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THE TIMELINE

The Timeline

Check out our  detailed timeline chronicling the history of intermarriage in Weimar and Nazi Germany below.

APRIL 7, 1933

The Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service is passed in the Reich. It included the “Aryan Paragraph,” which excluded Jews, including those in intermarriage, from working for the state government at all levels. An Aryan Paragraph refers to a piece of legislation that lowers the status of Jews.

JUNE 30, 1933

Workers in the German civil service must prove their marriage partners’ Aryan ancestry. The intermarried workers were dismissed from their positions entirely. Though intermarriage was not yet banned, Justice Minister Kerrl commented that the disadvantages of having Jewish relatives would certainly discourage them.

JULY 1933

The popular Marriage Loan Program did not apply to Jewish-gentile intermarried couples. The program awarded loans to German couples whose wives left the workforce to have children, forgiving one-fourth of the loan for each child the couple bore .

DECEMBER 1933

Intermarried couples were no longer recognized as adoptive parents to children, as announced in December of 1933 by the Reich Interior Ministry.

AUGUST 1934

The Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service’s initial exemption for German Jews who had served in World War I was eliminated following the death German President Paul von Hindenburg in August 1934.

SEPTEMBER 1935

According to The Right of Exception for Jews in European Countries, Jewish individuals and Intermarried Gentiles were prohibited from saluting the national flag, hoisting the flag, and showing the Imperial Colors. This is under the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor.

SEPTEMBER 15, 1935

The Nuremberg Laws, once passed, determined which citizens would be classified as Jewish (those with three or four Jewish grandparents) and those with mixed ancestry that would be “counted as a Jew” (Geltungsjuden, persons with two Jewish grandparents who were married to a Jew or belonged to the Jewish community).

JULY 1938

German Law was rewritten so that intermarried couples could get divorce by formally requesting it. The Gestapo also began applying more and more pressures through threats and promises on intermarried couples to divorce.

There were relatively few divorces of intermarried couples during the Third Reich. Ursula Büttner estimated that 7.2 percent of intermarried couples divorced during the Nazi years in Baden Württemberg while 9.9 percent divorced in Hamburg between 1942 and 1945. Evan Bukey concluded that among the intermarried couples in Vienna, only some 5 to 7 percent divorced.

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DECEMBER 1938

On Goering’s suggestion,

Hitler issued a secret decree that divided the intermarriages into two categories, privileging the majority while identifying the remaining one quarter as “simple” or “non-privileged.” Mixed marriages with children baptized as Christians, as well as mixed marriages in which the wife rather than the husband was Jewish, would be identified as “privileged.” The rest were not.

This bisection followed a similar division in the 1935 Nuremberg Laws that had exempted the overwhelming majority of German “half Jews,” or “Mischlinge,” from treatment as Jews.   The persecution of the “full” Jews in intermarriages could proceed in stages..

1939

A German census of 1939 showed that 57.5% of intermarried men in Vienna, were “non-Aryan”, as were 64% in Hamburg and 65% in Berlin. By May of 1939, the Reich found 4,443 intermarried couples in the Austrian city of Danubian, compared with 5,919 in the German city of Berlin.

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APRIL 1939

Law of 30 April 1939 concerning Jewish Tenants requires “non-privileged” intermarried couples to move from buildings shared with “Aryans” into “Jewish Houses” confined to Jews alone. Non-Jewish in intermarriages that were not privileged were required to divorce or move with their partners. Eva Klemperer, a non-Jew married to the JewishGerman Professor Victor Klemperer, who survived because he was intermarried, moved into a Jewish house in Dresden.

September 1, 1941

A mandate that Jews must wear the star of David is put into effect. Intermarried Jews in privileged intermarriages were exempted, in contradiction to their identity as “full Jews” under the Nuremberg Laws.  The yellow star marked Jews as ‘enemies of the German people’ and criminals, as stated by Goebbels, identifying the persons the regime intended to deport and murder.

