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Nuremberg Race Laws

Text of the Reich Citizenship Law of September 15, 1935, and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor of September 15, 1935 (Nuremberg Race Laws).

Text of the Reich Citizenship Law of September 15, 1935, and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor of September 15, 1935 (Nuremberg Race Laws). —US Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration, College Park

September 15, 1935

The German parliament (Reichstag) passes the Nuremberg Race Laws.

The Nuremberg Race Laws consisted of two pieces of legislation: the Reich Citizenship Law and the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor. A special session of the Nazi-controlled Reichstag passed both laws at the Party’s rally in Nuremberg, Germany. These laws institutionalized many of the racial theories underpinning Nazi ideology and provided the legal framework for the systematic persecution of Jews in Germany. The Nuremberg Race Laws did not identify a “Jew” as someone with particular religious convictions but instead as someone with three or four Jewish grandparents. Many Germans who had not practiced Judaism or who had not done so for many years found themselves still subject to legal persecution under these laws. Even people with Jewish grandparents who had converted to Christianity could be defined as Jews.