Sunday, 5 January 2020


On this day in 1938, outside of the courts and with the signature authority of the Reichs-Chancellor, the Interior Minister and nominal participation from the Ministry of Justice, Nazi Germany ratified its Decree Concerning the Changing of Surnames and First Names (das Gesetz über die Änderung von Familiennamen und Vornamen, kurzform NamÄndG) in order to facilitate external identification of those with Jewish backgrounds. Fully articulated and enforced by August of the same year, unless Germans and non-citizen residents identified as Jewish already had sufficiently typical Jewish first names—according to a list authorities drafted—the men were to be called Israel and the women Sara and their former identities stripped away in all official documents and registers.