* NAZI racial shaming

NAZI Racial Shaming (1933-35)

Figure 1.--Without a law to prohibit realtions between gebtiles and Jews. The NAZIs turned to shaming and publuc humiliation. Here a German with a Jewish girl friend is forced to wear a palcard--"'I am a defiler of the race’. She is morfified. He dies not look that bothered. Notice that here it i the police that are doing this, not the SA. Of course the policemen by 1935 may have been former SA Strnmtroopers. The photograph was taken in Nordon, Germany (July 1935). What we are not sure about is what happened to these people after the photograog was taken. A few months later the Nuremberh Laws were issued which strioped Jews of their citizenship abd made sexual realatiins between Jews and gebtiles a crime, punishable by law. < /i>

Virulent anti-Semites wanted action against Jews and Aryans having sexual relations. Julius Streicher demanded the death penalty for Jews having sexual relations with Germans. We are noit sure what he thought about the Germans involved. Hitler addressed this issue in Mein Kampf, but without specific details as to just how to define a Jew or sanctions for violations. The Germans had two terms for this: Rassenschande (race defilement/shame) and Blutschande (blood defilement/shame). Another translation is 'bastardization'. Hitler claimed that it was the cause of the preceived moral degradation of German society. As the NAZis became a major party, Hitler moderated hius public speeches somewhat. [Koonz, p. 25.] The NAZIs upon seizing power adopted a policy of racial shaming for Germans having sexual realtions with non-Aryans, especially Jews. This also extended to Blacks, although there were so few Blacks in Germany that this was a very limited action. When the NAZIs came to power, there was no agreed concept as to just how to define a Jew. This ranged fron two Jewish parents to anyone with even one-sixteenth part Jewish ancestry. Opinion varied. Some even regarded the number of intermarriages as too small to be of any real harm. Others like NAZI jurust Roland Freisler regarded the numbers irrelevant and regarded such sexual relations as 'racial treason'. [Koonz, pp. 173-74.] Freisler published a pamphlet promoting the immediate banning of all 'mixed-blood' sexual intercourse (1933). He was not just talking about Jews, but all foreigners. There was no public support for this, nor did Hitler agree. [Koonx, p.74.] Freisler's boss, Franz Gürtner, opposed it both for reasons of popular support and a range ofg problematic issues. He pointed out that there were people who did not know that they had Jewish ancestry. And this would give rise to a rash of blackmail threats.[Koonz, pp. 175-76.] Legal sanctiins were not at first possible because there was no law against it. This did not, however, prevenbt the SA from conducted extra-legal actions. Anti-miscegenation policies were a core NAZI goal. It was at first pursued informally Aryan certificate requirement. Local officials began demanding these documents before issuing marriage certificates. Systematic action, however, required a new law.


Koonz, Claudia Koonz (2003). The Nazi Conscience (Harvard University Press: 2003).

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