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The Nuremberg Laws:
Law for the Protection of Hereditary Health

(July 14, 1933)


Nuremberg Laws: Table of Contents | Background & Overview | Reich Citizenship Law


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Article I.

(1.) Anyone who suffers from an inheritable disease may be surgically sterilized if, in the judgement of medical science, it could be expected that his decendants will suffer from serious inherited mental or physical defects.

(2.) Anyone who suffers from one of the following is to be regarded as inheritably diseased within the meaning of this law:
      1. congenital feeble-mindedness
      2. schizophrenia
      3. manic-depression
      4. congenital epilepsy
      5. inheritable St. Vitus dance (Huntington's Chorea)
      6. hereditary blindness
      7. hereditary deafness
      8. serious inheritable malformations

(3.) In addition, anyone suffering from chronic alcoholism may also be sterilized.

Article II.

(1.) Anyone who requests sterilization is entitled to it. If he be incapacitated or under a guardian because of low state of mental health or not yet 18 years of age, his legal guardian is empowered to make the request. In other cases of limited capacity the request must receive the approval of the legal representative. If a person be of age and has a nurse, the latter's consent is required.

(2.) The request must be accompanied by a certificate from a citizen who is accredited by the German Reich stating that the person to be sterilized has been informed about the nature and consequence of sterilization.

(3.) The request for sterilization can be recalled.

Article III.

Sterilization may also be recommended by:

(1.) the official physician

(2.) the official in charge of a hospital, sanitarium, or prison.

Article IV.

The request for sterilization must be presented in writing to, or placed in writing by the office of the Health Inheritance Court. The statement concerning the request must be certified by a medical document or authenticated in some other way. The business office of the court must notify the official physician.

Article VII.

The proceedings of the Health Inheritance Court are secret. Article X. The Supreme Health Insurance Court retains final jurisdiction.


Sources: The Holocaust\Shoah Page

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