What were the Nuremburg Laws?nuremburg laws

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The Nuremburg laws were an attempt by Adolph Hitler to legalize and codify the Nazi program against the Jews. Beginning in 1935, the Reich Citizenship Law prevented Jews from being considered full citizens of Germany. They stipulated that, ""A citizen of the Reich is only that subject who is of German or kindred blood, and, who through his conduct, shows that he is both desirous and fit to serve faithfully the German people and Reich." Jews found themselves denied basic human and civil rights and many Jews lost their jobs. The Blood Protection Law regulated sexual relations between Germans and Jews and was later broadened to include Romani and Blacks. The interpretation of "racially alien blood" was later expanded to include people with mental or physical handicaps. The laws also provided a legal means of euthanizing people who were considered "feebleminded", alcoholics or anyone suffering from a congenital illness. After 1938, mental hospitals became execution centers for those whose whose were considered "unworthy of life."By 1941, all Jews were required to wear a star of David on their clothing, thus isolating them from the rest of the German population.

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moustacio | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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The Nuermberg Laws were enacted by the Nazi authorities in 1935 as  a means to disenfranchise German Jews. Driven by anti-Semitic sentiments within the party, the laws sought to effectively eliminate the so-called race threat that the Nazis had identified within the Jewish population. It redefined ethnicity (Jews were no longer viewed as a religious group but were instead recognised by one’s parentage - anyone who had three or more Jewish grandparents was identified as a Jew) and made it impossible for the Jews to do anything in Germany. As a minority group that had been financially successful and disproportionately well-represented, the Jews now found themselves degraded to second-class citizens in their own country. They were excluded from German citizenship and increasingly forced to cede their ownership rights of businesses to German subordinates or colleagues. In an humiliating gesture, the Jews were also forced to bear identifying marks that demarcated their Jewish status in public. Similarly, anti-Semitic attacks against the Jewish population were not only tolerated but encouraged by the party. The laws, by banning mixed marriages and procreation between the “race enemy” and the pure Aryan, too sought to prevent the Jews from contaminating the German ethnic race. In doing so, the Nuremberg Laws essentially served as a means to keep the financial and political power of the Jews in check, and to, in the long run, eliminate them from all forms of German life.


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