The Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany: Marginalization, Segregation, and Extermination of Jews

One of the deadliest event recorded in history is the holocaust which not only erupted the anti-Semitic sentiment against Jews but also commemorated the extinction of compassion and humanity. During World war I Nazi Germany suffered a failure and this defeat was taken as a humiliation by the “Pure Germans”. Adolf Hitler thought that this setback of Germany in world war I was primarily because of the Jews in Germany thereby inaugurating his animosity for the Jewish community. The Nuremberg laws are the worst highlights of the Nazi rule as it created fear for the Jewish people along with the people who did not fit into the “modern” and “efficient” framework of Nazi. The trajectory from the Nazi’s coming into power as a fascist government to the extermination of Jews is despicable and horrendous. The Nazis were trying to create a system which was robust and mechanical and it got so engaged into it that it became almost impossible for them to consider that it is still a world of humans. What amounted to something was pure racism and modern development which inevitably was meant to unfold itself in a heinous and dreadful crime. 

The Weimar Republic was shaken to the foundation by the end of 1932 and the emerging alternative power was Adolf Hitler and his National socialist German Workers’ Party. NSDAP launched the propaganda towards blaming the existing party at the helm of affairs and promised the Nazi solution to all the ills which were existing in the society. With this stronghold, the Nazi party won the elections of July 1932 and came into power winning as the largest majority. This marks the end of the republican government in Germany.

It is necessary to know how did the Nazis become popular and what was the main reason behind its victory. There are multiple reasons that were put forward for the Nazis becoming popular. They promised national unity, prosperity, private army, and full employment. It was also argued that it was because of Hitler’s extraordinary political abilities, a striking contrast between the Nazi party and the Weimar government along with the promise to manage economic crisis which impressed the people in favour of Nazi Party. Although these reasons are often cited for the vogue of Nazis there is still a contentious debate amongst historians who identify the variables playing in favour of Nazis.

With the passing of Enabling Act of January 1933, it gave the right to Hitler’s cabinet to enact laws without any consent with the parliament. This apparently represented the dictatorial power that Hitler came to exercise. The Swastika of the Party became the official flag of the Reich.

 After Nazi came into power the country transformed overnight into a police state, all the rights and freedom were revoked and the concentration camps were established. The racist ideology of Hitler penetrated in every grade of society and the promotion campaign of purity and superiority of the Aryan Race was held sacred. The Jewish Community was regarded as impure and were secluded from the mainstream German society. The Jewish people were randomly attacked in the streets and their stores and business were boycotted. Signs and boards can be seen in every nook and corner of the city asserting that “Jews are not wanted here”. This exclusive practice sponsored by the state meant a nightmare for the Jewish community residing for a long time in Germany.

On September 15th 1935 the German parliament passed the Nuremberg laws which legalised Racism and anti-Semitism in Germany. These laws stripped the Jews from obtaining citizenship, sexual relationships between Jews and Non- Jews were forbidden, and the Non-Jews were prohibited to provide any employment to the Jews. Before the Nazi, there was no Jewish Problem and with the coming of the Nazi, the psyche of “them” and “us” was intrinsically cultivated. Germany was now not even remotely represent the democratic society and was caught under the tyrannical rule of the Nazi party.

With the law of 1935 implemented the spontaneous violent acts against Jews could be seen frequently. Hitler allowed his militia to create street violence and they would then beat up Jews, Rob them, Stand in front of the shops owned by Jews, and rape the young Jewish girls. The terror added obedience that Nazi demanded and can be seen when people saw the Nazi flag and stood at attention,  saluted, and said, Heil Hitler. The Nuremberg laws formulated in a matter of hours and presented at the 1935 annual Nazi rally commenced the violence, xenophobia, and pressure against Jews.

The citizenship was decided on the basis of “Pure Blood”. The one who belonged to the “Superior Aryan Race” was granted the citizenship and others were excluded out of the citizenship right. The question of who exactly is the Jew arose so that an “outgroup” can be wiped out of the “pure and sacrosanct”  Nazi’s. The definition of who was Nazi was a burning question of the time. Anyone with three Jewish grandparents was categorised as the Jews immediately. There was also a category called Mischlinge or Mongrels who were also divided. The first degree Mischlinge will be who is having two Jewish grandparents have a Jewish spouse, and did not practice Judaism. The second-degree Mischlinge will be the one who has only one Jewish grandparent. This racially pure separation was made to ensure the honour of the German blood. These measures paved the way for the Holocaust- mass killing and extermination of Jews and the worst of those was the gas chambers massacring.

The sexual relationship between the Jews and Aryans was contemplated as a crime as it infringed the racial principles and produced children carriers of the Jewish genes. The classroom was rearranged and no communication happened between the Aryans and Jews. Harassment was faced by the Jews on a daily basis in every sphere of life and they were yelled as “Dirty Jews”. The rational and sacred space of Nazi in which social segregation was legislated was unquestionable and no one dared to speak out against them. Nuremberg Crimes were the crimes called out by Nuremberg elites, judges, lawyers, faith leaders, and educators which promulgated hatred.  Nuremberg laws as most of the historians agree was not any vision for the future rather it implied murder of Jews and attempt by the Nazi leader calling it as the final solution to the “Jewish Question”. The rise of Nazi Germany is a stark and grim reminder of how there was marginalisation, suppression, and denial of basic human rights subsequently leading to the homicide of innocent people.

This racial cleaning by the Nazi can’t be justified on any of the grounds. The capitalistic, mechanisation, and modernity was so much soaked in the blood of the Nazi’s that they were now not ready to accept any human who didn’t fall into the category of their robust and efficient factory setup. This was one of the reasons why they went on killing and chopping off those who were unfit mentally or physically. They threatened the existence of the Jews identity and aimed to create a world which is free of Jews and is racially pure like them.

The horrifying experimentation, classification, concentration camp and gas-chamber attacks were unbearable for anyone who witnessed those time. The blood of humanity was roaring in pain and demanding the justice it needed. Nazi’s were creating an environment which was dreadful and disastrous and has nothing but the racially pure and superior people.

History has always offered us insights into the laws and practice of the past and how it has unravelled itself. The Nuremberg laws were the beginning of the other inescapable horrors and the full-fledged killing awaited in the name of racial pureness and so-called modernity to be achieved. The bloodshed during the Nazi power is something which still has an ominous impact on the human mind. Those who witnessed the Nazi regime were the people who are the brave heroes of the time and who’s emotions and struggle can be felt alive for those who are still the awakened humans.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Komal Bhojwani

Komal Bhojwani is a Former Journalism Intern at The Kootneeti

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