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The Nuremberg Laws: The Reich Citizenship Law

(September 15, 1935)

The Reich Citizenship Law stripped Jews of their German citizenship and introduced a new distinction between "Reich citizens " and "nationals." Certificates of Reich citizenship were in fact never introduced and all Germans other than Jews were, until 1945, provisionally classed as Reich citizens.

Article 1

1. A subject of the State is a person who belongs to the protective union of the German Reich, and who therefore has particular obligations towards the Reich.

2. The status of subject is acquired in accordance with the provisions of the Reich and State Law of Citizenship.

Article 2

1. A citizen of the Reich is that subject only who is of German or kindred blood and who, through his conduct, shows that he is both desirous and fit to serve the German people and Reich faithfully.

2. The right to citizenship is acquired by the granting of Reich citizenship papers.

3. Only the citizen of the Reich enjoys full political rights in accordance with the provision of the laws.

Article 3

The Reich Minister of the Interior in conjunction with the Deputy of the Fuhrer will issue the necessary legal and administrative decrees for carrying out and supplementing this law.

Sources: Noakes, Jeremy, and Geoffrey Pridham. Documents on Nazism 1919-1945. NY: Viking Press, 1974, pp. 463-467, and The Nizkor Project