LAWS AGAINST JEWS IN GERMANY

Hatred of the Jews and the intention to limit their rights had been developing since the 1920s, when figures with a clearly anti-Jewish thinking started to make their ideology public. The intention was to segregate Jewish society from the "Aryan" society and curtail its political, legal and civil rights as much as possible. Many analysts believe that this situation was, to a large degree, a consequence of Germany's defeat in the First World War and the need among large sections of German society, in their frustration, to find guilty parties, or "scapegoats".

Hitler's rise to power made the implementation of a specific, official policy against the Jewish population possible.

In 1933, on 7 April of that year, the first law against Jews was passed. This law was called "Law for the Restoration of the Public Civil Service". Jewish civil servants and public sector employees became "politically incorrect" according to the law and were therefore exempted from the public civil service.

This was one of the laws that would later remove all Jews from their respective posts. To these laws others were added that limited the quotas of students both in schools and state universities. Before the 1933 Olympic games held in Berlin, the Nazis started the process of "Aryanising" companies, which involved dismissing any Jewish employees.

In 1935 in Nuremberg, new laws were passed, which were both wider-reaching and more restrictive in terms of rights, thus demonstrating publicly and explicitly that the Nazi ideology was to downgrade the Jewish population as much as possible.

"The Nuremberg Laws" left German Jews outside the citizenry of the Reich, as they could neither vote nor be public civil servants. Furthermore, they were not permitted to marry or have sexual relations with German persons or persons of German blood. Thus Jews' access to business, occupations and education was restricted. The Nazis considered a Jew to be anyone with one Jewish grandfather or grandmother, whatever the person's religious persuasion. This means that many people who did not actually practice Judaism also suffered the consequences of Nazi hatred.

Between 1937 and 1938 the German authorities intensified the laws against Jews. They would become impoverished and taken out of the German economy, removed from their jobs and required to register their property. The Nazis prohibited Jewish doctors from treating non-Jewish patients and took Jewish lawyers' titles away.

The laws were reinforced and non-Aryans were prohibited entry to state schools and universities, cinemas, theatres and sports centres.

Finally, Jews were forced to wear a badge (generally a yellow star) so that they could be recognised everywhere and the Germans stamped their passports with the Jewish identifier.


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