November 1941 Goebbels writes that:

“Whoever wears a Jewish Star is marked as an ‘enemy of the People.’ Whoever still goes around with [a Jew] privately in everyday life belongs to him and must be valued and treated as a Jew. He earns the contempt of the entire People, whom he abandons in base cowardice at the hardest moment, by putting himself at the side of his despiser.”

October 1941

October saw the beginning of deportations of German Jews who wore the Star of David. The Jewish individuals in both “privileged” and “non-privileged” marriages were “temporarily held back” from deportation (vorläufig zurückgestellt). If, however, the ‘Aryan’ partner within an intermarried couple agreed to divorce or died, the protections granted to the Jewish spouse were revoked.

The regime’s policy of deporting intermarried Jews whose partners had died or divorced demonstrated that the reason it waited “temporarily” was due to Aryans who would not consent to let go of their Jewish partners.”

November 6, 1941

Popular Jewish Actor Joachim Gottschalk along with his Jewish wife and eight-year-old son, committed suicide. Gottschalk was urged by Goebbels to divorce his Jewish wife, excluding him from film roles and stage performances. Goebbels wrote that  “could no longer find any way to escape the conflict between state and family. I will thus immediately see to it that this case . . .  is not used to construct alarming rumors.” Trying to limit popular awareness of his miscalculation, Goebbels forbade obituaries and banned anyone from attending Gottschalk’s funeral. Nevertheless, a number of Gottschalk’s professional associates attended the funeral.

November 22,, 1941

Hitler, according to Joseph Goebbels, stated that  “concerning the Jewish Question, the Führer is fully in agreement with my points of view. He wants a forceful policy against the Jews, though one that does not cause us unnecessary difficulties. The evacuation of the Jews is to be conducted city by city. It is therefore still unclear when it will be Berlin’s turn; but when it has its turn, then the evacuation should also be carried out as quickly as possible. Concerning the Jewish mixed marriages, especially those in artist’s circles, the Führer recommends that I follow a somewhat reserved course of action since he is of the opinion that these marriages in any case will die out bit by bit, and one shouldn’t get any gray hair over this.”

January 20, 1942

Wannsee Conference. Reinhard Heydrich discusses plans to kill 11 million Jews, but spends much time speaking of strategy on how to kill the 30,000 Jews in intermarried relationships. judging by the minutes of the conference recorded by Adolph Eichmann, almost half of the conference was devoted to how to deport Jews in intermarried couples from the German Reich and their Mischlinge children.

January 1942

The Reich banned German Jews from buying non-Jewish newspapers. When intermarried Germans disobeyed, providing non-Jewish newspapers to their Jewish partners, the ban was modified. At first, it agreed to relax the law by allowing only those in privileged intermarriages to receive newspapers (since allowing Jews in nonprivileged intermarriages would mean “too much of a violation of the rule”).

When it became clear that the regime had no better means of keeping newspapers from reaching Jews in nonprivileged intermarriages than from Jews in privileged intermarriages, the law was finally abandoned: “A check on whether someone ordering newspapers or magazines is part of a Jewish mixed marriage, and above that whether the person might be a part of a privileged or nonprivileged mixed marriage, is practically impossible to carry out, since a partner of a mixed marriage is not outwardly apparent as  such.”

March 2, 1942

Joseph Goebbels contemplates the effect of Jewish intermarriage on the English population.

 

From the diary of Joseph Goebbels:

“It is astonishing how strongly indeed the English Volk, above all those in the highest circles, have been corrupted by Jewry (verjudet) and hardly show English character any longer. That can in fact be traced back mainly to the fact that the top ten thousand are so strongly infected by Jewish marriages that they can barely still think like English.”

March 6, 1942

Propaganda ministry refuses law that would annul all intermarriages. The regime decided to wait for the non- Jewish half of the intermarriage to request divorce to avoid the divorce from appearing forced.

October 27, 1942

A third major “Final Solution” conference, staged by the RSHA, devised to, and enacted a plan to compel divorce. The meeting also produced an agreement that intermarriages would be legally annulled, and that all intermarried Jews, as well as intermarried half Jews who wore the star, should be deported regardless of privilege status, according to Otto Hünsche, Eichmann’s deputy and a participant at the conference.

