Unanimously passed by the Reichstag on the evening of September 15, 1935, the Nuremberg Laws were the first legal codification of Nazi anti-Semitism. There were two laws: the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour, which prohibited marriages and extramarital intercourse between “Jews” and “Germans” and also the employment of “German” females under forty-five in Jewish households; and The Reich Citizenship Law, declared those not of German blood to be Staatsangehörige (state subjects) while those classified as “Aryans” were Reichsbürger (citizens of the Reich). In effect, this second law stripped Jews of German citizenship.
In addition, the laws contained a codification of who was considered to be Jewish, defined by how many grandparents one had who were Jewish or German. There were four statuses under the law, of which two were considered Jewish and two German. A later expansion of the law extended its provisions to Gypsies and Negroes. These laws remained in effect until the German surrender, nearly ten years later.
Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon were the joint monarchs of their two kingdoms, and both staunch Catholics, when they issued the Alhambra Decree on March 31, 1492. It required all Jews to remove themselves – or be expelled by force – from the territories claimed by Aragon and Castille. It did leave a loophole, though – a sincere conversion to Catholicism and abandonment of the Jewish faith would permit these Jews to stay.
Few took advantage of the loophole, and of those who did, many practiced only the forms of the Catholic faith, continuing their Judaic practices in private. Of those who left, about half fled to Portugal, and most of the others wound up living in the cities of Salonika, Sarajevo, Izmir, Thessaloniniki or Constantinople, where the exiled Jews, who were predominately Sephardic, mingled with the Mizrahi Jews who already lived there. The Decree was eventually revoked… in 1968. (Yes, you read that right.)
Henry Ford, famously the founder of the Ford Motor Company, was also something of an anti-Semite. The kind of something where he was the first person to publish the fraudulent and racist “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in America, serialising it in The Dearborn Independent, a newspaper he owned. They also serialised “The International Jew”, an anti-semitic work penned by Ford himself. The Independent was infamous for its anti-semitism, and in 1927, it was shut down for good after a civil lawsuit for libel.
A boycott organised by the Anti-Defamation League proved so damaging to Ford’s business interests that he actually apologised for the racism so frequently displayed in The Dearborn Independent, writing an open letter to Sigmund Livingston, the president of the ADL. Most people accepted the apology and let the matter rest there, although it has been claimed that the apology was faked by Ford’s employees, with even the signature a forgery. Privately, Ford spoke of his intention to republish some day, and at Nuremberg, some of the Nazis spoke of being inspired to their hideous genocide by reading “The International Jew”.