What Makes a Jew?
For the Nazis Race and Ideology played a major role in their political endeavors. They believed that Germany needed a pure Aryan race, and that the “Jewish Problem” was hindering that ideal. This leads me to the question of, how can you tell who is Jewish and who is not? The Nazis thought they had solved that question with the Nuremberg Laws. These laws stated the guidelines of what it meant to be a Jew. Article 5 of the first regulation to the Reich’s Law of November 14 1935, stated in two parts that someone is considered a Jew if they have at least three grandparents who are fully Jewish. So what makes that persons grandparents fully Jewish? That was answered in Article 2 of that same regulation. A grandparent is considered full-blooded Jewish if they had belonged in a Jewish Religious community.
As well as making laws defining what makes a person a Jew. People who were defined as Jewish under these laws they were made to wear the Star of David as well as the Jewish colors. If Jewish people were found without these items or their papers telling the police that they were Jewish. They were punished the extent of which varied from case to case. Later on, “medical” experiments were done to determine the actual physical difference between the races.
This was proven wrong much later after the war was finished. People started to come out as Jewish, people who were said to be of perfect Aryan blood. All the way from soldiers to babies used in propaganda ads.
It makes me wonder why they though what someone believed in was connected to their genetic composition.
Benjamin Sax and Dieter Kuntz, eds., Inside Hitler’s Germany, A Documentary History of Life in the Third Reich (lextion, Mass.: D.C Health and Company, 1992) Pg# 404-408