Laws pertaining to regular Germans

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BeeWac
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Laws pertaining to regular Germans

Postby BeeWac » 20 Nov 2017 04:34

Today, the term "Nazi" is used to describe strict rules and conformity. But when we think about law in Nazi Germany, our heads usually jump to the Nuremberg laws under which Jews suffered.

What are some Nazi-esque laws that applied to "Good Germans" ?

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Re: Laws pertaining to regular Germans

Postby Knouterer » 20 Nov 2017 12:36

A good example would be the law intended to keep the German people healthy and strong by forcibly sterilizing people who did not meet Nazi standards, such as people with various hereditary diseases, alcoholics etc. (Gesetz zur Verhütung erbkranker Nachwuchses of 1933). In practice the hereditary aspect did not carry much weight, some people were sterilized even though their deafness or other health problem had been caused by an accident.

About 300,000 people fell victim to this law, and an estimated 5% died of the operation, a rather high rate.

The next step, of course, was the wholesale murder of handicapped people from 1939 on.
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Re: Laws pertaining to regular Germans

Postby Knouterer » 21 Nov 2017 12:31

In Nazi Germany, all (ex)members of the disbanded parties left of center risked prosecution for treason, parties to the right were dealt with by the law against founding new parties (Gesetz gegen die Neubildung von Parteien of 14 July 1933).

Any kind of political activity outside the NSDAP was punishable by up to three years in prison (persons still considered troublemakers might be handed over to the Gestapo after their prison term and never seen again).

Of course, if such activity was combined with other crimes, such as "undermining the people's will to resist" in wartime, the death penalty was likely.
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Re: Laws pertaining to regular Germans

Postby Gorque » 21 Nov 2017 13:56

The medieval legal concept of Sippenhaft (kin liability) was revived during the Nazi era.

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wbell
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Re: Laws pertaining to regular Germans

Postby wbell » 28 Nov 2017 11:25

On April 7, 1933, the German government promulgated a law for the restoration of the professional civil service. This mundanely titled statute had a simple enough goal: to rid the German civil service of all non-Aryans.

Five days later, the statute bore a regulation which defined a non-Aryan as any person who was equal to or greater than one quarter Jewish. An inauspicious beginning to a policy of genocidal statutes soon to be outright horrific. Other laws quickly followed limiting non-Aryan Germans from teaching jobs, farming, schools and universities or from holding editorial positions with German newspapers.

In 1935, the Nazi party met in Nuremberg and passed a number of laws . The very names of these laws smacked of genocide:

•Reich Citizenship Law, and
•Law For The Protection of German Blood and Honor.

According to Kristen Rundle: “The goal of the Reich Citizenship Law was ... disenfranchising those subjects or nationals who were not of German blood. The law established two types of subject of German law: the Reich citizen, who was required to be of German blood, and the non-Aryan, a second-class citizen who ... had obligations (to the state) but had no rights of citizenship.

The Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor" forbid marital and extramarital relations between the two social groups and prohibited the employment of female German nationals less than 45 years of age in Jewish households. Moreover,the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor defined an offence known as racial pollution:

“Sexual intercourse (except in marriage) between Jews and German nationals of German or German related blood is forbidden.”

The fear and persuasiveness of Hitler's brutal totalitarian regime was felt by the German judiciary fell into the Nazi cadence. The enforcement of a racial legislation was left to the courts. Rundle reports that “the use of the death penalty was prolific” and could be given to someone who spoke against Hitler.

In one trial under the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honour, a Nuremberg businessman, Leo Kazenberger, also Jewish, was accused of having a sexual relationship with a younger Aryan woman. He was denounced and arrested but denied the charges as did his alleged girlfriend. The judge, Oswald Rothaug heard the case and, according to many observers, but the case as an opportunity for getting noticed by Hitler. Kazenberger was found guilty and guillotined on June 2, 1942.

In 1938, the German Nazi government issued a regulation which revoked the medical licenses that have been issued to Jewish doctors and restricted them to the treatment of Jews. Jewish lawyers were prohibited from practise.

