jewish physicians, pharmacists, veterinarians, lawyers, legal consultants, and their employees, as well as the number of editors of German print periodicals and of actors on German stages, shall not exceed the percentage of Jews in proportion to the entire number of inhabitants in any given locality.23The Law on Admission to the Legal Profession, passed the following day, 7 April 1933, allowed, for instance, the licences of Jewish lawyers to be revoked by 30 Sept. 1933. Newly trained lawyers of Jewish origin were no longer granted licences to practice: Reichsgesetzblatt, 1933, I, p. 188. The Regulation on the Admission of Doctors for Employment with the Health Insurance Companies allowed Jewish doctors to be excluded from work for insurance companies, while new admissions were prohibited: ibid., p. 222. In 1938 Jewish doctors and lawyers were, with few exceptions, banned from practising their profession: Reichsgesetzblatt, 1938, I, pp. 969 and 1403. Insofar as their number at the time that this law enters into effect surpasses the permitted maximum number, local representatives of the ‘People’s Warden’ shall decide whom to remove after a hearing with the representatives of the professions and the ‘Jewish Council’. They can be granted a transitional period of up to six months until their resignation and a one-time severance payment or one-time contribution towards an alternative source of livelihood in accordance with the detailed provisions. When terminating employment, hardships are to be avoided with consideration to age, family, and wealth, wherever possible. Those who are to remain are first and foremost such Jews who have served as soldiers at the front or otherwise rendered services to Germandom.24These exceptions corresponded to the definitions in the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service of 7 April 1933: see Doc. 29, 7 April 1933.
§ 12. Jews are prohibited from working as proprietor, shareholder, or any other type of associate of a print periodical, a theatre, a film company, or a publishing house of cultural importance.
§ 13. The members of the ‘Association of Jews in Germany’ are neither actively nor passively entitled to vote in elections to the Reichstag, regional and municipal representative bodies, chambers of commerce, trade, agriculture or craft trades, or similar institutions of public life.25As a result of the First Regulation to the Reich Citizenship Law, Jews lost the right to vote and the right to hold public office: see Doc. 210, 14 Nov. 1935.
They cannot be members of private German clubs.
§ 14. Children whose parents are both members of the ‘Association of Jews in Germany’ are prohibited from attending non-Jewish state or private schools. The ‘Association of Jews in Germany’ will be prompted by the ‘People’s Warden’ to establish Jewish schools and academic secondary schools, which will be subject to supervision by the local school administration.26On the attempt to separate Jewish and non-Jewish children in state schools, see the decree dated 10 Sept. 1935, Doc. 196.
§ 15. Marriages between Jews as defined by § 1 of this law and non-Jews can no longer legally take place.
Non-marital intercourse between Jews and non-Jews is prohibited and is punishable by no less than six months in prison. Jews who provoke such non-marital intercourse by misusing a relationship of dependency can be reported to the police by the ‘People’s Warden’.27On this, see the discussion from 1934 and the Nuremberg Laws in Doc. 121, 5 June 1934, and Doc. 199, 15 Sept. 1935.
§ 16. Every member of the ‘Association of Jews in Germany’ is required to officially add the letter ‘J’ to his or her surname. Failure to do so is punishable as concealment of one’s civil status.28The passports of German Jews were marked with a ‘J’ from autumn 1938. The identity cards that Jews had to carry with them after Jan. 1939 contained the designation as an imprint.
Writers must place a Star of David alongside their proper name or pen name in all publications.
The ‘People’s Warden’ can order Jews to discard newly assumed names, or to reassume discarded names.29On the discussion of surnames, see fn. 7 of Doc. 8, 15 March 1933. Name changes were subsequently prohibited for Jews by the Law on Changes to Surnames and Forenames, 5 Jan. 1938: Reichsgesetzblatt, 1938, I, p. 9. He can forbid their use of decidedly Germanic first names.30On the discussion of the assignment of first names, see Docs. 178, 19 July 1935, and 184, 31 July 1935. In accordance with the Second Regulation on the Implementation of the Law on Changes to Surnames and Forenames, Jews had to bear the compulsory first names Sara or Israel as an official part of their name from 1 Jan. 1939: Reichsgesetzblatt, 1938, I, p. 1044.
§ 17. For ‘half-Jews’ as defined by § 2 and ‘Jew spouses’ as defined by § 3, the provisions of § 11(a), (b), and (d) and of § 12 correspondingly apply.
VI. Special provisions.
§ 18. The order of ‘B’ne Brith’31B’ne Brith, Bne Briss, or also B’nai B’rith (Children of the Covenant). The Independent Order of B’nai B’rith was founded in 1843 in New York by German Jews for the purpose of ‘benevolence, brotherly love, and harmony’. The B’nai B’rith Grand Lodge was founded in Germany in 1882 and in 1933 had over 100 lodges with approximately 12,000 members. Their mission included the alleviation of general hardship, help for widows and orphans, and the patronage of science and the arts, as well as the moral support of their members. is banned. Its property will be transferred to the state.32The B’nai B’rith lodge was dissolved in Germany on 19 April 1937 and expropriated by the Reich as an ‘enemy of the state’: see Doc. 274.
§ 19. Naturalizations of Jews as defined by § 1 of this law granted after 2 August 1914 are null and void.33For the discussion that took place in March 1933, see Doc. 8, 15 March 1933. See also the Law on the Revocation of Naturalization and the Deprivation of German Nationality, 14 July 1933: Reichsgesetzblatt, 1933, I, p. 480. Fees paid by them are to be reimbursed. Insofar as they do not reattain foreign nationality through this nullification, they shall be deemed stateless.
§ 20. The stateless Jews residing in Germany must leave the German Reich within three months after this law comes into effect. The ‘People’s Warden’ can extend the grace period to as much as six months upon application.34See Doc. 8, 15 March 1933.
The ‘People’s Warden’ can deport foreign Jews residing in Germany from the territory of the German Reich within a period of three to six months.
The ‘People’s Warden’ can, in accordance with the implementing provisions, award a one-off, reasonable resettlement payment to such persons deported, as compensation or to help them attain a new source of livelihood. The same is valid for the Jews deported by legal force, insofar as they have lost their nationality of the German Reich or of one of the German regions through the provisions of § 19.
§ 21. No new naturalizations of stateless and foreign Jews are to occur.35See the instructions of Reich Minister of the Interior Frick dated 15 March 1933, Doc. 8. Stateless and foreign Jews wishing to stay in Germany, insofar as this is not already denied them due to deportation, require the consent of the ‘People’s Warden’. Stateless Jews can only be granted a temporary residence permit. The residence permit of foreign Jews can be extended for six months at a time.
§ 22. The provisions of this law do not apply – with the following restrictions – to Jews, half-Jews, and Jew spouses as defined by §§ 1 to 3 of the law, who themselves and whose offspring have been recognized by the ‘People’s Warden’ as fully legal German citizens.
Conditions for recognition are, in accordance with the provisions of implementation, outstanding service to the German people in times of war and peace and also that two German sponsors vouch for their German nature.
The maximum number of recognitions shall not exceed 8,000 altogether in the first two years after this law has entered into force and in subsequent years 50 per cent of the German excess of births over deaths.
Only the restrictions contained in § 11(a) and (b) apply to Jews recognized by the ‘People’s Warden’ their offspring are also exempt from these restrictions.