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Jewish Civil Liberties Timeline

Click on Year to see Jewish Civil Rights restrictions in that year of the Shoah

Text in Red denotes Civil Right (US) violations, today in simplified form. It is not an inclusive code, but gives a general idea of how these laws and their effects would be viewed in this country. [See KEY at end of page]


The Years Freedom Died

We find it hard to imagine, living in a nation that guarantees our civil rights, that all privileges of citizen could one day be taken away on the basis of our religion, race, or beliefs. In Germany, Poland and occupied territories during WWII, the at first gradual, and then escalating erasure, total erasure of civil rights for the Jews took place. Once the National Socialists took office, immediately, no place for the Jew was found in Germany. They were no longer citizens, but "unwelcome guests". They were segregated, degraded, taught against, restricted, disenfranchised not only as citizens but as human beings and eventually deported and killed. There were three basic ways this occurred:

Erasing Jewish Civil Rights

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  • 1. They Were Socially Ostracized and made the Pariahs of Europe, as well as the Scapegoats.

  • 2. Laws such as the Nuremberg Laws and other Race Laws were enacted and enforced to erase all Citizenship Rights of the Jews, or even partial-Jews, and their friends, spouses and supporters.

  • 3. Policies on the federal and local level were interpreted broadly from the Laws, to allow almost any cruel and degrading restriction in local communities. This extended even to such mundane restrictions as no pets, hair styles, clothing rations or travel to Public Parks.
  • Almost every policy easily fit into the realm of Law, because the Jews were no longer considered citizens, and therefore could not even fight in court, as that privilege had also been erased. The Jews of Europe were dehumanized, abused and killed, not only because of brutal Anti-Semitism, but first and foremost because of the eradication of Jewish Civil Liberties. Our nation needs to learn this very important lesson, that in the erosion of Civil Liberties, is the genesis of Genocide.

    1933

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  • Reichsmusikkammer (RMK) formed. All musicians must register or be barred from Public Performances. Jews who register are easy targets for deportation later. The "Reich Music Chamber" decides who may play music and what kind. All Jewish music and Atonality declared 'degenerate', and is believed to lead to the ruin of German culture and Life. Many musicians removed from University Posts.1,P,R.
  • Boycott of Jewish businesses on sole basis of religious background of owners. Government sponsored.
    1,R,PROC,FT
  • Jews forbidden to own land in Reich territories.C,PRC, PROP
  • Jews forbidden to be Editors of Newspapers and Periodicals1,R,F, E.
  • Germany-wide bookburnings and censorship: Jewish authorship one criteria for burning; others include any volumes detrimental to the cause of the Reich or Nordic culture: includes such authors as Mark Twain and J.D. Sallinger.1,F,PROC.
  • While not just directed to Jews, forced sterilization of 'mentally defective' enforce.1,P Derelicts, alcoholics and Homeless subject to imprisonment under "Habitual and Dangerous Criminal Act, which later included Jews.1,PROC.
  • 1934

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  • Jews banned from Labor Unions1,R,E.
  • Jews banned from owning Health Insurance1,R,PROC
  • Jews banned from practicing Law1,E,R.
  • 1935

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  • Jews banned from Military1,R,--
  • 8-6-35 Jews in Arts forced to register with Jewish Cultural UnionR,P,E.
  • Nuremberg Laws: Citizenship in Germany, synonymous with the Reich is defined by Aryan bloodlines. ("Those of the same blood belong to the same Reich") Jewishness defined entirely on racial features and inheritance. Restrictions magnify: includes mundane civil rights restrictions such as banning from public parks and lands, pet ownership, bicycle ownership and even restrictions against hair-styling.1,R,O,PROC,T
  • Nuremberg Synagogue destroyed by Nazis1,R,PROC.
  • All Jews must add Sarah or Jakob (Israel) to their names.1,R,P,T.
  • 1936

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  • Jews become 'Guests' in Germany: a policy interpretation of the Nuremberg LawsPROC, D
  • Servants such as maids and groundskeepers, may not be employed by Jews.D,E
  • Telephones removed.
  • Partial Access to Public Libraries forbidden: Jews not allowed in areas occupied by GermansA,D
  • 1937

