On September 15, 1935, German Jews are stripped of their citizenship, reducing them to mere “subjects” of the state.

The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 were laws passed in Nazi Germany. They used a pseudoscientific basis for racial discrimination against Jewish people. This chart states that Jews en Germans are not allowed to marry. Zulassig means Allowed and Verboten means Forbidden

The Nuremberg Laws of 1935 were laws passed in Nazi Germany. They used a pseudoscientific basis for racial discrimination against Jewish people. This chart states that Jews en Germans are not allowed to marry. Zulassig means Allowed and Verboten means Forbidden

After Hitler’s accession to the offices of president and chancellor of Germany, he set about the task of remaking his adopted country (Hitler had to pull some strings even to be eligible for office, as he was Austrian by birth) into the dream state he imagined. But his dream was soon to become a nightmare for many. Early on in his reign, the lives of non-Jewish German citizens were barely disrupted.

Eva Justin of the Racial Hygiene and Demographic Biology Research Unit measuring the skull of a Romani woman

Eva Justin of the Racial Hygiene and Demographic Biology Research Unit measuring the skull of a Romani woman

But not so for Hitler’s “enemies.” Hitler’s racist ideology, which elevated those of “pure-blooded” German stock to the level of “masters” of the earth, began working itself out in vicious ways.

Roma and Sinti suffered greatly as victims of Nazi persecution. Eye color determination, 1936

Roma and Sinti suffered greatly as victims of Nazi persecution. Eye color determination, 1936

Within the first year of Hitler’s rule, German Jews were excluded from a host of high-profile vocations, from public office to journalism, radio, theater, film, and teaching-even farming. The professions of law and medicine were also withdrawn slowly as opportunities. “Jews Not Welcome” signs could be seen on shop and hotel windows, beer gardens, and other public arenas. With the Nuremberg Laws, these discriminatory acts became embedded in the culture by fiat, making them even more far-reaching. Jews were forbidden to marry “Aryans” or engage in extramarital relations with them. Jews could not employ female Aryan servants if they were less than 35 years of age. Jews found it difficult even to buy food, as groceries, bakeries, and dairies would not admit Jewish customers. Even pharmacies refused to sell them medicines or drugs.

Antisemitic and anti-capitalist Nazi cartoon telling Germans not to buy from shops owned by Jews

Antisemitic and anti-capitalist Nazi cartoon telling Germans not to buy from shops owned by Jews

What was the outside world’s reaction? Because unemployment had dropped precipitously under Hitler’s early commandeering of the economy, and the average German felt renewed hope and pride, the face of Germany seemed brighter, more at peace with itself. While some foreign visitors, even some political opponents within Germany itself, decried these racist laws and practices, most were beguiled into thinking it was merely a phase, and that Hitler, in the words of former British Prime Minister Lloyd George, was “a great man.”

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2 responses

  1. Birgit says:

    Evil isn’t it. So many film artists came to Hollywood in 1933. The sad thing is that so many in North America thought he was good because they just looked at the surface, not below. That devil brought in the people’s car(volkswagon) so every person could own a car,. Kindergarten came in and free education. The Autobahn was created. In North American with the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression, he seemed, the the average working man, as something good. he was a pure devil and not enough people listened. Disgusting what happened and to see some of the pictures here…so sad

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    • Yes he was. I think it is really hard for us born well after that period in history to understand why people didn’t see and do something to stop him but I think we can never know how people thought back then.

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