Jim Crow Laws and Nuremberg Laws

By: Suzi Seaton and Hannah Hogan

Throughout the centuries, different countries and groups of people implemented segregation laws, such as the Jim Crow and Nuremberg laws. These two laws legalized segregation between the nineteenth and 20th centuries. Jewish people and African Americans, in particular, struggled with civil rights. (SS and HH)

Discrimination and segregation has been a problem throughout the course of history and affecting different groups of people all around the world.

The Jim Crow Laws and Nuremberg laws are specific examples of this.

The Jim Crow Laws began in 1877. The laws were not simple, they were more than just laws, they were a way of life. Under Jim Crow, African Americans were lowered to the status of second class citizens. Unfortunately the people that pushed these laws were people of power such as Christian ministers, Craniologists, eugenicists and educators at all levels. With these people supporting and condoning these laws, this made the uneducated more apt to follow and enforce. The beliefs that these people shared were that blacks were innately intellectually and culturally inferior to whites. (HH)


The Nuremberg laws were enacted in Germany on September 15, 1935 by the Nazis. At this time, Adolf Hitler decided it was time for more restrictions on Germany’s Jews. Therefore, he outlined new laws for the protection of German blood and honor. The Nuremberg laws helped Hitler take the first step toward getting rid of “these parasites” and imposing racial conformity on society. The law prohibited the marriage between Jews and Germans.The Nazis not only prosecuted the people of Jewish descent, but their spouses were prosecuted as well. (HH)


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The picture above shows the Jews standing up for their civil rights. Due to the second Nuremberg law the Jews were stripped of the German citizenship.

Who the Laws Affected

The Jim Crow Laws affected African American people. This is because of the color of their skin. Signs said "Whites Only" or "Colored" from doors to restrooms. Also, from schools to hospitals, these places were segregated.

The Nuremberg Laws affected Jewish people. Anyone who had 3-4 Jewish grandparents were defined as a "Jew." Jews were required to to carry identity cards on them at all times and the government would stamp a red "J" on them and new Jewish middle names.

Both particular groups had a rough life when living in that time period, they had no rights and they had certain nicknames. (SS)

Johanna Gerechter Neumann

1930, Hamburg, Germany

Affected by the Nuremberg Laws

In August 1938, Johanna was one of many Jews living in Germany during the Nuremberg Laws. All male and female Jews had to change their middle and last names. All men became Israel and all women became Sara. Johanna's name became Johanna Jutta Sara Gerechter. Her and her family left Germany, crossed into Italy and acquired visas for Albania. The family was freed after the battle of Germans and Albanian partisans in December 1944. (SS)


Ruth Gabrielle Silten

Born on May 30, 1933 in Berlin, Germany.

Affected by the Nuremberg Laws

She was the only Jewish child living in Berlin, Germany in 1933. Her grandfather and father owned a pharmacy and pharmaceutical factory, and the Nazis made them sell their pharmacy and factory for very little profit. When she was 5 years old she had to move with her parents to Amsterdam. Her parents thought it would be safer for them since they were Jewish. In May 1940, German troops marched into Amsterdam. She had to wear a yellow Jewish star on her clothes to school and couldn't play with her christian friends anymore. When she was 9, her and her family were deported to Westerbrook camp in the eastern Netherlands. While her parents worked, she learned to steal things to trade for food. One year later, they were sent to Thereseinstadt ghetto. In May 1945, they were freed from Thereseinstadt and resettled in Amsterdam. (SS)


Ned Cobb

(1885- 1973)

Affected by the Jim Crow Laws

Ned Cobb was a successful tenant farmer in Tallapoosa County, Alabama. He joined the sharecroppers Union in 1931 to fight. He was fighting for justice for black Americans and against exploitation by white landowners. His father was a slave and abused his family because of being emotionally crippled. In 1931, Ned was impressed by the coming of the communist party in the cotton fields of Alabama. He joined the Sharecroppers Union and distributed pamphlets and writing and enlisted new members. In 1952, defended a friend from the police and was arrested. Ned was sent to prison for 13 years because he wouldn't name fellow union members. In 1969, Theodore Rosengarten published a book called "All God's Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw" based on Ned's life. Ned Cobb lived a long life, seeing the triumph of the civil-rights movement. (SS)


The affects on people

The Jim Crow law forbade intermarriage of whites and blacks. This law made business owners and public institutions to keep their black and white clientele separated.

Nurses: No person or corporation shall require any white female nurse to nurse in wards or rooms in hospitals, either public or private, in which negro men are placed.

Buses: All passenger stations in this state operated by any motor transportation company shall have separate waiting rooms or space and separate ticket windows for the white and colored races.

Intermarriage: All marriages between a white person and a negro, or between a white person and a person of negro descent to the fourth generation are prohibited. (HH)


The affects on people

The Nuremberg laws deprived German Jews of their rights of citizenship, giving them the status of “subjects”. These laws made it forbidden for Jews to marry or have sexual relations with Aryans or to employ young Aryan women as household help.

The first law is the law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor and the Reich Citizenship law. A little bit after that, "The Law for the Protection of the Genetic Health of the German People," which required all persons wanting to marry to submit to a medical examination, after which a "Certificate of Fitness to Marry" would be issued if they were found to be disease free. The certificate was required in order to get a marriage license. The Nazis settled on defining a "full Jew" as a person with three Jewish grandparents. Those with less were designated as Mischlinge of two degrees: First Degree - two Jewish grandparents; Second Degree - one Jewish grandparent. (HH)


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The End of the Jim Crow Laws

The Supreme Court, by a vote of 8-1, ruled that equal rights did not mean co-mingling of the races, effectively legalizing and facilitating "separate but equal" access for blacks. Again, the lone dissenter was Justice Harlan. Plessy not only perpetuated the white supremacist beliefs of the time, but also made it possible for states to make and enforce Jim Crow laws with impunity. (HH)


The End of the Nuremberg Laws

The Nuremberg Laws were terminated when Germany surrendered from World War II. The Nuremberg Trials went into affect after the surrender to ensure all Jewish people were liberated. The Nuremberg Trials lasted from November 20, 1945 and ended on October 1, 1946. (SS)


Even though these laws no longer exist there is still discrimination in the world today. There will always be tension among different groups in society. The legacy behind the Nuremberg Laws and Jim Crow Laws is that for history not to repeat itself.

This is a project done by Hannah Leah Hogan and Suzi Seaton

Notes Page (SS) and (HH)