December 6, 1942

Goebbels’ diary entry reflected on the rejected proposal for annulling mixed marriages. He recorded that Hitler had commissioned him to “push out the unprivileged full Jews from Germany.” He stated “A new proposal for the liquidation of Jewish marriages was presented to me….  It would bring about so much unrest and confusion in public opinion that at least at the moment the affair is not worth it.  In addition the Führer commissioned me to first ensure that the unprivileged full Jews are removed from Germany.  Once they are all gone we can approach the remnants of the Jewish problem that still remain.”  Goebbels’ use of the word “privileged” at this point indicates that he wanted to deport all Jews wearing the star—including those full Jews in intermarriage who lived in “nonprivileged intermarriages.”

February 18, 1943

By February, Goebbels intended for Berlin’s intermarried Jews to be completely detained.

From the diary of Joseph Goebbels:

“The Jews in Berlin will now once and for all be pushed out. With the final deadline of February 28 they are supposed to be first brought to collection centers and deported, up to 2,000, batch by batch, day by day. I have set for myself a goal to make Berlin  Entirely free of Jews by the middle or end of March at the latest.”

February 1943

Rosenstrasse protest.

Over 2,000 Jews were detained at Rosenstrasse 2-4. Under the impression that their Jewish partners would be deported to death camps, the non-Jewish partners, mostly women, demonstrated outside on the street in front of Rosenstrasse 2-4 beginning on February 27. In the face of armed officers, the protests lasted for one week. The Gestapo released most of the detained Jews in the week that followed the demonstration.

February 27, 1943

Himmler’s RSHA permitted and called for arrests, by the name of ‘the Elimination of Jews from Reich Territories Actions’, which led to the arrest of intermarried Jews and the Rosenstrasse Protest in Berlin, Germany.

March 6, 1943

25 intermarried Jewish men (who had no children) were selected to be sent from Rosenstraße 2-4 to Auschwitz. The 25 men, 12 days into their labor at Auschwitz, were told that they were to prepare to return to Berlin. After returning, they were charged with other crimes and sent to different labor camps. Most of the other intermarried Jewish men were released this day.

Goebbels contemplates the protest of Jewish

 

evacuations and details a plan to react:

“The SD considers this exact moment to be right for proceeding with the evacuation of the Jews. Unfortunately, some disagreeable scenes have played out in front of a Jewish Old People’s Home. The people gathered together in large throngs and even sided with the Jews to some extent. I will commission the security police not to continue the Jewish evacuations during such a critical time. Rather we want to put that off for a few weeks; then we can carry it out all the more thoroughly. One has to intervene all over the place, to ward off damages.”

March 1943

By this time, the Rosenstrasse protest was still occurring.

From the diary of Joseph Goebbels:

“The evacuation of the Jews from Berlin did in fact lead to some disagreements. Unfortunately, the Jews and Jewesses from privileged marriages were arrested too at first, which led to great fear and confusion. Because of the short-sightedness of industrialists, who warned the Jews in time, the supposed arrest of Jews on one day was a flop. In total, 4,000 Jews evaded us. They are now going around unregistered and without housing in Berlin and comprise, of course, a great danger for the public. I order the police, army and party to put everything into settling up with these Jews as fast as possible.

 

The arrest of Jews and Jewesses from privileged marriages had a particularly strong, sensational effect on artist circles. Because precisely among actors these privileged marriages exist in a certain number. But in the moment, I can’t pay overly much attention to that. If a German man can still even now manage to live in a legal marriage with a Jewess, then that speaks against him absolutely, and during war there is no longer time to be all too sentimental in judging this question.”

May 19, 1943

Hitler declared Berlin to be cleansed of Jews (Judenfrei).

January 1944

Hitler ordered that the discussions of the removal of intermarried Jews needed to stop.

He did this in order to distance the Nazi party from the publicity surrounding the

Rosenstrasse protest.

Information for this timeline was collected by Carmellina Moersch & Sheighlin Hagerty