Germany’s ruling Nazi Party at a meeting in Nuremberg in 1935 announced a series of laws stripping German Jews of their citizenship and depriving them of most rights. The decrees, which became known as the Nuremberg Laws, legitimized persecution of Jews already under way. The laws also became an “important prerequisite” for the later extermination of millions of Jews in Europe during World War II, according to the Danish Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
Defining Germany's Jews
The first law defined Jews, not by religion, but by whether they had three or four Jewish grandparents. Thus, the Nuremberg Laws would apply to even Roman Catholic priests and Protestant ministers if they had Jewish grandparents, according to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Subsequent laws would forbid all those considered Jews from marriage with non-Jews and dismantle their property rights. Another decree was added that targeted non-Jewish gypsies and black Europeans as what the regime labeled “racially suspect” people. At the end of World War II in 1945, Nuremberg became the site of an international trial of 22 Nazis for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
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