Thursday, July 8, 2010

Population figures on "non-Aryan" Christians.

I did some reading through material I have collected over the years on the so-called "non-Aryan" Catholics and Protestants and decided to summarise some of the information.

Exact numbers are almost impossible to determine because of the cross-overs between self-identification (particularly for converts), family tradition (most children of converts did not regard themselves as Jewish) and communal identity (Jewish community groups did not regard converts as Jews) and the various legal formulations constructed between 1933 and 1935.

Firstly, some historical context is necessary.


April 7: The Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service.
This was the first time where a "non-Aryan" was legally defined.  The classification depended on the number of "non-Aryan" grandparents a person had.  While the term could be used to describe a number of so-called "racial" groups, it was only ever applied to Jews.  Therefore, according to the law, a "non-Aryan" was a person with three or four "full" "non-Aryan" grandparents.

Exemptions were made for veterans of WWI, civil servants who had been employed before or since 1914, and anyone whose father or son had died at the front.  These exemptions lasted until the death of President Paul von Hindenburg on 2 August 1934.

20 July Foundation of "Reich League of Christian-German State Citizens of non-Aryan or not Completely Aryan Origins, Inc." It was renamed the Paulus Bund in September 1936 and survived in various forms until the government dissolved it in August 1939.  The membership was Protestant.

15 September: Laws for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour.
Jews were stripped of their Reich citizenship and made "guests" with limited civil rights.  They were forbidden to marry or have any sexual relationship with non-Jews, fly German flags or insignia, employ female domestic servants under the age of 45. 

The illustration shows in a very basic table the definitions Jews, mischlinge and Aryans.

German Catholic bishops make the St Raphael's Association (predecessor of Caritas in Germany) the official assistance group for "Non-Aryan" Catholics.  Between 1937 and the end of 1938 the helped 1,000 Catholics of Jewish ancestry leave Germany.  The figure is small because of the extremely limited resources at their disposal.

To try and solve the "problem" of part-Jews, ie people with some Jewish ancestry, the category of mischlinge was introduced.  The term literally means "mongrel" or "mixed breed".

Statistics - these are estimates only based on census data between 1933 and 1939.  Because of the growing discrimination against German, and later Austrian Jews, the numbers were never entirely accurate.  Despite heavy penalties for attempting to try and hide Jewish identity after 1935, some people still lied on census forms. The figures also do not take into account Jews who left Germany after 1933 but who returned before the war.

1933 - the Jewish population was around 566,000. 

Since the census did not ask for ancestry there is no exact way of determining the number of Germans with Jewish ancestry.  Attempts have been made based on calculations of Jews who converted to Christianity from the 19th century, but these are estimates only.

1933 - estimated German population with Jewish ancestry, ie at least one Jewish grandparent - close to 500,000.

1939 - Jewish population according to Nuremberg Law definition.  Note that this last pre-war census, conducted in May 1939, included those places annexed to the Reich since 1933 - Saar 1935, Austria and Sudetenland 1938, Memel 1939.  Jews - 259,000.

Non-Aryan Christians - 138,500 - which included both "full Jews" and mischlinge.

Total number of Jews (full and mischlinge) defined as such by the Nuremberg Laws: 330,539.
Religion was irrelevant in the Nazi definition of Jews.


Werner Cohn, Bearers of a Common Fate ? The "Non-Aryan Christian Fate-Comrades" of the Paulus Bund, 1933-1939, Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook, vol. XXXIII, 1988, pp. 327-366

Paul O'Shea, A Cross Too Heavy, p 253.

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