14 November 1935 Reich Citizenship Law isolates Christians of Jewish descent #otdimjh

Our hearts grieve today over the tragic loss of life in the terrorist attacks in Paris last night (13 November 2015). We pray for the survivors, the bereaved families and all those affected, and ask that the God of justice and mercy may bring peace to a shocked nation and its citizens. In your mercy, O Lord, hear our prayer.

On this day in Messianic Jewish history the Nurenberg Reich Citizenship Law Amendment defined as non-Arian those with one Jewish grandparent, thus isolating Christians of Jewish descent from membership of church and society.

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The Nazis began the First Implementation Order to the Reich Citizenship, Clause 5; “A Jew is a person descended from at least three grandparents who were full Jews by race.”   This meant that a lot of Christian Germans found out that they were “really Jewish” since the conversion of their parents offered no protection from being designated as a Juden.  As many as 500,000 German citizens fall into the Mischlinge or mixed-race category. Marriages between Jews and second-generation Mischlinge are prohibited by law.

The Laws were published on September 15 1935 with extra legislation defining ‘mishchling'(“mongrel}, as those with one grandparent Jewish or married to a Jew published on 14 November 1935. This meant a large number, estimated to run into several hundred thousand who thought they were loyal German subjects, not became ‘non-Arian’.

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According to the 1939 Reich census, there were about 72,000 Mischlinge of the 1st degree, some 39,000 of the 2nd degree, and probably tens of thousands more of higher degrees, which, however, were not recorded because those people were considered Aryan by the Reich.

Werner Cohn estimates:

The number of partially Jewish people in Germany during the Hitler period continues to be a matter of controversy and speculation. (1) I intend to discuss here three ways of estimating their number: 1) an estimate based on known intermarriage rates since the emancipation; 2) the official government census of 1939; and 3) an estimate based on certain corrections to this census. The official census yields an estimate of one partial Jew for every two “full Jews,” or about 228,000 in 1933; the other methods yield a substantially higher number, viz. about 500,000 in 1933. I consider the latter figure more closely correct.

According to historian and Israeli Army and U.S. Marine Corps veteran Bryan Mark Rigg, up to 160,000 soldiers who were one-quarter, one-half, and even full Jewish served in the German armed forces during World War II, including several generals and admirals and at least one field marshal, Erhard Milch. Another very important Nazi with Jewish ancestry is Emil Maurice. He co-founded the SS with Hitler, and the two were good friends.

Organisations of non-Arian Christians tried to argue for their rights as Christians not to be included in what was to become the deportation to the Concentration Camps, but few supported them.

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On 20 July 1933 – initiated by the actor Gustav Friedrich – Christian Germans of Jewish descent founded a self-help organisation, first named Reich Federation of Christian German Citizens of non-Aryan or not purely Aryan descent (German:Reichsbund christlich-deutscher Staatsbürger nichtarischer oder nicht rein arischer Abstammung e.V.). The federation first counted only 4,500 members. In October 1934 the name was shortened to Reich association of non-Aryan Christians (German:Reichsverband der nichtarischen Christen). In 1935 the members of the federation elected the known literary historian Heinrich Spiero their new president and under his auspices the federation’s journal was improved and the number of members rose to 80,000 by 1936. In September 1936 the federation renamed into the more confidentSt Paul’s Covenant Union of non-Aryan Christians (GermanPaulus-Bund Vereinigung nichtarischer Christen e.V.) after the famous Jewish convert to Christianity Paul of Tarsus (Sha’ul).

In January 1937 the Nazi government forbade that organisation, allowing a new successor organisation named 1937 Association of Provisional Reich Citizens of not purely German-blooded Descent (GermanVereinigung 1937 vorläufiger Reichsbürger nicht rein deutschblütiger Abstammung). This name cited the insecure legal status of Mischlinge, who had been assigned the revocable status of preliminary Reich’s citizens by the Nuremberg Laws, while Jewish-classified Germans had become second-classstate citizens (Staatsbürger) by these laws. The 1937 Association was prohibited to accept state citizens as members – like Spiero – with three or four grandparents, who had been enrolled with a Jewish congregation. Thus that new association had lost its most prominent leaders and faded, having become an organisation solely for Mischlinge. The 1937 Association was compulsorily dissolved in 1939.

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Pastor Heinrich Grüber and some enthusiasts started a new effort in 1936 to found an organisation to help Protestants of Jewish descent (Mischlinge and their (grand)parents, of whom at least one was classified as non-Aryan), completely neglected by the then official Protestant church bodies in Germany (see Prussian Union (Evangelical Christian Church)#Protestants of Jewish descent).

After the war some Mischlinge founded the still-existing Notgemeinschaft der durch die Nürnberger Gesetze Betroffenen (Emergency association of the aggrieved by the Nuremberg Laws).

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Prayer: Father,  forgive the prescription of German Jews and those descended from them, and heal the wounds of the past. May it be accepted by all nations that your people Israel have a right to live in peace and security, and may they too maintain the civil rights of those who live in their lands. May ethnic identity not be a cause of hostility and agression, but rather, may the beauty of your creation, and the multiplicity of our identities, affirm the richness and blessing of Abraham for both Israel and all nations, complete in the Messiah Yeshua. In his name we pray. Amen.

Sources:

Christen jüdischer Herkunft im Dritten Reich: Verfolgung und organisierte Selbsthilfe, 1933-1939 by Aleksander-Sasa Vuletić

Doris L. Bergen, Review of Vuletic, Central European History, Vol. 35, No. 3 (2002), pp. 448-450, Published by: Cambridge University Press, Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4547231

http://www.wernercohn.com/Paulus.html

https://web.archive.org/web/20070302123520/http://www.mtsu.edu/~baustin/nurmlaw2.html

http://www.hsozkult.de/hfn/publicationreview/id/rezbuecher-547

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mischling

Werner Cohn, “Bearers of a Common Fate ? The “Non-Aryan Christian Fate-Comrades” of the Paulus Bund, 1933-1939″ in Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook, vol. XXXIII, 1988, pp. 327-366

 

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About richardsh

Messianic Jewish teacher in UK
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