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German History in Documents and Images
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Family Tree and Register (undated)
Membership in the new German national community [Volksgemeinschaft] was based almost exclusively on “racial-biological” criteria. With the "Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service" of April 7, 1933, the Nazi regime had already begun to define and exclude supposed racial enemies. Thereafter, civil servants needed to present a so-called certification of Aryan ancestry [Ariernachweis] to continue practicing their professions; the same regulation soon applied to lawyers and physicians as well. In these cases, anyone with one Jewish parent or grandparent was considered "non-Aryan." Membership in the Aryan race was determined on the basis of certified birth, marriage, and baptismal certificates, as well as the kind of family tree shown in this photo. With the adoption of the so-called Nuremberg Laws (consisting of the "Reich Citizenship Law" and the "Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor"), the importance of providing official proof of ancestry increased dramatically. These laws broadened the official definition of “Jew” and “half-breed” [Mischling] and made political rights dependent on Aryan descent. Jews were demoted to the status of "individuals residing in the state." Marriages and extramarital relationships between Jews and "Aryans" were forbidden.