Restrictions on Kosher Ritual Slaughter in Holland for Reasons of Preventing Cruelty to Animals

(July 31, 1940)


Even before they acceded to power in Germany, the Nazis in their anti-Jewish activity targeted ritual slaughter as the standard in their struggle against the “cruelty” of “world Jewry.” In the early 1930's, they succeeded in having a law passed which imposed restrictions on slaughter without stunning (prohibited by Jewish law) in the State of Baden. Afterwards, legislation in this matter was one of the first measures taken in Germany and by Germany in every occupied country. The Nazis perceived ritual slaughter not as a religious matter but, as stated, as a manifestation of Jews cruel nature — as portrayed blatantly in the antisemitic propaganda film, The Eternal Jew, produced and distributed in the early 1940's.


Decree by the Reichskommissar for the occupied Dutch territories concerning the avoidance of cruelty to animals when slaughtering cattle.

On the grounds of § 5 of the Fuehrer decree concerning the implementation of the government authorization in the Netherlands, of 18 May 1940 (RGBI. I S. 778), I decree:

§ I.

(1) When warm-blooded animals are slaughtered, they have to be anaesthetized before blood-letting begins.

(2) In cases of emergency slaughter (Art. 3 of the Law for the inspection of meat ( Vleeschkeuringswet ) State document 1919 No. 524), in which the anaesthesia cannot be carried out due to the particular set of circumstances, the regulation of paragraph I will not be applied.

§ 2.

(1) The Directors General of the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fishing will jointly issue the necessary regulations for the implementation of this decree.

(2) They will be published in the “Nederlandsche Staatscourant.”

§ 3.

(1) Whoever willfully violates the instructions of this decree or the decreed regulations intended for its implementation will be punished with a prison sentence of up to six months or a fine of up to ten thousand Gulden.

(2) These violations are crimes.

§ 4.

This decree will come into force on 5 August 1940.

Den Haag, 31 July 1940.

The Reichskommissar for the occupied Dutch territories: Seyss-Inquart.


Source: Yad Vashem