Abstract

ABSTRACT:

In September 1933, an important policy document known as the Prussian Memorandum began circulating among lawmakers and jurists of the Third Reich. The Nazi regime was still in its infancy; Hitler had been named chancellor just nine months prior, the result of a power-sharing arrangement with nationalist conservatives who thought they could control the mercurial Austrian. Following the Reichstag Fire in February of that year, Hitler had assumed emergency powers and within weeks usurped the authority of the parliament. By that critical autumn, the Third Reich had begun Nazifying the German legal code. The Prussian Memorandum that passed between Nazi legal hands was an early blueprint for the 1935 Nuremberg Laws, which stripped Jews of their citizenship and criminalized sexual relations between Germans and those thougt to have impure blood. It was the foundational text of Nazi legal thinking. Incredibly, the Prussian Memorandum expressly cited the gold standard of racist lawmaking at the time: the United States of America.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1946-0910
Print ISSN
0012-3846
Pages
pp. 128-132
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-10
Open Access
No
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