FIR reminds of the fascist race laws 85 years ago PDF Print E-mail

Since 1933, the establishment of fascist rule in Germany had been linked to three political objectives:

- the persecution and smashing of the organizations of the labor movement and all left bourgeois structures,

- the policy of expansion that culminated in the Second World War,

- the racist marginalization which found expression in the mass murders in the extermination camps.

After the first attacks against Jewish people and institutions, the Nazi regime developed legal instruments for racist exclusion, with which the administration could execute crimes against Jewish people "on a legal basis" and the majority society was integrated into the "Volksgemeinschaft".

The "Nuremberg Race Laws" were declared at the NSDAP Reich Party Congress on 15 September 1935. In typical legal German language, the "Reichsbürger" was redefined. He had to be of "German or related blood" and also had to prove through his behavior that he was "willing and able to serve the German people and Reich faithfully". The political component was directed against all political opponents and especially the emigrants. The racist component excluded Jewish people, but also Sinti and Roma from the group of "Reich citizens". They were only members of the state and thus 2nd class citizens. They had no civil rights. This law formed the basis for the progressive discrimination, exclusion, disenfranchisement and destruction of the existence of Jewish people.

The "Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor" regulated in a very subtle way the social exclusion of Jewish people by denying them family cohesion in society. The law prohibited marriage and extramarital contact between Jews and non-Jews. Violations of the law were considered "racial defilement" and were punished with prison or penitentiary. The ban on "racial defilement" was even applied abroad. In further decrees, the discriminatory laws were extended to other groups. A circular refers to "gypsies", hybrids "with half of their blood being foreign" and "negroes".

 

In order to provide the administrations with "legal certainty", Wilhelm Stuckart, SS lawyer and convicted in the "Wilhelmstrasse Trial" in 1948, and Hans Globke, administrative lawyer in the Reich Ministry of the Interior and Chancellery Minister with Konrad Adenauer from 1953 to 1963, published a legal commentary on the Nuremberg Race Laws, which provided the binding definitions, with several editions extending into the war years.

 

The FIR reminds today of these inhuman, fascist laws, in order to make clear that fascism did not only implement its annihilation policy with terror and political force, but also created laws, in order to give its crimes a "legal mark". However, they were the precondition for the mass murder of 6 million Jews and other countless victims of "non-Aryan" minorities.

For anti-fascist and anti-racist work today, this means being vigilant when laws mean exclusion and stigmatization of social minorities. Such laws allow discrimination that goes against all principle of a solidary society, as we stand for.

FIR (Fédération Internationale des Résistantes - Association des Antifascistes)