1933 Civil Service Law

1) Definition

The Civil Service Law, or the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, was passed on April 7th, 1933. This law restricted the rights of Jewish citizens and the "politically unreliable" in Germany from working in civil services. This law was specifically aimed at the Jews, a regulation used to exclude Jews and, by extension, the non-Aryans from public organizations, professions, etc. In other words, this meant that Jews and people of differing political views could not serve as teachers, professors, judges, or other government positions. For instance, the city of Berlin forbade Jewish lawyers from working on legal matters, the mayor of Munich forbade Jewish doctors from treating non-Jewish patients, and the Bavarian interior ministry denied admission of Jewish students to medical school.

2) Significance

This Civil Service Law of 1933 was the beginning of Anti-Semitic regulations enforced by the Nazi government and laid the foundation for the Nuremburg Race Laws of 1935, which formalized the separation of the Aryan and non-Aryan races by defining Jews not by religious belief but by ancestral lineage. This Civil Service Law reinforced Hitler's Herrenvolk, or 'master race', belief, upholding the superiority of the Aryan German race. In a sense, this law contributed to the fear of the Nazi regime and thus helping Hitler consolidate power, demonstrating that even without using violence, the Nazi government is capable of oppressing a part of the German population simply through domestic means. In addition, with many Jews losing their jobs, this also appealed to the Aryan Germans, who were able to get these jobs due to the Nazi Civil Service Law of 1933. Thus, aside from fear, this law also helped Hitler consolidate/maintain his power by offering part of the Aryan German population a chance to benefit from his policies.