Institute for Historical Review

Institute for Historical Review

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The Myth of the Six Million

2. Disabilities Imposed on the Jews by National Socialism

The first major directive against the Jews, after the one-day boycott of April 1, 1933, was the law of April 7, 1933, which required the dismissal of Jews from government service and from positions in the universities. This law was not fully implemented in practice until 1939 :although. many functionaries and teachers were retired on pensions before the end of 1933. Jews were still employed in German journalism and publishing as late as 1939, but they had been required by 1936 to sell all of their share of financial control over German newspapers, publishing houses, and the film industry on the basis of an emergency press enactment by President Hindenburg under Article 48 of the Weimar constitution on March 1, 1933.

Undoubtedly the most fundamental National Socialist legislation against the Jews was enacted by the Reichstag at its meeting in Nuremberg on September 15, 1935. These famous Nuremberg Laws included the citizenship law and the law for the protection of German blood and honor. Jews were carefully defined as persons with four or three Jewish grandparents, or persons with two Jewish grandparents who practiced the Jewish religion or were married to Jewish partners. This legislation deprived the Jews of German citizenship and of the right to fly the German colors, it prohibited Jews from marrying German citizens, and it provided that sexual intercourse between Jews and German citizens was a criminal offense. Jews were not allowed to employ female German servants of less than forty-five years of age. A supplementary law of July 6, 1938, permitted divorce solely on racial grounds.

It should be noted that as late as 1938 the segregation of Jews was still limited to prohibition of sexual relations, and to the exclusion of Jews from university employment, government work, Or from the ownership of the mass media of communication. The Jews were allowed to operate and to own businesses, to share public facilities of recreation, culture, and transportation, to engage in professions such as medicine and law, to accept ordinary employment, and to travel abroad. Indeed, many thousands of Jews were still living quietly and working in the German community when the country was occupied by Allied troops in 1945.

Although it was the National Socialist policy to encourage the Jews to leave Germany, rather liberal arrangements were made to permit those Jews who migrated to take with them a sizeable portion of their assets. It was easier to transfer or take with them the sums received from the properties sold than liquid assets. Billions of marks were transferred to Palestine; under the Havarah agreement there were no restrictions whatever.

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