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Law Limits Jews in Public Schools

Cover of a primary school reader. School curriculum under the Nazis stressed love and obedience to Hitler (the <i>Führer</i>), race consciousness and military preparation.

Cover of a primary school reader. School curriculum under the Nazis stressed love and obedience to Hitler (the Führer), race consciousness and military preparation. Jung-Deutschland: Eine deutsche Fibel. by Otto Zimmermann, B. Hemprich, M. Dalchow, and Eugen Osswald. Braunschweig: G. Westermann, 1935.

April 25, 1933

The German government issues the Law against Overcrowding in Schools and Universities, which dramatically limits the number of Jewish students attending public schools.

After Adolf Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in January 1933, government at every level—national, state, and municipal—began to adopt laws and policies that increasingly restricted the rights of Jews in Germany. This new law limited the number of Jewish students in any one public school to no more than 5 percent of the total student population. According to the census of June 16, 1933, the Jewish population of Germany was about 500,000 people out of a total population of 67 million or less than 0.8 percent of the total. In 1933, 75 percent of all Jewish students attended general public schools in Germany. However, public schools also played an important role in spreading Nazi ideas to German youth. Educators taught students love for Hitler, obedience to state authority, militarism, racism, and antisemitism. In the face of increasing persecution at public schools, Jews in Germany turned increasingly to private schools for their children.

A poem in the primer pictured above reads:

My Führer (The child speaks)
I know you well and love you dearly
Like father and mother.
I want to always be obedient to you
Like I am to father and mother.
And when I grow up, I will help you,
Like I will father and mother,
You should feel joy because of me,
Like father and mother!

First grade pupils study in a classroom in a public school in Hamburg.

First grade pupils study in a classroom in a public school in Hamburg, Germany, June 1933. Jewish pupil Eva Rosenbaum (with the white collar) is seated in the center desk on the right. On December 12, 1938 Eva left for England on the second <i>Kindertransport</i>.

First grade pupils study in a classroom in a public school in Hamburg, Germany, June 1933. Jewish pupil Eva Rosenbaum (with the white collar) is seated in the center desk on the right. On December 12, 1938 Eva left for England on the second Kindertransport. —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Eva Rosenbaum Abraham-Podietz

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