Reich Citizenship Law (1935)

The Reich Citizenship Law, one of the infamous Nuremberg Laws, was passed by the German Reichstag in September 1935:

Article I

1. A subject of the state is one who belongs to the protective union of the German Reich, and who, therefore, has specific obligations to the Reich.

2. The status of the subject is to be acquired in accordance with the provisions of the Reich and the state Citizenship Law.

Article II

1. A citizen of the Reich may be only one who is of German or kindred blood, and who, through his behaviour, shows that he is both desirous and personally fit to serve loyally the German people and the Reich.

2. The right to citizenship is obtained by the grant of Reich citizenship papers.

3. Only the citizen of the Reich may enjoy full political rights in consonance with the provisions of the laws.

Article III

The Reich Minister of the Interior, in conjunction with the Deputy to the Fuhrer, will issue the required legal and administrative decrees for the implementation and amplification of this law.

Passed September 16th 1935.
To come into effect September 30th 1935.

The following Supplementary Decrees, expanding on and clarifying the meaning of the above law, were passed in November 1935:

On the basis of Article III of the Reich Citizenship Law of September 15th 1935, the following is hereby decreed:

Article I

1. Until further provisions concerning citizenship papers, all subjects of German or kindred blood who possessed the right to vote in the Reichstag elections when the Citizenship Law came into effect, shall, for the present, possess the rights of Reich citizens. The same shall be true of those upon whom the Reich Minister of the Interior, in conjunction with the Deputy to the Fuhrer shall confer citizenship.

2. The Reich Minister of the Interior, in conjunction with the Deputy to the Fuhrer, may revoke citizenship.

Article II

1. The provisions of Article I shall apply also to subjects who are of mixed Jewish blood.

2. An individual of mixed Jewish blood is one who is descended from one or two grandparents who, racially, were full Jews, insofar that he is not a Jew according to Section 2 of Article 5. Full-blooded Jewish grandparents are those who belonged to the Jewish religious community.

Article III

Only citizens of the Reich, as bearers of full political rights, can exercise the right of voting in political matters and have the right to hold public office. The Reich Minister of the Interior, or any agency he empowers, can make exceptions during the transition period on the matter of holding public office. The measures do not apply to matters concerning religious organizations.

Article IV

1. A Jew cannot be a citizen of the Reich. He cannot exercise the right to vote; he cannot hold public office.

2. Jewish officials will be retired as of December 31, 1935. In the event that such officials served at the front in the World War either for Germany or her allies, they shall receive a pension, until they reach the age limit, the full salary last received, on the basis of which their pension would have been computed.

3. These provisions do not concern the affairs of religious organizations.

4. The conditions regarding the service of teachers in public Jewish schools remains unchanged until the promulgation of new laws on the Jewish school system.

Article V

1. A Jew is an individual who is descended from at least three grandparents who were, racially, full Jews…

2. A Jew is also an individual who is descended from two full-Jewish grandparents if:

a. he was a member of the Jewish religious community when this law was issued or joined the community later;

b. when the law was issued, he was married to a person who was a Jew, or was subsequently married to a Jew;

c. he is the issue from a marriage with a Jew, in the sense of Section I, which was contracted after the coming into effect of the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honour of September 15th 1935;

d. he is the issue of an extramarital relationship with a Jew, in the sense of Section I, and was born out of wedlock after July 31st 1936.

The Fuhrer and Chancellor of the Reich are empowered to release anyone from the provisions of these administrative decrees.