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General Sentiment


Exhibition, “The Eternal Jew”, Munich, November 1937 (Federal Archive, image 119-03-16-06)

Even before the decree of the Nuremberg Laws in 1935 (the “Reich Citizenship Law” and the “Law to Protect German Blood and Honor”), “racially based” legal clauses had been integrated into professional regulations for physicians. In April 1934, the admission regulations did not just specify that Jewish physicians and politically “unpopular” doctors were to be prevented from practicing medicine. The following were also explicitly excluded from admission: “Physicians of non-Aryan descent and physicians whose spouses are not of Aryan descent. Whoever has non-Aryan forebears, especially Jewish parents or grandparents, qualifies as non-Aryan. It is sufficient if one parent or one grandparent is of non-Aryan descent. This must be assumed in particular if one parent or one grandparent adhered to the Jewish religion. Extramarital descent also qualifies as ancestry,” according to an excerpt from the second ordinance of the admission regulations.


The discrimination and exclusion of “non-German-blooded” people took place in many forms, from the dissemination of anti-Semitic propaganda, to prohibitions against leisure activities, to marriage bans, to pervasive intrusions into the private sphere. In this last instance, even “German-blooded” people were affected by the “Marital Health Law” if they were considered “genetically inferior” instead of “hereditarily healthy.”


From the beginning, National Socialist policy took up the “fight against the Treaty of Versailles,” which at the military level had forbidden universal conscription, forced disarmament, and reduced the size of Germany’s professional army. Germany began rearmament efforts shortly after the National Socialists came to power. Many Germans welcomed the reintroduction of universal conscription, the founding of the Wehrmacht, and especially the establishment of the Luftwaffe in 1935. At the “Radiation and Medicine” exhibition in Munich in 1938, there was a section on “Radiation and the Wehrmacht” to which Rudolf Grashey and Hubertus Strughold, among others, had contributed work. There was also a “Luftwaffe” section that showed such exhibits as a “large sub-pressure and climate chamber with ancillary machines and an original high-performance X-ray machine,” as well as a “model of a centrifuge for acceleration experiments on humans, with an integrated X-ray machine.”


Municipal archive and historical library, Bielefeld

Jewish Emigration / book title (1937) (bpk/Abraham Pisarek)

Jewish citizen in front of swimming pool (bpk; photo 30011469)

The militarisation of medical radiology: Aeronautical research (from: A. Wörle (ed.), “Strahlen und Heilkunde” exhibition, Munich 1938, p. 15)

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