JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Proving ancestry in Nazi Europe #general
Diana da Costa
Two weeks ago I posed the following query:
"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? All ideas
welcome on this issue!"
There were so many useful responses which I have summarised in case others
might find the information equally helpful:
In short, it was not a myth that the non-Jewish population had to prove
non-Jewish ancestry. In fact, it was in many instances a matter of survival
as well as an opening for promotion within the ranks of the SS and the
Gestapo and the opportunity to get a job in the public service or join a
university. >from 1935 it was also needed by those who wanted to get married.
The evidence took the form of either a document or a family tree showing
Aryan ancestry which then had to be verified by the Nazis, some were stamped
with a swastika. Some (e.g. those wanting to join the SS) had to research
their ancestry back into the 18th Century, no mean feat in pre-computer days!
Many who wrote to me stated that they had been informed of the practice by
non-Jewish friends, descendants of those who had to produce this
documentation. This practice was not confined to Germany but my respondents
also reported that the practice was also known in France, Italy, Holland and
Austria. The inference could be drawn that enforcing people to produce proof
of Aryan ancestry was probably commonplace in all the countries invaded by
the Nazi regime.
I was also sent this link which giving more detail, I found most useful:
A big "thank you" to everyone for their help.
Diana (Mohr) Gomes da Costa, Kent UK - formerly >from London -
Researcher number: 166938 email: @DianadaCostaMohr
Researches include ARNSTEIN, BACH, BASS, BERLIN, COHN, DITTMANN, FLACHFELD,
GUETERMANN, HAHN, HELLMANN, HIRSCHMANN, KOHN, KRAILSHEIMER, KUGLER, LOEWI,
MANES, MARX, MENDEL, MORGENTHAU, MOHR, ROSENFELD, ROSENWALD, UHLMANN,
WEIKERSHEIMER and ZIRNDORFER - all originally >from Bavaria, mainly Furth,
Nurnberg and Bamberg as listed in the JGFF database.