Why did many German Jews marry non-Jews and/or
convert to Christianity?

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The Nazi chart above entitled “The Nuremberg Laws” uses graphics to show the genealogy of a so-called pure German – far left – and the various “Mischling” categories.

Did you know?

Between 1800 and 1900, more than 70,000 Jews living in Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire converted to Christianity. From 1870 to 1929, approximately 84,000 mixed marriages took place.

Hitler allowed a small number of “Mischlinge” to continue serving if he felt they were valuable to the war effort and if they had an “Aryan” appearance, usually meaning blonde hair and blue eyes. Hitler then signed a certificate declaring them to be of “Aryan blood.”

Art imitates life

In Roger’s play the character of Christoph is a Mischling.

Discussion

We know why Hitler allowed “Mischlinge” to serve in the German army. Can you think of possible reasons why these German men of Jewish descent decided to serve?

Further discussion

In South Africa under Apartheid (from 1948 to 1994) people were classified as either White, Black, Indian or Colored. The last two categories were further sub-divided. Why do you think governments continue to use “race” to divide people?