Re: Questions about Document in Germany #germany


Joachim Mugdan
 

Susan Miller had questions about a document entitled “Auszüge aus dem Registern der Juden der Gemeinde Griesheim Kr. Darmstadt” that concludes with “Die Richtigkeit des Auszugs wird bescheinigt. ... 27. Juli 1938. Der Bürgermeister”.

When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, they excluded “non-Aryans” from many positions (cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryan_paragraph). The Nuremberg laws of 1935 (cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuremberg_Laws) introduced a finer distinction between “full Jews” (with 3 or 4 Jewish grandparents), “half Jews” (with 2 Jewish grandparents), “quarter Jews” (with 1 Jewish grandparent) and people “of German or related blood” (with 0 Jewish grandparents). Therefore, everyone had to apply for birth and marriage records of their parents and grandparents in order to prove their status (cf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryan_certificate). Presumably, the document Susan asked about was requested by a member of her family in this connection. The information in the records was usually supplied in the form of a typed “extract” (“Auszug”, plural “Auszüge”) from the registers, and an official (in this case the mayor, “Bürgermeister”) had to confirm that it was correct (“Die Richtigkeit des Auszugs wird bescheinigt”).

Eva Lawrence was surprised that this document “still exists, and wasn't destroyed by its owner to avoid the post-war Nazi hunt”. Since it consisted of ordinary birth and marriage records (mostly from long before the Nazi period), there was no reason to destroy it. On the contrary: In many cases, the original registers were lost so that these extracts became the only documentary evidence proving a person’s ancestry. Eva is right that “genealogy was a popular pastime ... in the  1930s”, and some genealogists did go to the trouble of requesting birth, marriage or death records from record offices (“Standesamt”) or archives, but that was a costly hobby and typically concerned relatives other than the parents and grandparents. The types of records (only birth and marriage or also death) and the people named in them should show what the purpose of the document in question was.

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Joachim Mugdan

Basel, Switzerland

JGFF Researcher 5749

 


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Joachim Mugdan

Basel, Switzerland

JGFF Researcher 5749

 

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