Later, in 1939, another law forced Jewish landlords to only house Jewish tenants. The population got the message and began to post signs on stores and in towns denying goods and services to Jews or banning them outright. This 1943 letter was sent to the German Minister of Justice by a citizen-informant:

"After the birth of her child, a full-blooded Jewess sold her mother’s milk to a paediatrician and concealed that she was a Jewess. With this milk babies of German blood were fed in a nursing home for children. The accused will be charged with deception. The buyers of the milk have suffered damage, for mother’s a milk from a Jewess cannot be regarded as food for German children."

In 1941, the government stepped up its campaign of political genocide by commencing the expropriation of real property and other property belonging to Jews, again by statute.

In 1942, the German state proclaimed the Law Against Poles and Jews. This summary of that statute was given by the International Military Tribunal in USA v Alstoetter:

"Poles and Jews convicted of specific crimes were subjected to different types of punishment from that imposed upon Germans who had committed the same crimes. Their rights as defendants in court were severely circumscribed. Courts were empowered to impose death sentences on Poles and Jews even where such punishment was not prescribed by law, if the evidence showed particularly objectionable motives. And, finally, the police were given carte blanche to punish all “criminal” acts committed by Jews without any employment of the judicial process."

All Jews were required to wear a yellow Star of David and if found without the Star of David prominently displayed on their clothing, they were subject to severe punishments at the discretion of local law enforcement. But in nearby Nazi-occupied Lithuania, the Nazi policy of genocide did not even bother with a semblance of statutes or kangaroo courts. Almost 200,000 Lithuanian Jews were systematically executed just because they were Jewish, many by firing squads.

One of the last statutory measures in Hitler Germany which ought even to be called a “law” or a “statute” against modern definitions, is a regulation issued pursuant to the Reich Citizenship Law on July 1, 1943. This decree transferred the enforcement and punishment of Jews for alleged breaches of the law to the SS. It was the end of even a semblance of judicial process for Germany's non-Aryans and homosexuals.

By 1942, the high Nazi command under Adolf Hitler had run its course with statutes and justice, concepts anathema to the fear and control so essential to Nazism. Already secretly approved and about to be implemented was a far more sinister expression of genocide, the so-called Final Solution to the Jewish Problem.

By 1942, there was no longer any need to play out the charade of legislation or statute. In the words of the then-minister of Justice Rothenberg:

"The judge is on principle bound by the law. The laws are the orders of the Fuehrer (Adolf Hitler).... With the Fuehrer a man has risen within the German people who awakens the oldest, long forgotten times. Here is a man who in his position represents the ideal of the judge in its perfect sense, and the German people elected him for their judge—first of all, of course, as judge over their fate in general, but also as supreme magistrate and judge."

(Reference: Rundle, K., The Impossibility of an Exterminatory Legality: Law and the Holocaust, 59 UTLJ 65 (2009)
Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960)
United States of America v. Alstötter et al., 3 T.W.C. 1, 6 L.R.T.W.C. 1 and at 14 Ann. Dig. 278 (1948)

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Re: Laws pertaining to regular Germans

Postby David Thompson » 02 Dec 2017 23:21

BeeWac -- You asked:
Today, the term "Nazi" is used to describe strict rules and conformity. But when we think about law in Nazi Germany, our heads usually jump to the Nuremberg laws under which Jews suffered.

What are some Nazi-esque laws that applied to "Good Germans" ?

There's a collection of some of the earlier ones (from 1933) at:

Nazi totalitarian laws
/viewtopic.php?t=63480

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Re: Laws pertaining to regular Germans

Postby ljadw » 03 Dec 2017 08:36

wbell wrote:On April 7, 1933, the German government promulgated a law for the restoration of the professional civil service. This mundanely titled statute had a simple enough goal: to rid the German civil service of all non-Aryans.

Five days later, the statute bore a regulation which defined a non-Aryan as any person who was equal to or greater than one quarter Jewish. An inauspicious beginning to a policy of genocidal statutes soon to be outright horrific. Other laws quickly followed limiting non-Aryan Germans from teaching jobs, farming, schools and universities or from holding editorial positions with German newspapers.

In 1935, the Nazi party met in Nuremberg and passed a number of laws . The very names of these laws smacked of genocide:

•Reich Citizenship Law, and
•Law For The Protection of German Blood and Honor.

According to Kristen Rundle: “The goal of the Reich Citizenship Law was ... disenfranchising those subjects or nationals who were not of German blood. The law established two types of subject of German law: the Reich citizen, who was required to be of German blood, and the non-Aryan, a second-class citizen who ... had obligations (to the state) but had no rights of citizenship.

The Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor" forbid marital and extramarital relations between the two social groups and prohibited the employment of female German nationals less than 45 years of age in Jewish households. Moreover,the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor defined an offence known as racial pollution:

“Sexual intercourse (except in marriage) between Jews and German nationals of German or German related blood is forbidden.”

The fear and persuasiveness of Hitler's brutal totalitarian regime was felt by the German judiciary fell into the Nazi cadence. The enforcement of a racial legislation was left to the courts. Rundle reports that “the use of the death penalty was prolific” and could be given to someone who spoke against Hitler.

In one trial under the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honour, a Nuremberg businessman, Leo Kazenberger, also Jewish, was accused of having a sexual relationship with a younger Aryan woman. He was denounced and arrested but denied the charges as did his alleged girlfriend. The judge, Oswald Rothaug heard the case and, according to many observers, but the case as an opportunity for getting noticed by Hitler. Kazenberger was found guilty and guillotined on June 2, 1942.

In 1938, the German Nazi government issued a regulation which revoked the medical licenses that have been issued to Jewish doctors and restricted them to the treatment of Jews. Jewish lawyers were prohibited from practise.

Later, in 1939, another law forced Jewish landlords to only house Jewish tenants. The population got the message and began to post signs on stores and in towns denying goods and services to Jews or banning them outright. This 1943 letter was sent to the German Minister of Justice by a citizen-informant:

"After the birth of her child, a full-blooded Jewess sold her mother’s milk to a paediatrician and concealed that she was a Jewess. With this milk babies of German blood were fed in a nursing home for children. The accused will be charged with deception. The buyers of the milk have suffered damage, for mother’s a milk from a Jewess cannot be regarded as food for German children."

In 1941, the government stepped up its campaign of political genocide by commencing the expropriation of real property and other property belonging to Jews, again by statute.

In 1942, the German state proclaimed the Law Against Poles and Jews. This summary of that statute was given by the International Military Tribunal in USA v Alstoetter:

"Poles and Jews convicted of specific crimes were subjected to different types of punishment from that imposed upon Germans who had committed the same crimes. Their rights as defendants in court were severely circumscribed. Courts were empowered to impose death sentences on Poles and Jews even where such punishment was not prescribed by law, if the evidence showed particularly objectionable motives. And, finally, the police were given carte blanche to punish all “criminal” acts committed by Jews without any employment of the judicial process."

All Jews were required to wear a yellow Star of David and if found without the Star of David prominently displayed on their clothing, they were subject to severe punishments at the discretion of local law enforcement. But in nearby Nazi-occupied Lithuania, the Nazi policy of genocide did not even bother with a semblance of statutes or kangaroo courts. Almost 200,000 Lithuanian Jews were systematically executed just because they were Jewish, many by firing squads.

One of the last statutory measures in Hitler Germany which ought even to be called a “law” or a “statute” against modern definitions, is a regulation issued pursuant to the Reich Citizenship Law on July 1, 1943. This decree transferred the enforcement and punishment of Jews for alleged breaches of the law to the SS. It was the end of even a semblance of judicial process for Germany's non-Aryans and homosexuals.

By 1942, the high Nazi command under Adolf Hitler had run its course with statutes and justice, concepts anathema to the fear and control so essential to Nazism. Already secretly approved and about to be implemented was a far more sinister expression of genocide, the so-called Final Solution to the Jewish Problem.

By 1942, there was no longer any need to play out the charade of legislation or statute. In the words of the then-minister of Justice Rothenberg:

"The judge is on principle bound by the law. The laws are the orders of the Fuehrer (Adolf Hitler).... With the Fuehrer a man has risen within the German people who awakens the oldest, long forgotten times. Here is a man who in his position represents the ideal of the judge in its perfect sense, and the German people elected him for their judge—first of all, of course, as judge over their fate in general, but also as supreme magistrate and judge."

(Reference: Rundle, K., The Impossibility of an Exterminatory Legality: Law and the Holocaust, 59 UTLJ 65 (2009)
Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960)
United States of America v. Alstötter et al., 3 T.W.C. 1, 6 L.R.T.W.C. 1 and at 14 Ann. Dig. 278 (1948)

Rothenberger was not minister of justice.

