What is a “non-Aryan”? Not scientifically, since a “non-Aryan” is a person of any race not of the “Aryan” language family, but legally, as the term is employed in the Third Reich.
In all the welter of racial legislation, in all the multitudinous, platitudinous pronouncements by Nazi pundits, no universal definition of “non-Aryan” is to be found. This was the discovery of the painstaking Berlin correspondent of the Prager Presse, leading Praha newspaper, as he reported it recently in a leading article.
“No clear explanation has yet been given of what is a ‘non-Aryan’, although there are many laws which deal with it,” he writes.
“Commissions sit, projects are launched, but no clarity is achieved. Practically every one of these laws, every order issued on the subject, every statute of a corporation defines the ‘non-Aryan’ in a different manner, so that with so much doubtful, the decision is ultimately left to the personal view of each authority and to personal arbitrariness.
LAWS DIFFER ON ‘ARYANISM’
The first legislative measure was the Officials Law which required every official to produce evidence of the ‘Aryan’ character of his grandparents. That is still very modest for present-day conditions. From one law to the other, the demand becomes more severe. The hereditary Farms Law requires proof of ‘Aryan’ origin back to January 1,1800. The Publications Ordinance, which was recently issued by the president of the Reich Press Chamber, actually provides that the publisher of a German newspaper may continue to carry on his business only if not only his own forbears, but those also of his wife were of ‘Aryan’ origin back to 1800. Most clubs, organizations and professional bodies have copied the ‘Aryan’ principle, either in the sense of the Officials Law, or the Hereditary Farms Law.
“Special difficulties always cropped up when the Front-Fighters paragraph had to be applied. A ‘non-Aryan’ front-fighter who applied for admission to a professional union found that the exemptions in the Officials Law did not apply, but only the strict provisions laid down by the party as condition for party membership.
MUST PROVE ORIGIN TO 1750
“The Association of German Nobility goes furthest of all, by demanding proof of ‘Aryan’ origin right back to 1750. Large numbers of members of the highest atristocracy considered submission to such control beneath their dignity, and resigned from the association.
“There is also the ‘School Aryan.’ In enrolling students in the secondary schools, the ‘non-Aryan’ proportion must not exceed 1.5 per cent. The children of Jewish front-fighters are not included, however, in this numerus clausus. An exception is also made for the children of mixed marriages concluded before April 25, 1935. This is undoubtedly the most favorable provision in the entire ‘Aryan’ legislation. But it applies only to the secondary schools.
NOT ADMITTED TO EXAMS
“At the universities, no ‘non-Aryans’ are admitted at all (in the last academic year there were to together thirteen, because the proportion of ‘non-Aryan’ students there is still five per cent. If there is any admission, nevertheless, it usually has no practical importance, because ‘non-Aryans’ are not admitted to the examinations in law, or for the medical or dental doctorates, unless they give up their Reich citizenship, or have obtained a permanent appointment abroad. It is practically impossible for them to exercise any profession for which it is necessary to be a member of the Reich Culture Chamber.
“The question has not been cleared up whether Protestant Pastors may be of ‘non-Aryan’ origin. This is a question on which the Reich Church Government and the Church Synod return different answers. The ‘Aryan Paragraph’ has been introduced by a Church law, but famous theologians have repudiated it, and various State Churches have refused to recognize it.
NO LAW FOR SOME
“Notwithstanding the ‘non-Aryan’ provisions, there were some officials, particularly in the service of the Foreign Office, who could not be given up in the interests of the administration. For these there is no law, but the phrase ascribed to the Lord Mayor of Vienna, Herr Lueger: ‘I decide who is a Jew.’ That explains the repeated campaigns in Der Stuermer against personalities who, in spite of the fact that they are ‘non-Aryans,’ still hold comparatively important posts. General Goering, at a reception to the Foreign Press, asked whether he would utilize the inventions of a Jew replied: ‘Inventions have no grandmother.’
“We have spoken here of ‘non-Aryans,’ not of Jews,” the correspondent concludes. “In practice, however, there is rarely any difference whether the individual case relates to a full-blooded Jew or a ‘non-Aryan’ who has only had a Jewish grandmother. Nevertheless, the distinction between ‘non-Aryans’ and Jews is not altogether without significance. The Jews constitute, as a religous unity through their communal life, their associations and their newspapers, a closed community among themselves.
A CHRISTIAN GHETTO
“Side by side with this Jewish Ghetto which has been compulsorily brought into existence by the racial legislation, a second ‘non-Aryan’ Christian Ghetto has been created. People who never thought of their origin, who felt that they are Christians and Germans, are under the pressure of circumstances joining together in a Ghetto organization, the ‘Reichs-