Re: Notation on names Israel and Sara #germany

Fritz Neubauer

Dear Henry,

the entering of the additional first names Israel and Sara is based on
the "Zweite Verordnung zur Durchfuehrung des Gesetzes ueber die
Aenderung von Familiennamen und Vornamen" (Second edict about the
execution of the law about the changing of surnames and first names) of
17-Aug-1938. I gave a presentation on this topic at the Jerusalem
Conference and had done some research on it.

This edict was valid >from January 1, 1939. There was a list of "Jewish"
first names that would have been allowed not to add the additional first
names, such as Ruben or Saul for men and Chana or Rebekka for women, but
from what I have seen, that hardly played a role.
It says in paragraph 2, section 2

(2) Whoever has to accept the additional first name, has to announce
this in writing within a month after the date the name has to be carried,

to the city clerk who was responsible for registering his birth,

to the city clerk who was responsible for registering his wedding,

to the local police station of the normal residence.

As can be seen >from the wording of this edict, the acceptance of these
additional forced names had to be announced to the birth place, place
where the wedding took place and the place of residence. It was
punishable if this was not done. And it had to done by the people
themselves. In all three cases the additional names were entered into
the appropriate documents.

After the end of the war in different states and towns in Germany and
Austria it took sometimes quite a long time and years that an another
entry was added that declared that on the order of the Allied Commission
the 1938/1939 addition was declared invalid (you cannot just scratch
out things ...).

If today one asks for a copy of the birth certificate or wedding license,
it is sometimes the case that these additions are not reproduced, you
better ask for a full copy ...

In a footnote the the published edict in the Reichsgesetzblatt for the
year 1938, part I, page 1044 it says "Betrifft nicht das Land
Oesterreich" (Is not valid in the state of Austria). Since August 1938
was only a few months after the Anschluss, not all the German laws had
been forced upon Austria yet, this is also apparent >from the wording
"Land Oesterreich" which quickly disappeared and became Ostmark. The
edict was extended to the former Austrian territory and the former Czech
Sudeten area on January 24, 1939.

I hope that helps all who had not heard of all the details ...

With kind regards, Fritz Neubauer

On July 20, 2017, > Henry Wellisch, Toronto wrote:
I recently came across the birth entry in the Vienna Jewish records of
a woman who was born in Vienna, who moved in the 1920s to Germany and
emigrated in 1940 to the US. In her Vienna birth entry of 1903 there
is a notation dated June 6, 1939, which states that she has now the
additional name of Sara. This additional name of Sara for women and
Israel for men was a Nazi law, and I well remember that in 1939 my
mother and I went to see a public notary in Vienna who stamped all our
My question is this. Was is customary in Germany for authorities to
inform the registrars in the former hometown of citizens about
important events such as a name change? Or was this another
antisemitic regulation?
I think in the Austro Hungarian empire and later in the Austrian
republic there was such a custom, but was this the case also in

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