Jim Crow and Nuremberg Laws

Jim Crow

Jim Crow laws were racial segregation laws in place between 1876 and 1965 in the United States. Their purpose was to separate African Americans from whites in businesses, schools, and nearly every other aspect in life. These laws survived under the term "separate but equal," when in reality, the black citizens were seen as lower than dirt.

Examples of Jim Crow Laws

  • No person or corporation shall require any white nurses to nurse in hospitals in which black men are placed.
  • All passenger stations must provide separate waiting rooms and ticket windows for white and colored races.
  • The marriage of colored and white people, or of white people and a person of colored descent to the fourth generation inclusive, is prohibited.
  • It shall be unlawful to conduct a restaurant or other place for the serving of food in which white and colored people are served in the same room, unless such white and colored persons are separated by a solid partition standing at least seven feet tall, and unless a separate entrance from the street is provided for each.
  • Any interracial couples, which are not married, who live habitually in and occupy at night in the same room shall be punished with jail time and fines.
  • No colored barbers are to serve white customers, and vice versa.
  • The officer in charge shall not allow burial of colored persons upon ground used for the burial of white persons.
  • Children and white and colored races are to be taught in separate school facilities.
  • Prison wardens shall see that white and colored convicts have separate apartments for both eating and sleeping.

Nuremberg Laws

These German antisemitic laws of the 1930s prosecuted and separated those of Jewish descent from Aryans. The goal of these laws was to 'purify' the country of any race that was not purely German.
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The Laws

  • Marriages between Jewish people and Germans (kindred bloods) were forbidden. Any marriage defying this was considered void.
  • Sexual relations between Jews and Germans were forbidden.
  • German and Jewish students were separated into different schools with different teachers.
  • Jewish employers were not to hire German female citizens.
  • Jewish citizens were not allowed to display the Reich, national flag, or national colors.
  • Anyone disobeying these laws would face hard labor or jail time.

How are they related?

Both sets of laws were clear attempts to strip a minority group of their human rights. This was an attempt to boost the "pure" races in the country, and make them superior to anyone and everyone else. The likeness is clear in the laws, such as the separation of students of different races or religions in schools, or the prohibition of marriage or relationships between peoples of different races or religions. Both countries wanted to halt the rise of anyone different from the pure or original race, and wanted to do so by taking away the power and voices from their opposing races.


In contrast, America enacted the Jim Crow laws to put colored citizens in a powerless, inferior position. Whites seemed to want to make African Americans completely dependent on their white 'superiors' and leave their fates in the hands of the light skinned citizens. In Germany, the goal of the Germans and Nazi party was to separate the Jewish and disabled (mentally, physically, etc.) from the 'pure' and 'strong' Aryan race to make it easier to exterminate them from the country, and eventually, the world.