GHDI logo

Frederick William III, King of Prussia, "Edict Concerning the Civil Status of the Jews in the Prussian State" (March 11, 1812)

page 2 of 3    print version    return to list previous document      next document

§13. Jews and their dependents living in the countryside may only pursue those branches of commerce permitted to the other [i.e., Christian] inhabitants.

§14. Native Jews, as such, will not be burdened with special taxes.

§15. They are, however, obliged to fulfill the same civil obligations and duties toward the state and their municipality as Christians and must bear the same [tax] burdens as other citizens, with the exception of payments for [Christian] ceremonial services.

§16. Native Jews are likewise subject to military conscription or to serving in the cantonal system and to all existing special legal regulations related thereto. [ . . . ]

§17. Native Jews may marry each other without a special permit or the prior issuing of a general marriage certificate insofar as agreement or permission to marry is not required by the regulations of Others [other authorities] in the first place.

§18. This is also the case when a native Jew marries a foreign Jewess.

§19. Marrying a native Jewess does not confer upon a foreign Jew the right to settle in these states.

§20. The private legal relationships among Jews are to be adjudicated by the same laws and legal principles that pertain to other Prussian citizens.

§21. Exceptions [to the above paragraph] pertain to cases of business and commerce which, because of differences in religious conceptions and practices, are necessarily bound by special legal determinations and forms.

[ . . . ]

§29. Regarding their jurisdictional status and the related matter of guardianship cases, there shall be no differences between Christians and Jews. The only exception remains Berlin, where Jews are assigned a special court of jurisdiction as ordered.

§30. In no case may rabbis or Jewish Elders arrogate to themselves either legal jurisdiction or the right to declare or administer legal guardianship.

§31. Foreign Jews are not allowed to settle in these states as long as they have not acquired Prussian citizenship.

§32. Acquisition of citizenship can be gained only by application to the government of the province in which the applicant wishes to settle and with approval by Our minister of the interior.

§33. Thereupon [new citizens] will enjoy the same rights and liberties as natives.

§34. Foreign Jews may not serve as rabbis, church servants, or apprentices, nor may they be employed in workshops or as domestics. This, however, does not apply to those Jews already settled in Our states at the time of the publication of the present edict.

first page < previous   |   next > last page