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1935: Steps Toward Destruction
 pg. 94 
Nazi racial experts used instruments such as this caliper to determine racial background "scientifically." Physicians used this device to measure body parts. The Nazis believed that such measurements indicated who was of superior racial stock (in their minds, Aryans) and who came from an inferior strain (Jews, Gypsies, and Africans).
Photo: United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Another law promulgated in Nuremberg in September 1935 was the Reich Flag Law, which made it illegal for Jews to fly the Nazi flag, the official banner of Germany. The swastika had long been a symbol of racist political movements in Germany. The photograph shows German women sewing Nazi flags in Berlin.
Photo: Landesbildstelle Berlin/United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive
Defining "Race"

Nazi efforts to safeguard the "purity of blood" by codifying racial distinctions affected Jewish life in Germany at every turn. This was acutely illustrated by the case of a Jewish doctor sent to a concentration camp after giving a life-saving transfusion of his own blood to a non-Jew.

The precise terminology of the Nuremberg Laws defined "degrees of Jewishness" based on one's number of Jewish grandparents. Distinctions between "full Jew" and "half-breed Jews" (Mischlinge) became critical, designating not only legal status but also determining Jewish economic survival--and ultimately life or death. Panicked Germans besieged Church registries to secure documentation of their non-Jewish heritage.

Intensified Nazi propaganda about the evils of race defilement thoroughly poisoned relations between Aryans and Jews. Aryan veterinarians even refused to treat the pets of their Jewish owners. Jews became social pariahs, as Germans avoided all contacts that could be construed as traitorous association with the enemies of Aryan blood. Jews were wantonly accused of sexual relations with Aryan women, and even simple casual public encounters with Aryans were risky.

German children, too, became caught up in the newly defined racial distinctions. Indoctrinated and desensitized by Nazi rhetoric, Aryan children were quick to brutalize their Jewish counterparts.
Photo: National Archives/United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archive

 November 15, 1935: The German Churches begin to collaborate with the Nazis by supplying records to the government indicating who is a Christian and who is not; that is, who is a Jew.
1935: Steps Toward Destruction
 pg. 94 
The Holocaust Chronicle
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