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  • Jews banned from teaching German Students
  • Jews denied Income tax credits/debits, including dependent allowance
  • Jews banned from vocation of Accountant (could not handle money)
  • Jews banned from Dentistry
  • 1938

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  • Jewish Property Confiscated, all Jewish-owned property must be registered with Reich.
  • Jewish Affairs Bureau office established in Vienna Austria under SS leadership
  • Office for Jewish Emigration opened, Eichmann establishes
  • Aryan Businessmen cannot hold businesses for safekeeping that belong to Jews
  • Evian Conference in July: Hitler criticizes, saying the rest of the world has no place for Jews either. Costa Rica , Singapore & Hong Kong take some Jewish emigration: US takes only 900+ of the 6 million killed.
  • Trade & Commerce restrictions for Jews
  • Jewish students dismissed and barred from German Public Schools.
  • Total ban on Public Library usage.
  • Ban on Driver's License

  • Further Vocational Restriction: Jews cannot be attorneys or physicians (many still treat Jews)
  • Jewish passports marked with large red 'J'.
  • Krystallnacht: In addition to state-sanctioned violence against Jews, including many murders and synagogue burnings and business lootings, Jews are fined one billion marks for clean-up, made to perform the clean-up, forced to file insurance claims on their businesses and hand over claim monies to the Reich. Goring (Luftwaffe) arranges the process.
  • Goering begins to speak of "The Jewish Question", and Hitler of the "Jewish Problem".
  • Curfews for Jews set: some as early as 9pm.
  • 1939

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  • Germany: Jews forbidden from holding employment in Reich, except for select few in armament industry.
  • Jews forbidden from riding city buses, except for work-related transportation in war effort.
  • Heydrich begins to mention "Final Goal," or 'Solution' (Endlosung) to troops of Einsatzgruppen. Complains to Goebbels that more efficient means of killing necessary because troops are becoming demoralized and tired killing so many Jews by shootings.
  • Judenrats established in ghettos.
  • Jewish Jewelry of value confiscatedPROC,O
  • Excessive tax Assessment for JewsTAX,PROC
  • Houses Confiscated: may be rented out in some areas1,PROC,O
  • Clothing Ration for Jews Cancelled1,PROC,D
  • Shopping Segregation: Jews may only shop in certain stores.1,D
  • Part of Food Rations Cancelled for Jews1,PROC,D

  • Jews forbidden from owning pets: all jewish pets destroyedO,FT,D
  • 1940

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  • Jews forced to Register for Labor Corp1,E
  • Jews restricted from public parks1,D,T
  • Sewing Machines & Typewriters Confiscated1,O,D
  • Removal of Coffee Rations for JewsD,FT
  • 1941

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  • Jews forbidden to own AutomobilesT,D,FT
  • Milk deliveries to Jews stopped.D,FT
  • Jews may not move to Berlin1,T,D,FT
  • Jews may not purchase cigarettesD,FT
  • Jews restricted then banned from Public RestaurantsJuly 1, 1943: Jews denied protection of courts and put under police jurisprudence. July 1, 1943: Jews denied protection of courts and put under police jurisprudence. D,T,FT
  • Jews banned from City busesT,D,PROC
  • Yellow Star required upon severe penalties at all times.Differing policies in areas over the mode of wearing it.D,PROC,FT
  • Inventories of all Jewish posessions required for DeportationO,D,PROC
  • 1942

