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German History in Documents and Images
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"First a German, then a Civil Servant" (July 31, 1933)
The race laws of April 7, 1933, were part of the National Socialist “coordination” [Gleichschaltung] of all public authorities. They signaled the end of legal equality for German Jews. From that point on, all employees in the civil service, the administration, and the judicial system would have to present a so-called certification of Aryan ancestry [Ariernachweis]. Subsequent decrees forced Jews out of more and more branches of professional activity. Whereas a large part of the German population reacted with aversion or passivity to the SA’s "rabble-rousing” or “hooligan” anti-Semitism [Radau-Antisemitismus], many Germans welcomed the exclusion of Jews from particular professions and hoped to benefit from it economically. The photograph shows an event organized by the Reich Union of German Civil Servants in Hamburg. The banner suspended from the balcony reads: "First a German, then a Civil Servant." Photo by Joseph Schorer.