Teaching the Holocaust with Primary Sources
Introduction: Nuremberg Race Laws | Kristallnacht | Ghettos
Concentration Camps: Dachau | Bergen-Belsen | Auschwitz
Righteous Among the Nations: Gies | Schindler | Winton | Grueninger
Primary Source and Analysis Tools | Library of Congress Resources
Primary Source Sets | PDF Version
Nuremberg Race Laws
At the Nazi party rally of 1935, Hitler signed the Nuremberg Race Laws. The laws come under two different headings, "The Protection of German Blood and German Honor" and "The Reich Citizenship Laws"3 The first section was used to determine exactly who was identified as a Jew. Under the law, a person was considered a Jew even if they did not practice the Jewish faith. A "full-Jew" was defined as an individual with three or more Jewish grandparents.3 A "half-Jew" or "mischling", was an individual with two Jewish grandparents.3 A person with one Jewish grandparent was a "quarter-Jew" or "mischling of the second degree".3 Charts were handed out explaining the laws.
The second section was the Reich Citizenship Laws, which stripped away German citizenship from all Jews.4 They were not allowed to vote or hold public office. It prohibited them from marrying a person of German blood. Jews were required to register their businesses with the German government, then Nazis would release the proprietors with no compensation. The businesses were then sold to non-Jewish Germans at a bargain price. During the first six years of the Nazi regime, there were over 400 legal restrictions imposed upon Jews and other persecuted groups.5
3. The History Place, The Triumph of Hitler, The Nuremberg Laws. Accessed
4. The Jewish Virtual Library, The Reich Citizenship Law: First Regulation.
5. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Holocaust Encyclopedia,
Antisemitic Legislation 1933-1939. Accessed 8.2.12