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What were the Nuremberg Race Laws?

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The Nuremberg Race Laws were laws passed by the Nazi regime in Germany that disenfranchised and deprived German Jews of rights. The laws, passed on Sept. 15, 1935, and announced at the annual Nazi party rally in Nuremberg, prevented anyone with Jewish heritage, regardless of whether the person practiced or converted to a new religion, of having rights such as citizenship, marrying or having relations with non-Jewish Germans.

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Following the passage of the laws, the Nazi regime removed Jewish workers from businesses and forced Jewish businesses to transfer ownership to non-Jewish Germans for a severely reduced purchase price. Additionally, the regime prohibited Jewish lawyers from practicing law and Jewish doctors from treating non-Jewish Germans. Also, the Nazi's stamped Jewish identification cards with the letter "J" and gave all German Jews with non-Jewish sounding names the middle name "Israel" or "Sara." These steps impoverished many German Jews and forced others to hide or flee the country.

Two months after the passage of the laws, the German the minister of the interior added black Germans, gypsies and any other non-Aryan bloodline as falling under the scope of the laws. Germany relaxed the laws for a brief period of time during the lead up to and including the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

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