An Aryan paragraph (German: Arierparagraph) is a clause in the statutes of an organization, corporation, or real estate deed that reserves membership and/or right of residence solely for members of the "Aryan race" and excludes from such rights any non-Aryans, particularly Jews or those of Jewish descent. They were an essential aspect of public life in Germany and Austria from 1885 to 1945.
In Austria and Germany
One of the first documentable examples of such a paragraph was written by the Austrian nationalist leader and anti-Semite Georg von Schönerer in his nationalistic Linz Program of 1882, and countless German national sports-clubs, song societies, school clubs, harvest circles and fraternities followed suit to also include Aryan paragraphs in their statutes. However, the best-known Aryan paragraphs are to be found in the legislation of Nazi Germany. They served as regulations to exclude Jews from organizations, federations, parties, and, ultimately, all public life. Besides Jews, people not considered Aryans included Poles, Serbs, Russians, and Slavs.
Based on the bylaws and programs of antisemitic organizations and parties of the late 19th century (as the German Social Party in 1889), the Aryan Paragraph first appeared in the Third Reich in the formulation of the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, which was passed on 7 April 1933. It stipulated that only those of Aryan descent, without Jewish parents or grandparents, could be employed in the civil service. The Aryan Paragraph was extended to education on 25 April 1933, in the Law against the Overcrowding of German Schools and Universities. On June 30 of the same year, it was broadened to entail that even marriage to a "non-Aryan" sufficed for exclusion from a civil service career. In keeping with Nazi synchronization (Gleichschaltung), Nazi Party pressure led many federations and organizations to adopt the Aryan Paragraph. Thus, Jews were barred from the public health system, lost their honorary public offices, were driven from editorial offices (Editor Law) and theaters (Reichskulturkammer), and were excluded from agriculture (Reichserbhofgesetz), a progression culminating in the Nuremberg Laws "for the final separation of Jewry from the German Volk". At the outset, there were exceptions to this discrimination (combat veterans, service in the National Rising [Erhebung], honorary Aryans, and so on), but now Jews and "Jewish mixed-breeds" (Mischlinge) were confronted with a ban on nearly all professions. The Aryan Paragraph was accepted largely without protest, except that within the Evangelical Church it provoked the splitting off of the Confessing Church.
- Gordon, Sarah (1984). Hitler, Germans and the "Jewish Question". Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-05412-6.
- Longerich, Peter (2010). Holocaust: The Nazi Persecution and Murder of the Jews. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-280436-5.
- Christian Zentner, Friedemann Bedürftig (1991). The Encyclopedia of the Third Reich. Macmillan, New York. ISBN 0-02-897502-2
The information about Germany and Austria was translated from the German Wikipedia article on this subject.