Nuremberg Laws Discussion

In “A Documentary History of Life in the Third Reich” we read about the Nuremberg Laws. These are otherwise known as Anti-Jewish laws and legislation. Upon reading these many articles and many subsections I came to a conclusion. We have seen these laws before this time they were simply masquerading under a different pretense. In my eyes the Nuremberg Laws are almost identical to the 19th and 20th century Black Codes or “Jim Crow” Laws we saw in Southern America, formerly the Confederacy. In these reading there were three main articles or laws that stuck out to me, but I will be focusing on 2. In the First Regulation the the Reich Citizenship, Article 4 it states “A Jew cannot be a citizen of the Reich. He has no right to vote in political affairs, he cannot occupy a public office” (Sax & Kunitz, pg 405). This is practically identical to how African Americans were seen and treated even after the 14th Amendment went into effect in the United States. African Americans were still seen as objects of the state and while voting was legal eventually for them, we have seen how Southern States used fear tactics in the 19th and 20th centuries to prevent them from voting. Another thing that stuck out to me was under the Law and Protection of German Blood. According to Section 1 and 2 marriage and relationships between Jews and Germans was absolutely prohibited. This is much like the 19th and 20th century with African Americans where Anti-Miscegenation laws were in place in some southern states up until the mid 1960’s until Supreme Court Case Loving vs Virginia overturned the laws. My question for you is, why do you believe America was okay with fighting a war against one of the very things we were doing in our own backyard, segregation and racism? Also, what other similarities do you see between the Nuremberg Laws and Jim Crow Laws? 

2 Replies to “Nuremberg Laws Discussion”

  1. I think it is important to remember that the United States only entered the war after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor. After the US declared war on Japan, Germany responded a few days later by declaring war on the US. In a way, the US was not initially fighting against Hitler’s abhorrent treatment of the Jewish community in Europe. It should also be noted that Hitler’s actions against the Jewish community were much more extreme than conditions in the US. I am not saying conditions for African Americans and other minorities were great during this time period in the US, but Hitler’s systematic plan for the complete extermination of the Jewish race was very different.

    1. I will have to agree with Christian on this. When the US entered the war they did so because of Pearl Harbor and then in turn were in war with all of Japan’s allies. It was not until the latter part of the war did the Allies realize the extent of Hitler’s discrimination of Jews and other minorities. Also, this is no way excusing the behavior of Americans and the American government. It has a long history of hypocrisy of pushing agendas onto different foreign powers but doing the exact opposite at home. I do not think the US was quite nearly at the same level Germany was at during the War with its treatment of African-Americans. With that, although there were segregation laws that attempted to push African-Americans out of American society, they were not completely shunned and isolated like people of jewish descendant. If you would like to look at a closer comparison between American policy and Germany policy during this time, I believe it is necessary to look at the Japanese Internment camps, the FDR administration set up and relocated hundreds of thousands of Japanese-Americans to after the war began. Here is where a similar system to Hitler’s is used, but the US version has much less violence. The actions of the US government are no way acceptable nor excusable but they lay on a different level than the Third Reich. The Reich was attempting to literally kill of multiple different populations when the US government was enacting racist policies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *