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Old 02-01-2005, 06:40
freemanjud freemanjud is offline
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Nuremberg Laws, anti-Jewish legislation and the Jim Crow Laws (due Wed., Feb. 2)

In a brief few years, the Nazis managed rapidly to put in place a succession of laws--from the Nuremberg laws to the cascade of anti-Jewish acts that swiftly narrowed the rights and options available to Jews living in Nazi Germany.

In the handouts you have today, you read excerpts from Jim Crow Laws in the United States as well as comments about miscegenation (racial mixing) in this country. See http://www.learntoquestion.com/class...es/000630.html

So here's the question--or should I say questions:

Are the actions directed toward blacks that were in place during the twentieth century in the United States in any way comparable or related to the anti-Jewish measures put in place in Nazi Germany? Why or why not? Be specific--and explain!

Moreover, do acts like the responses to the Reichstag fire in 1933 (e.g.---the Enabling Act and related legislation) bear any comparison to the Patriot Act and other actions in response to 9/11 in this country? Again, explain.

In other words, is there a valid comparison to be made between events in the 1930s in Germany and events in the first decade of the 21st century in the United States? Why or why not?
Ms. Freeman
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Old 02-02-2005, 21:17
Special Sauce Special Sauce is offline
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In flipping through Mein Kempf and reading the quotes from the Racial Mixing Debates Beyond Nazi Germnay, I can see alot of similarities between the two. First off, is the vocabulary; "racial pride" "Racial integrity" "corruption of blood" "perpetuation of the purity of the white race". There are numerous similarites between the laws enacted in 1934 and during the Jim Crow Laws:

Intermarriage The marriage of a white person with a negro or mulatto or person who shall have 1/8 or more of negro blood shall be unlawful and void. (Mississippi)

That is the most evident example that stands out in my mind. I think they are similar in that both aimed to limit the interaction between the two races, in the case of Germany, jews and aryans. However, what differs the two is the two paths that each travel. Germany moves forward to limit and then exterminate jews, however there is no evidence to suggest that this was the intent of the Jim Crow Laws.

Now, in regards to the Patriot Acts and its simularities to the rise of power in Germany is a stretch. History is filled with examples of in a time of crisis, the liberties and the priveleges of a people being limited for the sake of the protection of the state. An example of this is in Ancient Rome during the Republic, a dictator was put in charge over everything during times of crisis. So yes there is a comparison in that civil liberties were limited during times of crisis during the Reichstag and the events following 9/11. However, power was not given to one single person in the case of Hitler.

But I do not agree with how the question was posed:

In other words, is there a valid comparison to be made between events in the 1930s in Germany and events in the first decade of the 21st century in the United States? Why or why not?

Allot occured in Germany during the 1930's, most notably World War Two and the murder of millions of peoples, the rise of facismm, the GREAT DEPRESSION, and so forth. Are there similarites between the two, Yes of course. History repeats itself, and as Dr. Neary as so well taught me, History follows certain patterns, which occur over and over again. But I think its a reach to try and compare the two, since the events that occured in the 1930's were the worst case scenarios in regards to depression, war, and murder.
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Old 02-02-2005, 21:50
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Blazerz4133 Blazerz4133 is offline
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Germany vs U.S.

I think that one can totally relate these two events in history and in many ways the treatment of blacks in the U.S. was very similar to the treatment of Jews in Germany. However, there are also many ways that they are completely different and on many levels the two can't be compared. For example, as we read today in class any marriage between a "pure breed" and a jew is prohibited and void if has happened previously, which is the same exact statement that the Jim Crow laws says about marriage between a white and black person. Furthermore, the Jim Crow laws say that a person is considered black if they have 1/8th blood of a black, which is sort of what we said today in class...one grandparent. Another example of similarities is how whites and blacks and "aryans" and jews were both segregated and not allowed in the same schools, stores, etc. However, I do not believe that comparing mass murders that the Germans implemented on the jews and slavery is comparable at all. I suppose that the treatment is somewhat comparible, but the people of the U.S. at the time did not take place in wide scale massacres as the Germans did in the 30s.

I believe as SpecialSauce says, that there are times in history where you can compare times of crisis, and although the Patriot Acts perhaps may seem like a decent comparison to Reichstag, it is quite a stretch. Of course liberties will be limited but there is no real comparison between the measures that Hitler took and what the U.S. government did post-9/11. I'm sure looking back into history you could find 20 more examples of liberties being limited in such a way and it very being compared to Hitler's measures. Yes, on the surface I suppose you could compare these two acts and acts that surrounded these events, but the reasoning behind each, and the way they were both carried out is completely different and really makes for a poor comparison.

I do not think that 1930s Germany can be compared with early 21st century America one bit. I don't see one bit of the hatred in our country as was the case in Germany and definetely another world war is not in store for us. The government that is in place in our country would never allow the actions that Germany took in the 30s and the severity of things is totally more harsh on the German side. So, 1930s Germany and 21st century U.S. can in no real way be compared other than a possible similarity in overall policy like the Patriot Act and Reichstag, but to legitimately compare the two is really absurd.
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Old 02-02-2005, 23:25
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I think you can definitely see similarities and the same type of thoughts within the two sets of racial discriminatory laws. They both define someone as being either Jewish or negro by saying if any of your grandparents were, then you are. So, the same kind of mentality is at play. They also do not want any mixing, and therefore making a "hybrid" race, and the quote about the Jim Crow laws said that the race that would result would be "inferior" to pretty much the white race if you add any
"non-white" blood.

This was also the case in Germany against the Jews during this time. We discussed in class how even if you had an illegitimate baby, that baby would also be considered "Jewish", whether the baby was fathered/mothered by the Jewish parent.

However, I think the difference between the two laws is that the idea behind the anti-Jewish acts was simply exterminate the race entirely. They wanted to limit the numbers, and therefore control the population, and be able to clearly distinguish Jews from "non-Jews". Then they sent them to concentration camps. In the US, although there was a law forbidding speaking for racial equality, I do not believe that the government wanted to completely erase the negro population. I believe it was more of an "untouchables" type of mentality. They can live here to serve up and clean our crap, but we do not want anything to do with them. The Jews were a threat because they were superior in different aspects, mainly thought with money.

I believe the Reichstag being burned and the events of September 11th can be compared to a degree. They were both attacks on symbols of the country and aroused great fear. I think the Patriot Acts and Enabling Acts can somewhat be compared because it was a way to give the government time to reorganize itself without opposing public opinion and criticizism. Whether alienating the public opinion on such an event is supposed to win their support is a different issue, but I think in the eyes of the government, it could be a beneficial tactic for everyone to be on the same page when the country is "endangered" and in "emergency". You do need strong leadership to guide people and defend the country.
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Old 02-02-2005, 23:35
JohnnyX JohnnyX is offline
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Nuremberg Laws and Jim Crow Laws

There are definitely many similarities between the treatment of blacks in the United States and the treatment of Jews in Germany. Most obvious is the forbidding of intermarriages. The Nazis forbid Jews from marrying with Aryans, the supposedly superior race, just as blacks and whites were forbidden from marrying each other in the United States. Also notable is the fact that a person only had to have one black relative or one Jewish relative in the last 3 generations of their family to be considered black or Jewish. There was also in effort in both cases to completely separate one “race” from the other.

While this treatment contains many similarities, I think the likenesses basically stop there. While the Nazis went on to attempt to exterminate all Jews, American laws never went much further, and although many blacks were lynched there was no effort by the government to extinguish the black race. The difference between the two situations is the atmosphere of the place and period. Embittered Germans were vulnerable to dictatorship because of the Depression and the Treaty of Versailles, while the US had a strong history of democracy.

I think that the events of 9/11 and the burning of the Reichstag and the governments’ actions after each certainly bear some resemblance in that both governments granted themselves more power. However, in the case of Hitler, he was given basically unlimited power while the United States government suspended only some rights.

There are some similarities between 1930s Germany and the US today but I do not think there is really a “valid comparison” in that there will continue to be any more similarities. George W. Bush has not declared himself dictator and I don’t think if he did that Americans would tolerate it.
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Old 02-03-2005, 00:19
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The actions directed towards blacks in the US to prevent racial mixing are quite similar to those taken by the German govt. to prevent mixing between “Aryans” and Jews. The most evident similarity is that they both felt they needed to protect their “superior” race. They attempted to “protect” their prized races by drafting laws forbidding the marriage between, in their opinion, higher races and lower races. They both believed in a hierarchy of races, with the blacks and Jews (which we all know is not a “race”) placed near the bottom. They both also have some sort of definition of what it is to be a Jew or what it is to be black. The separation and segregation to prevent “the obliteration of racial pride” and “corruption of blood” is also present in both nations.

They do, however, have many differences. The anti-Jewish campaigns in Germany were much harsher than the actions taken against blacks in America. The US did not round up African Americans and ship them off to concentration camps, Also, the German gov. stripped away rights that the Jewish people previously had, whereas the actions taken against blacks limited the rights blacks had acquired after the Civil War.

I believe the actions taken after the Reichstag being burned down and Sept. 11 have only limited similarities. They both granted the government more power while taking away some civil liberties of the citizens. The difference is, the Nazi party received absolute power, while the US gov. only received a small increase in its power over the citizens. Hitler was able to round up Jews and remove them from towns while in the present day US, the FBI can monitor what you do on the internet. One thing I notice is how both governments label their laws with flowery, misleading names. It’s quite ironic how the Patriot Act takes away some of our privacy and the law for the restoration of the professional civil service allowed Hitler to remove civil servants and not restore them.
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Old 02-03-2005, 01:56
hoxypond hoxypond is offline
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The actions towards blacks during the twentieth century in this country are definitely comparable to those against Jews in Germany. These are just a few of the similarities I observed:

1. In both Germany and the US, if you were at least 1/8 (one great-grandparent) Jewish or black, respectively, you were considered Jewish or black. In both cases, I found it to be very weird. I know many people who don’t know their ancestry. I personally do not know the ethnicity of two of my great-grandparents. Furthermore, as we discovered earlier in the year, being Jewish and the black race are very vague terms. We questioned the biology of the “black” race, so this “1/8” law is not based on any exact science. Judaism is a religion, so I don’t understand how they even thought that it could be hereditarily passed down to other generations.
2. In both America and Germany, the government didn’t want Jewish or black people to marry or have sex with white people. That’s so weird!
3. In both America and Germany, the government identified and made special rules for black and Jewish people, respectively.

Did the black discrimination go as far as the Jewish discrimination? Perhaps slavery could be compared to the Holocaust, but it is a much more complex comparison.

YES! The reaction to the Reichstag fire was very similar to the Patriot Act! The panic gave the government the excuse to take away constitutional liberties in both instances. We now lack privacy, just as Germans did. This reaction led to violence- the war in Iraq and the treatment of POWs in Cuba and Iraq. We should have learned from history, and NEVER let our government take away freedom, no matter how dire the state of “emergency”.

Of course, there are differences between 21st America and Germany pre-WWII. The most important of these is the desperate condition of the German people. However, there are also the similarities listed above. These similarities are SCARY and DANGEROUS. I don’t mean to overreact, but these actions caused the Holocaust, and we do not want to repeat history. As Ms. Freeman said earlier in the week to the British visitor, we are often too confident to admit our weaknesses. This is just one example of when we critically need to face OUR government and OURSELVES.

Last edited by hoxypond; 02-03-2005 at 02:06.
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Old 02-03-2005, 02:06
glasshouse glasshouse is offline
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The Jim Crow laws imposed in the US could virtually have been lifted straight from Nazi policy…ironic, since we had just spent three years fighting against the atrocities being inflicted on the Jews (and probably for some other more political/strategic, less noble things, but whatever). The two systems are different in that Hitler imposed harsher restrictions on his targeted populations…the United States government didn’t condone eliminating the black race (“race?”) or kicking them out of the country entirely, and although it wasn’t actually equal in the slightest, calling their segregation policies “separate but equal.”

Today’s events, and specifically the Patriot Act, aren’t exactly reminiscent of the Nazi regime; but they seem to be heading down that path, which is what scares so many people. The Enabling Act pretty much said the government could do whatever it wanted—the Patriot Act doesn’t go to that extreme, but it does allow for many steps that could make the US into a more extreme Big Brother type of state. Once the government is allowed to listen in on private phone conversations and arrest anyone who looks “suspicious,” the line at which government power stops is unclear.

It’s strange comparing the world we live in now to that of WWII-era Germany, just because the Nazi regime is so infamous, and while Bush may be disliked by many, he’s no Hitler. I think there are some subtle comparisons—but the similarities really lie not in how our government is now, but in where it could go according to new laws put into effect.
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Old 02-03-2005, 02:23
Theunderground Theunderground is offline
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Nazis in tha Hot Seat and Jim Crow...as the wind blows.....cool

I think it is safe to say, after reading the Nuremburg Laws and the actions which Hitler and his party started to take against the Jews, and also after reading some of the Jim Crow Laws, that they are very alike.
The Nuremburg laws were very thorough and technical. After reading the Jim Crow laws, I realize there are similarities in how technical they both are. I would say that the Nuremburg laws were a little more, because they go into such detail in order to explain what a "Jew" is in different circumstances, or if they have blah blah out of blah blah traits, or whatever; yet in the Jim Crow Laws too they explain that there must be 1/8 blood from a negro, and just such unnecessary stuff like that which I don't believe reflects who a person is at all. They both stupidly combine mathmatics, proportions, fractions, and science into their definitions of human beings.

For the most part I think the ideology behind these two sets of laws are the same. They are both intended to keep a group of people down, to oppress them, and to make their lives more miserable. The blacks in the South of the United States just as the Jews in Germany are a targeted population who need to be stripped of their rights in the most efficient way possible, and at the same time intimidate the 'acceptable' people from defending them and coming in contact with them. But I also found differences within them...when reading, I thought that the Nuremberg laws were much more harsh--I think that the meaning and goal of them was detected as a much meaner, and more dangerous vibe than the Jim Crow Laws. With the JCL I felt that all what was being conveyed was blacks should be in separate areas than whites because they are not good enough. With the NL I felt as if the Jews were actually a threat to society, and in this case needed to be put in check...with force.

In response to the contemporary society Laws like the Patriot Act, I also believe that there are similarities. There is a valid comparison to be made because again, the ideology is the same. They were both passed in order to help secure the country's safety after considerable attacks. These laws were to help the situations, but in many ways they just made the system worse; it was made to break rights that exist, and to give the government unnecessary and, truly, unlawful powers over helpless puppets of citizens of the country. Again the ideology is the same, and thus the outcomes of these laws are all similar in their own ways.

Last edited by Theunderground; 02-03-2005 at 02:46.
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Old 02-03-2005, 03:07
Lallous Lallous is offline
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I definately think that the actions of the whites toward the blacks in the United Sates can be compared to the actions that the Nazis had toward the Jews in Germany. Reading the Jim Crow Laws, one can see that the laws against the blacks are similar to those agians the Jews. For example, it was unlawful for a white person to marry anyone other than another white person, same for the aryans, and Jews could not intermarry. Although, with restaurants and shops, in the twentieth century in the US, they were segregated, blakcs could only go to black shops and whites could only buy products from whites. But in Nazi Germany, it was very much encouraged to just boycott all Jewish shops and restaurants altogether so that they would eventually have to shut down for lack of business.

I think there is some similarity to the Reichstag burning down and September 11. Both were acts of hatred towards the US and Germany, but gave the governments a lot more power. The Patriot Act was similar in that it took away some of our civil liberties. But because Hitler was in power in Nazi Germany, he was able to get more control over the people.

There are significant differences between the twentieth century in the US and Nazi Germany. The blacks were persecuted and discriminated against, but they were not killed in mass numbers. The Jews did not have to suffer their whole lives as slaves and total outcasts. Both events were terrible times in which many people died and the whole world has changed because of it.
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Old 02-03-2005, 03:18
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The actions taken against the blacks in the US weren't all that different from the actions taken against the Jews in Germany. Many of the similarities and some differences are already discussed in the posts above. However, these actions are only phenomena and they only seem different because they aren't exactly the same. We must look further back to what caused the actions. Only then can we compare and contrast the similarities and differences to the fullest and most fundamental of terms.

The actions taken against both the Jews and the blacks were the result of disgust and the desire to avoid them. The Jews and blacks were the untouchables that were so disgusting that marriage laws had to be passed. They were so vile that parks, schools, restaurants and other places had to be divided. They were so low that even the jails and hospitals had to be segregated. This was the mentality that circulated in both these places at both these times. As we can see, though the actions may have been different in some aspects, the mentality and mind with which those actions were carried out were the same. Just like every painting is different, every action is different. But though the results are different, the mind which aimed to create that painting and the mind to take that action is the same: to create a picture, to subhumanize a people.

The same is with the Patriot Act and the response to the Reichstag fire in 1933. The calamity presented to both Germany and the US were the same and likewise, the same actions were taken. I have no doubt that the same mind ran through both the governments at those times; minds that were fearful, edgy, and intimidated. Thus actions were taken to find security from those fears. Naturally, in a frightening and unexpected situation the key players always try to grasp control in any way to function in the quickest and most efficient way possible. Bush with the Patriot Act and Hitler with taking full power and chucking the constitution.
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Old 02-03-2005, 03:24
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I think the people writing the Nuremberg Laws in Nazi headquarters would have been very supportive of the Jim Crow laws passed in the US 30 years later. The similarities are impossible to miss. In both cases, a group with political power-either the racist whites in the American South, or the Nazi party in Weimar Germany- attempts to use the law to dehumanize a minority group with no political power- like the Jews and blacks. The specific laws used by both groups are similar in most cases. The Nuremberg laws go into great detail about what makes a Jew a "Jew," and the Jim Crow laws also go to pains to define what kinds of people are allowed to marry, and how many generations back can be used to define a black, etc. My favorite was the Missouri law which included not only blacks, but Mongolians. I bet no one in Missouri can even spell Mongolian, so how they got that into the law I have no idea. Anyways, the laws are very similar.

However, the differences that I found were in terms of definition. In the case of the Jim Crow laws, their purpose was to seperate. Of course, the "seperate" facilities that blacks had access to were never supposed to be equal. But the main idea of the Jim Crow laws was to seperate blacks and whites, as well as dehumanize blacks. They addressed both blacks and whites, telling each to keep to themselves. The Nuremberg laws had nothing to do with so called "Aryans." The sole purpose of those laws was to take away the rights of Jews. The Nuremberg laws mostly didn't establish seperate facilities for Jews, they just barred them from existing rights. And, with the use of concentration camps durin the war, the Nazis committed far greater crimes against the Jews as a group than anything that white America did to blacks in the Civil Rights era.

The Patriot Act is nowhere near as harsh as either the Nuremberg Laws or the Jim Crow Laws. It doesn't target a specific target population, and it doesn't take away our rights to anything we would consider a basic freedom, such as schools or lunch counters or seats in a movie theater. However, it is similar to the Enabling Act passed by Hitler after the Reichstag fire. I think that if the Patriot Act was used by the wrong people, and especially if it was abused, it would be scarily similar to Hitler's law. Fortunately, I think the American people are going to let things get out of hand, as the German people did in the 1930's. The Patriot Act is more subtle. Most of us probably never stop and wonder if the FBI is listening when we're on the phone. I'm all for enabling us to stop the infidels or whatever the government is telling Bush to call them right now. But he can't take away certain things from us in order to do it.
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Old 02-03-2005, 04:24
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As many people have already mentioned, there are so many similarities between the anti-Jewish measures and the Jim Crow laws. Some of those that really stood out for me were:
  • Barbers No colored barber shall serve as a barber [to] white women or girls. (Georgia)
  • Intermarriage It shall be unlawful for a white person to marry anyone except a white person. Any marriage in violation of this section shall be void. (Georgia)
  • Intermarriage The marriage of a white person with a negro or mulatto or person who shall have 1/8 or more of negro blood shall be unlawful and void. (Mississippi)
However, I'm going to try to differentiate between the two situations. First of all, why were these laws existent? The anti-Jewish laws placed by Hitler were essentially, well, placed by Hitler. It wasn't like something that the whole country already had a feeling of. It wasn't something that the whole country planned on committing. In fact, Hitler himself did not have more than 50% of the votes. Yes, you can argue that slavery was not something supported by everyone. However, anti-Semitism is not slavery, although it is comparable to the attitude of certain white Americans toward the blacks. In addition, despite the abolitionists' views, many of the areas which contained Jim Crow laws were supportive of the laws. Overall, the two situations are comparable in their substance (aims of discrimination and how to go about it), but differ in cause, in history, and in attitude.

As for the Patriot Act and Enabling Act (etc.), yes, I consider those to be very similar. Both are made in the same manner, right after a crisis, and Ms. Freeman did repeatedly mention how Reichstag burning would be just like 9/11. These recent laws and those Hitler laws all tried to take away basic rights, and that's what I think matters. In one way, it's understandable because the government is probably scared, scared of foreigners, and scared of its own people. Also, think of it this way. What happened after Hitler took control? War. What happened after Bush took control? War. I really don't see too many differences here. What I see is: when disaster strikes, take control, and fight.
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Last edited by greenaxis; 02-03-2005 at 04:27.
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Old 02-03-2005, 04:50
HandsDown HandsDown is offline
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As everyone else has said, there are definitely similarities between the Nuremberg laws and the jim crow laws. Both laws use a lot of the same language and talk about fighting for “the purity of the white race”. I found it interesting that both laws mentioned that it was forbidden for intermarriages. I also loved how in the jim crow laws, the mulay race and Mongolians were also not allowed to intermarry… The laws were also similar in the ways the classified the groups they were targeting. Black people were considered black if one of their great grandparents was black. Only one. Sounds a little like how people were considered jewish.

I think the difference between the two laws was that the jim crow laws focused on separating blacks and whites. They made different hospital entrances, prisons, schools, lunch counters and even parks. You couldn’t even be buried in the same place. The nuremburg laws focused more on secluding the jews and taking away their rights. They not only took away their right to vote but had the power to revoke their citizenship. They couldn’t hire germans or even hoist the Reich and national flag. The germans basically wanted to isolate all the jews, group them together and destroy them whereas in America they didn’t want blacks and whites to associate for fear of the blacks rubbing off on the whites.

I do think that a comparison can be made between events in the 1930s in germany and the events in the first deade of the 21st century in the united states. Both had catastrophic events occur and used these to their advantage. In the us, after 9/11 happened the patriot act was passed which took away certain civil rights. The government now had more power and had the ability to take away some of our civil liberties. When the Reichstag burned down Hitler used this to his advantage and took over power in germany . he used to people’s fear and anger to his advantage. The enabling act gave Hitler absolute power over germany whereas the US only got a tiny increase in power.
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Old 02-03-2005, 04:54
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Exclamation Nuremberg Laws and Jim Crow Laws

As many times as I have heard the various laws about racial purity and prohibiting interacial relationships, I am always shocked to read or hear a new one. "Racial Mixing Debates Beyond Nazi Germany" blew me away mainly not because of the ideas which were nothing new, but because of the terminology used. "Corruption of blood", "purity of the white race", "wholesale adulteration", Negro-white hybrid race." All of these terms make interacial relationships seem as if they are animal-like or some sort of a science experiment.

Being mixed racially myself, I have always taken pride in the various races that I represent and the various races that make me who I am culturally. I am always offended when I read these disgusting statements and laws. I feel that there is a direct correlation between the laws of Nazi Germany and the laws of the 21st century in the United States. Both are putting limits on people that they have no business with. If a white person wants to marry an black person so be it, if a german wants to marry a Jew, so be it. I don't think that anyone except those two have any right to pass judgement.

In addition to the Jim Crow Laws and their similarity to the Anti-Jewish laws, I think that there is a strong relationship between those laws and the legislations passed recently such as the Patriot Act. It allows the government the control that they need to discriminate. Even when these laws seem harmless, many times when power is put in the wrong hands it can become disasterous.
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Old 02-03-2005, 07:55
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I definitely think that there can be a valid comparison between the events in the 1930s in Germany and events in the first decade of the 21st century in the United States.

It’s actually very mind boggling to think that we in the U.S had passed laws in the Jim Crow Laws, which eerily echoed the Nuremburg Laws. Intermarriage, as said by many others before me, was huge in both sets of laws.

“The marriage of a white person with a negro or mulatto or person who shall have 1/8 or more of negro blood shall be unlawful and void.”

In class it was demonstrated that according to the Nuremburg Laws, it was a void if a pure German was to marry anyone who was the slightest bit Jewish, meaning if they had a grandparent who stepped into a synagogue regularly.

“But every animal breeder in the world, and most intelligent people who have never bred an animal, know that if you mate two strains, one notably superior to the other, the hybrid product is inferior to the better strain.”

Both set of laws obsess over the “contamination” of pure races and how if we were to mix these “breeds” then we would end up tainting such superior races, which to the people of authority at the time was absolutely unthinkable.

Other posts have said that they are similar but not exact in their intent because whereas the Nuremburg Laws set out to completely strip Jews of their rights completely, the Jim Crow laws have the “separate but equal” idea and that Blacks are have many unfair restrictions. However, I think that they are both the same because if you think about it, both sets of laws were out to oppress and target groups of people by treating them unfairly and taking their rights away from them.

As stated in class, the burning of the Reichstag was to the Germans as the 9/11 was to Americans. With these two events both authority figures set out to target and blame a certain group of people. For Hitler it was the Jews. For Bush it was anyone who was suspicious of being a terrorist.
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Old 02-03-2005, 14:24
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I think there are many similarities between the Jim Crow laws and the Nuremburg laws. Both aim to seperate the "superior" race from the "inferior". Somebody mentioned earleir that America is a little more at fault because there was wider support than what Hitler had (since he never gained mroe than 50% of the popular vote). However, these laws weren't nationwide either. There were a good amount of states who wouldn't participate in such discrimination. Granted the citizens themselves may have been discriminatory there wasn't 100% compliance with 100% of the discriminatory laws of the early 20th century.

I think the context in which these laws were put in to place were much different. The Jews in Germany (before Hitler) were citizens who prospered and added substantially to the economy. They were perhaps thought of as a nuisance or those with more hatred might call them leeches but they were still seen as equal partakers in the country's affairs. Blacks in America, however, were treated as subhuman as soon as they were caught and sold in Africa. it seems like German oppression was much more harsh because the Jewish people ahd a pretty fair deal and then it was all taken away from them in a matter of a few years. The slaves were in a much worse position though because they had always been treated so malevolently and these Jim Crow laws probably weren't viewed so much as "evil" as the Nuremburg laws were. That's just the way American culture had evolved. I think the reason that these Jim Crow laws didn't evolve into genocide was because they had evolved from genocide.

I haven't actually read the Patriot Act but from what I gather it gives the president free reign over anything he deems necessary for the government to know. This is definetly comparable to the enabling act. But it's also comparable to every king that ever lived, and most forms of government. It's not like this enabling of power is directly tied to evil; it depends on the way you use it. Of course it's scary to think that the president can find out whatever he wants to know and perhaps do whatever he wants but it's also comforting to know that we live in a society which thinks so highly of our safety. Bush didn't promote the Patriot Act because he's a power hungry privacy infringement monger. he did it because he felt that it was the best way to keep the citizens safe from harm. i agree. Now people may abuse this right and check into things that they shoudln't but that's not a problem with the Patriot Act, it's a problem with their own morality. Same thing with Hitler. To enable a government officer to provide for his coutnry is not in and of itself wrong...the problem is when he abuses that power with immoral actions. That's when the people should rise up.
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Last edited by IbelieveIt; 02-03-2005 at 14:26.
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Old 02-03-2005, 16:58
KSM7 KSM7 is offline
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Posts: 41
Yes, I believe that the Jim Crow laws and the laws enacted in Nazi Germany are similar. Both dehumanize a specific group of people, as well as indicate that there is a superior race. Thr targeted groups were very restricted in how they lived their lives, from everything to who they hired or who they married. The terminology used is similar in both with references to "keeping blood pure" and the "inferior race". Although the public support in Germany was much more significant, it is also apparent that the US public had opinions on race relations that were similar to that of the German public. We see this in the excerpts given to us, many of which were written by newspaper editors as well as public officials.

I don't know much about the Patriot Act but I am aware that it grants the US president the right to protect the countrys integrity/secruity as they see fit. This relates to the law Hitler made in that both provide a level of freedom for the administration to handle the nation however they please. The intent of these acts is positive, but Hitler was able to twist it into a way to fit into his ulterior motives.

I think the difference between the US's laws and Hitler's laws is that the US never took these somewhat supremacist ideas to the level of starting a genocide. The Jim Crow laws were used mostly to preserve the "American lifestyle" of the past but they had no intent on abolishing an entire race.
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Old 02-03-2005, 23:52
goldflakepaint goldflakepaint is offline
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The actions directed towards the blacks that were in place during the Twentieth Century in the United States can easily be compared to those directed towards the Jews during the time the Nuremberg Laws were enacted. Both the Jim Crow laws and the Nuremberg Laws dehumanized those it targeted. One way of doing this was by denying Jews and blacks to go to public places or attend public events that everyone else [namely, non-Jews and whites] could go to or attend, like movie theaters or parks. Children were also separated from each other. Jewish children were not allowed to attend non-Jewish schools, and there were separate white and blacks schools, for the children of both races. Intermarriage was a big issue during both of these times as well. Jews and non-Jews were not allowed to intermarry because of the belief that their children would not be “pure”, or non-Jewish. There was a similar law enacted against the blacks, for the same reasons.

The Enabling Act does remind me of the Patriot Act. Both were enacted after crises against the state occurred, to help people of these nations feel more safe and secure. Under ordinary circumstances, the amount of power that was given to the government or government officials under both the Enabling Act and the Patriot Act would seem absurd, but the fear of the people made it seem much more reasonable than it really was. In both cases, people willingly gave up many of their constitutional rights because they thought it would make them safer.
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Last edited by goldflakepaint; 02-04-2005 at 05:04.
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Old 02-04-2005, 02:05
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Buncranagurl Buncranagurl is offline
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Nazi Germany vs US

Nazi Germany can definelty be compared to the 21st century US. In the case of the Jim Crow Laws and the Nuremburg laws, they were for the exact same purpose. They were to dehumanize the targeted populations, and they even did this in the same ways. In both cases, intermarriage wasn’t permitted, they went back several generations to prove heritage, they didn’t allow children to be educated, they limited or cancelled medical treatment, and both were limited in places where they could be. (And even though it wasn’t technically a Jim Crow law, neither could vote).

And the Reichstag fire was very similar to our 9/11. It was an attack on the government, an attack on the country as a whole. Even though they were only buildings, they symbolized so much more than that (never mind the fact that people were killed on 9/11). And Hitler’s Emergency Decree and the Patriot Act are very similar. They both allow the government to suspend the rights of the people and take “extra measure.” And the titles are also propaganda. They both sound like they must be good fro mthe title, and that you should support them.
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