Jewish and “Mixed” Families

Marion A. Kaplan

in Between Dignity and Despair

Published in print November 1999 | ISBN: 9780195130928
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199854486 | DOI:

Series: Studies in Jewish History

Jewish and “Mixed” Families

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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The chapter focuses on the impact of Nazi oppression of Jewish families through policies which restricted relationships and marital options with Aryans or non-Jews. Thus, existing mixed marriages and the resulting offspring came under attack, though households with Aryan husbands were treated more leniently than those with Jewish men. The socio-political climate of the period severely influenced Jewish decisions on engagement, marriage, and family building. The specific details of the Nuremberg Laws relating to racial definitions are described and their implications for Jewish relationships are explored. In the area of divorce, incidences in Jewish families were seen to decline, in contrast with mixed families, wherein the government exhorted the couples to separate. Due to increasing pressures from the government and the community, Jewish husbands and wives in mixed marriages were revealed to have been driven to take the option of suicide out of guilt for the oppression of their families.

Keywords: Nazi oppression; Jewish families; Jews; mixed marriages; Nuremberg Laws; divorce; suicide; Aryans

Chapter.  8679 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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