What were the Nuremberg Laws in Nazi Germany?

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Simple definition: The Nuremburg Laws were anti-Jewish regulations that excluded German Jews from becoming citizens in the Nazi Reich.  Additionally, it also prevented Jews from marrying or laying with German or German-related (and obviously non-Jewish) blood.  

To be classified as a "Jew" in Nazi Germany, you could be born...

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Simple definition: The Nuremburg Laws were anti-Jewish regulations that excluded German Jews from becoming citizens in the Nazi Reich.  Additionally, it also prevented Jews from marrying or laying with German or German-related (and obviously non-Jewish) blood.  

To be classified as a "Jew" in Nazi Germany, you could be born of Jewish parents or even have just three or four grandparents who were Jewish/belonged to the Jewish community.  Even Germans who had not practiced Judaism, but had family who were Jewish, found themselves subject to the Nuremburg Laws and later Nazi extremism.  The law also applied to anyone who had Jewish grandparents that later converted to Christianity, because initially they were born of/practiced Judaism.

The Nuremburg Laws fueled anti-Semitism in Germany, encouraged anti-Semitic propaganda, and resulted in an increase in German-on-Jew violence.  

The Laws were published on September 15, 1935 and read by Reichstag President Hermann Goring, who was an important figure in the Nazi party during WWII.  It was billed as a "Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor", as Hitler and the Nazi party considered Jews the "mortal enemy" of the German People.

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The Nuremburg Laws were laws that were enacted by the government of Nazi Germany as a way of discriminating against Jews.  The laws have their name because they were announced at a party rally in the city of Nuremburg in 1935.  These laws were one of the first tangible moves towards oppression of the Jews by the Nazis.

The Nazi Party believed that Jews were the enemies of the German people.  They believed that Jews were subhumans who could only destroy cultures that had been created by other, more advanced races.  They blamed the problems of Germany on the Jews.  Therefore, they wanted to push Jews out of German life.  The Nuremburg Laws were a way to start this process.

The Nuremburg Laws defined a Jew as anyone who had three or four Jewish grandparents.  These people were deprived of most of their civil rights.  The laws banned these Jews from holding German citizenship and took away most of their other rights as well.  These were the beginning of official Nazi persecution of the Jews, persecution which led to what we now call the Holocaust.

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The Nuremberg Laws classified anyone with one or more Jewish grandparents as Jewish, and deprived all Jews of citizenship. Scores of Jews left the country, sacrificing everything in order to leave Germany. They were the fortunate ones. After the assassination of a German diplomat in Paris by a young Jewish boy who was trying to strike out at persecution, a well organized night of violence and vandalism erupted, known as Krystallnacht, ("Crystal Night," or "the night of broken glass.") Windows were smashed, shops looted, homes and synagogues destroyed. German Jews were arrested and made to pay for the damage. Although many Germans were opposed to Nazi outrages against Jews, most either went along or looked the other way.

Under the Nuremberg laws, persons determined to be Jewish were not allowed to teach or practice any profession. Sexual relations between Jews and non Jews was unlawful. Jews were prohibited from displaying the national flag, but were required to wear a Judenstern, or Jewish star, indicating their status. This was a major step in the National Socialist plan to eliminate Jewish influence from Germany.

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Passed very soon after the Nazis took power, these laws were part of the initial steps of the Holocaust against Jews.  They legally defined a Jew as a person who had at least one Jewish grandparent, even if that person was not a practicing member of the Jewish faith.  This was an attempt by the Nazis to "purify" their national blood, and conform to their own anti-semitism.

In addition, these laws put restrictions on the Jews marrying or having sexual relations with non-Jews in Germany.  It also limited which jobs Jews could not hold, such as medicine and education, and banned Jewish children from attendance in german public schools.

By defining Jews in terms of the law, the Nazis were able to gradually segregate them from society altogether, confine them in ghettos and implement the Final Solution murder of 6 million Jews.

 

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