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  • January 20, 1942: The Wannsee Conference: Already robbed of all Civil Liberties, plans are made to force all Jews finally and completely off all German Lands and territories, veiling thinly the plans for the genocide of the Jews of Europe.
  • March 6 1942 First Conference on Sterilization of Jews and Mixed Race Couples: Guidelines established.
  • Mid March: Aktion Reinhard The Planned Mass Extermination of the Jews (See The Final Solution)
  • June 17, 1942 Confiscation of typewriters, electric appliances.
  • July 17, 1942: Blind and Deaf Jews have privilege of wearing emblem designating their disability as an armband: these emblems aided in their safety in public places, traffic, etc. T,D,FT
  • July 1942; Berlin Resistance groups in July meet open confrontations
  • December 17, 1942 Great Britain openly condemns the Massacre of the Jews.
  • 1942: Emmanuel Ringelblum writes of the extermination of the children of the Warsaw Ghetto
  • 1942: Germany requires the Jews of occupied Belgium to wear Yellow Stars All
  • October 9, 1942 Jews forbidden to purchase books1,F, D, P, PROC, FT
  • Completed ban on Jews on public transportation in Germany.
  • All Jewish Schools close in Germany
  • Mass Executions being or are taking place in Belarus, the Ukraine, Auschwitz
  • Berlin Jews sent to Terezin.
  • Warsaw Ghetto Jews to Belzec and Treblinka for extermination.
  • Start of 700,000 murders in one year at Treblinka
  • August: Lodz Jews deported to killing Centers
  • August 14: 7000 Jews "without" citizenship arrested in France
  • October 4: German Concentrations Camps are to be made judenrein: Jew-Free
  • Oct 18: Citizenship of Jews and those in occupied territories transferred from Ministry of Justice to the Gestapo.
  • Oct 27: 2nd Sterilization Conference held.
  • November: Norwegian Jews to Auschwitz;
  • Remaining German Jews to Auschwitz for extermination.
  • 1943

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  • July 1, 1943: Jews denied access and protection of court/legal system and put under police jurisprudence.
  • January 20-26 Detainees at Terezin sent to Auschwitz
  • February 15: Bialystok Ghetto emptied: 1000 killed, 10,000 deported to Treblinka to death
  • February 27: Jews were allowed to work in armaments even in Berlin until now. All Jewish Armament workers sent to Auschwitz. (Armament workers were the only Jews exempt from the Public transportation ban)
  • March 13: Krakow Ghetto emptied and closed
  • March: Deportations of Jews from Greece
  • March : Bermuda Conference on refuge for Jews and other war victims between US and Britain: no results.
  • April-June: Destruction of all Jewish Ghettos: Himmler orders
  • Sept 11: Nice France: German aktions/raids against Jews.
  • October 18: Jews from Rome sent to Auschwitz: pleas to Vatican which had promised help went unheard. Vatican did not respond.
  • First War Crimes trial in Ukraine: December. 1,F, D, FT, PROC etc
  • 1944

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  • April 10: Word of conditions in Auschwitz made known by escaped prisoner
  • Jews of Athens deported to Auschwitz
  • Hungarian Jews deported: 438,000
  • June 14 "Rosenberg orders the kidnapping of 40,000 Polish children ages 10-14 for slave labor in the Reich."3
  • Oct 31 14000 Jews from Slovakia to Auschwitz
  • Dec 18 By orders of Eichmann: 38,000 Jews from Budapest to Ravensbruck and Buchenwald
  • 1945

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  • January 27 liberation of Auschwitz by Soviets
  • April: Liberation of Mittelbau Dora
  • January-end: Liberation of Camps; mostly by Allied Military, occasionally by Red Cross or Provisional Government takeovers and abandonment.
  • April: Buchenwald, Bergen-belsen, liberated.
  • April-May: Last massacres of Jews by fleeing SS at Sachsenhausen and Ravensbruck
  • April: Salt Mine Warehouses discovered with confiscated Arts, Treasures, Furniture, Antiquities etc.

  • KEY TO CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS:

    1 - First Ammendment Rights Violation: Freedom of Religion, Free Speech, Choice.
    R - Freedom of Worship (overlaps with '1')
    F - Freedom of Speech (overlaps with '1')
    T - Freedom of Movement, Travel
    E - Employment Rights: Right to Work Act;
    D - Discrimination Act of 1967 check
    AM -Right to Bear Arms 2nd Ammendment
    P - Privacy Rights Violation
    PRESS-Freedom of Press
    A - Right to Assemble :
    PROC - Right to Due Process, Including Fair and Timely Trials
    O - Right to Private Ownership of Property, Business, Assets
    C - Right to enter into Contracts
    FT - Fair & Equal Treatment Under the Law TAX-Right to representation in Taxation

    Elizabeth Kirkley Best PHD: Shoah Education Project 2003;
    Graphic by Artist: Stacy Olson: Used with permission, Contact at ross@rossolson.org.
    References

  • http://web.isp.cz/jcrane/Legislation.html :1942
  • http://www.germanytodayfreedom.org/page20.htm
  • http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/holocaust/timeprint.html: NOVA: WWII-HOLOCAUST TIMELINE