The Reich Citizenship Law: First Regulation
(November 14, 1935)
The Reich Citizenship Law was followed during the Third Reich by a series of supplementary regulations. A major outstanding problem was that of the definition of a Jew. Since the beginning of 1935, the matter had been discussed by Party leaders, who pressed for the application of legislation to all half-Jews. The Nuremberg Laws, drafted by civil servants, failed to provide a clear answer (Hitler had struck out the term full Jews from the draft of the Citizenship Law as it involved a new classification).
Dr Bernhard Losener, a high official in the Reich Ministry of the Interior who had assisted in the drafting of the Nuremberg Laws, produced a memorandum on November 1 that discussed the position of half-Jews. Losener proposed the inclusion of those half-Jews who were married to a Jewish person and who adhered to the Jewish religion. (The choice of religion for want of a better alternative was inconsistent with Nazi ideology which saw the Jew as a racial rather than a religious being.) Loseners suggestions were included in the first regulation under the Citizenship Law.
The administration of this regulation proved complicated because the necessary evidence on family background was not always readily available for distinguishing between the various categories of Jews. Bodies of family researchers were employed to look into the matter but selection was often arbitrary.
1. Until further regulations regarding citizenship papers are issued, all subjects of German or kindred blood, who possessed the right to vote in the Reichstag elections at the time the Citizenship Law came into effect, shall for the time being possess the rights of Reich citizens. The same shall be true of those to whom the Reich Minister of the Interior, in conjunction with the Deputy of the Fuhrer, has given preliminary citizenship.
2. The Reich Minister of the Interior, in conjunction with the Deputy of the Fuhrer, can withdraw the preliminary citizenship.
1 The regulations in Article 1 are also valid for Reich subjects of mixed Jewish blood.
2 An individual of mixed Jewish blood is one who is descended from one or two grandparents who were racially full Jews, in so far as he or she does not count as a Jew according to Article 5, paragraph 2 One grandparent shall be considered as full-blooded if he or she belonged to the Jewish religious community.
Only the Reich citizen, as bearer of full political rights, exercises the right to vote in political affairs or can hold public office. The Reich Minister of the Interior, or any agency empowered by him, can make exceptions during the transition period, with regard to occupation of public office. The affairs of religious organizations will not be affected.
1. A Jew cannot be a citizen of the Reich. He has no right to vote in political affairs and he cannot occupy public office.
2. Jewish officials will retire as of December 31, 1935. If these officials served at the front in the world war, either for Germany or her allies, they will receive in full, until they reach the age limit, the pension to which they were entitled according to the salary they last received; they will, however, not advance in seniority. After reaching the age limit, their pensions will be calculated anew, according to the salary last received, on the basis of which their pension was computed.
3. The affairs of religious organizations will not be affected.
4. The conditions of service of teachers in Jewish public schools remain unchanged until new regulations for the Jewish school systems are issued.
1. A Jew is anyone who is descended from at least three grandparents who are racially full Jews. Article 2, para. 2, second sentence will apply.
2. A Jew is also one who is descended from two full Jewish parents, if (a) he belonged to the Jewish religious community at the time this law was issued, or joined the community later, (b) he was married to a Jewish person, at the time the law was issued, or married one subsequently, (c) he is the offspring of a marriage with a Jew, in the sense of Section I, which was contracted after the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor became effective, (d) he is the offspring of an extramarital relationship with a Jew, according to Section I, and will be born out of wedlock after July 31, 1936.
1. Requirements for the pureness of blood as laid down in Reich Law or in orders of the NSDAP and its echelons--not covered in Article 5will not be affected.
2. Any other requirements for the pureness of blood, not covered in Article 5, can be made only by permission of the Reich Minister of the Interior and the Deputy Fuhrer. If any such demands have been made, they will be void as of January 1, 1936, if they have not been requested by the Reich Minister of the Interior in agreement with the Deputy Fuhrer. These requests must be made by the Reich Minister of the Interior.
The Fuhrer and Reich Chancellor can grant exemptions from the regulations laid down in the law.
Sources: Noakes, Jeremy, and Geoffrey Pridham. Documents on Nazism 1919-1945. NY: Viking Press, 1974, pp. 463-467, and The Nizkor Project.