Re: Proving ancestry in Nazi Europe #general

Enzo Falco

An Italian cousin whose Jewish father moved to Italy >from Germany about 1910,
told me that in Germany, after about 1933, all citizens had to keep up to
date a document, passport size, with their family tree. Every time they
updated it they had to go to the authorities where it was stamped with the
current date. I saw one in the Holocaust section of the British Imperial War
Museum and took a poor picture through the glass cabinet. I had read that
Nazi Germany encouraged the Jews to investigate their genealogy. IBM punched
cards were immensely used to keep track of all of this data.

The Nuremberg laws of about 1938 defined a Jew if less than a certain
percentage of their ancestry was Jewish. I think it was specified that you
had to have not a single Jewish grandparent for a specified number of

In Italy, according to the Anti-Jewish laws of 1938, patterned after the
Nuremberg laws, required all Jews to bring their birth certificates to the
local police station where it was stamped with, "Of the Jewish Race." I
understood that passports were also similarly stamped. Similarly to Germany,
you were not Jewish if you had no Jewish grandparents for a number of
generations. Italy, being a "nicer" country, the number of generations was
less than Germany! Also you were exempted >from this law for a number of
reasons such as being a Medal of Honor winner in WW I, having a disability
of so many limbs missing, etc.

Enzo Falco
Belmont, Massachusetts

"Diana da Costa" <> wrote:

I have heard it stated that in some countries overrun by the Nazis, that
local populations were required to prove their lack of Jewish ancestry by
producing their own family trees. Is this just a myth or is it true and if
so, which countries were affected? Regarding Germany, I don't think this
was the case but perhaps it might have been in some areas?

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