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The Reich Citizenship Law (September 15, 1935) and the First Regulation to the Reich Citizenship Law (November 14, 1935)

The Reichstag passed the so-called Nuremberg Laws (or “Nuremberg Racial Laws”) on September 15, 1935, during the Seventh Reich Party Rally of the NSDAP in Nuremberg. Henceforth, these laws formed the basis of the Nazi persecution of the Jews. The “Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor” (“Blood Protection Law”) aimed to isolate the Jews racially and socially by prohibiting them, under pain of severe punishment, from marrying or having sexual relations with non-Jews. In addition, Jews were prohibited from employing Aryan housemaids younger than 45. They were also barred from flying the new, official swastika flag. The following Reich Citizenship Law stripped all Jews of the political rights deriving from German Reich citizenship and relegated them to the status of second-class citizens. In the following months, the regime used this legal demotion to push the Jews out of a number of professions, occupations, and programs of study for which Reich citizenship was required. In order to effectively enforce these laws, however, the question of who exactly was a Jew needed to be clarified with precision. An official definition was provided by the First Regulation to the Reich Citizenship Law of November 14, 1935 (or the Implementing Decree of November 14, 1935), also reprinted below. It defined who was a “full Jew” or a "mixed-breed" [Mischling] in the National Socialist sense.

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I. The Reich Citizenship Law of September 15, 1935

The Reichstag has unanimously adopted the following law, which is herewith promulgated.

§ 1.
(1) A subject of the State is a person who belongs to the protective union of the German Reich, and who therefore has particular obligations towards the Reich.
(2) The status of subject is acquired in accordance with the provisions of the Reich and State Law of Citizenship.

§ 2.
(1) A citizen of the Reich is only that subject who is of German or kindred blood and who, through his conduct, shows that he is both willing and able to faithfully serve the German people and Reich.
(2) The right to citizenship is acquired by the granting of Reich citizenship papers.
(3) Only the citizen of the Reich enjoys full political rights in accordance with the provision of the law.

§ 3.
The Reich Minister of the Interior in conjunction with the Deputy of the Führer will issue the necessary legal and administrative decrees for implementing and supplementing this law.

Nuremberg, September 15, 1935

The Führer and Reich Chancellor
Adolf Hitler

The Reich Minister of the Interior

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