The Nuremberg Race Laws were implemented in Germany in 1935 and
were later imposed on all lands occupied by the Nazis.
For the first time in history, Jews were persecuted not for their
religious beliefs and practises, but because of their so-called
racial identity, irrevocably transmitted through the blood of their grandparents.
In my family we have a small collection of family documents and photos from the war years. Amongst them is a printed handout explaining what is a Jew according to the race laws of the Nazi Regime (click here to see the image (13kb)) This document is in German and not in the best of condition but it does explain in graphic details what those laws meant. And as an example I will tell how they applied to my family. It did not matter at all if a persons ancestors had lived in Germany or Austria for countless generations, if he or she was a Jew it was counted as a different race regardless of whether or not they followed the Jewish religion.
According to these race laws, my great-grandparents on my father's side were Jewish (they were Austrians but followed the Jewish religion), their son (my grandfather) was also a Jew (even though he converted to catholicism and married a non-Jew) and his son (my father) was a Mischling First Degree (click here to see the image (13kb)).
A Mischling First degree meant you were a half-jew. My father subsequently married a non-jew also which made my siblings and I Mischling Second Degree or quarter Jew.
If my adult brother and sisters would have married during these times and their partners had no Jewish ancestry, their offspring would have been deutschbluetig, which means they would not have been persecuted under the race laws.
If my father who was a Mischling 1 Grades (click here to see the image (26kb)) would have married a woman who had Jewish parents irregardless if they changed their religion his offspring would have been counted as Jews.
Lotte has written other stories about her childhood :
Lotte is a member of the MEMORIES Panel of Elders. You can click here to write to her.