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wbell
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Re: Laws pertaining to regular Germans

Postby wbell » 03 Dec 2017 14:29

ljadw wrote: Rothenberger was not minister of justice.


You are correct; the source I quoted was incorrect. Otto Georg Thierack was the Minister. Curt Rothenberger was the State Secretary of Justice and was in-charge of judicial reform. A second State Secretary was later added to the Ministry to limit Rothenberger's power. [Source: Orlow, Dietrich The History of the Nazi Party Volume 2, p. 370].

Sid Guttridge
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Re: Laws pertaining to regular Germans

Postby Sid Guttridge » 03 Jan 2018 20:17

I don't associate Nazism with "strict rules and conformity". That would be to let the b@st@rds off far too lightlty!

"Strict rules and conformity" are characteristics I associate with Prussian militarism.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: Laws pertaining to regular Germans

Postby Sid Guttridge » 03 Jan 2018 21:01

How about the 1937 compulsory chimney sweep law?

Apparently this is still in force and people are objecting to it as an intrusion on privacy.

Sid

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Re: Laws pertaining to regular Germans

Postby Waleed Y. Majeed » 03 Jan 2018 21:52

Sid, it is not the compulsory chimney sweep they object to. It is the rule of local sweepers for local areas and the restriction of free trade that is the problem. You have no choice in who does the job or what you have to pay. Both are fixed! You can hire any builder to build your chimney but not who cleans it. I believe all are ok with the safety issue of the compulsory sweeps, it's the same north of the border but as far as I know we can choose the "who" here in the DK, as long as they are authorised/licensed "skorstensfejere".

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Re: Laws pertaining to regular Germans

Postby Wordsworth » 07 Jan 2018 23:33

All Germans, Nazi or not, were required to give the Hitler salute, the "German Greeting".
German children were required to join the Hitler Youth as of 1939, some regions enforced this less stringently than others.
Germans were not free to express their opinions or freely associate with whomever they wished.

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Gorque
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Re: Laws pertaining to regular Germans

Postby Gorque » 08 Jan 2018 00:18

Waleed Y. Majeed wrote:Sid, it is not the compulsory chimney sweep they object to. It is the rule of local sweepers for local areas and the restriction of free trade that is the problem. You have no choice in who does the job or what you have to pay. Both are fixed! You can hire any builder to build your chimney but not who cleans it. I believe all are ok with the safety issue of the compulsory sweeps, it's the same north of the border but as far as I know we can choose the "who" here in the DK, as long as they are authorised/licensed "skorstensfejere".

waleed


Hi Waleed:

I remember visiting relatives in Bremen back in '66 when I was a 10 year old lad when the chimney-sweep showed-up, did his job, knocked on the door and then held his palm out for payment. My relatives were griping about it then but at the time I did not understand why. Thanks for explaining it. :thumbsup:

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Re: Laws pertaining to regular Germans

Postby Knouterer » 08 Jan 2018 19:24

Since 2013 people are in principle free to choose their chimney sweep and negotiate prices, but in practice it doesn't make much difference I believe.

What people object to is all this obligatory but unnecessary cleaning. Even if you heat your house with oïl or gas, which produces no soot to speak of, the chimney sweep will come by twice a year to "clean" and present a nice bill.

More often if you burn solid fuel. And I've heard of cases were a fireplace was bricked up but the chimney sweep insisted there should be an opening in the wall somewhere so he could get at the chimney and clean it. Again and again.
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Re: Laws pertaining to regular Germans

Postby Jim_R » 10 Jan 2018 19:51

BeeWac wrote:Today, the term "Nazi" is used to describe strict rules and conformity. But when we think about law in Nazi Germany, our heads usually jump to the Nuremberg laws under which Jews suffered.

What are some Nazi-esque laws that applied to "Good Germans" ?


The first thing that I think of is the Reichstag Fire Decree. I suppose the Reichstag Fire Decree isn't as much a law but the removal of civil liberties as spelled out in the German constitution. This definitely applied to "Good Germans". Citizens of Germany lost the right to freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly. all privacy as search and seizure no longer required a warrant.

The loss of these constitutional protections allowed the Nazis to be strict and require conformity.


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