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Old October 26th, 2012, 08:42 PM   #1

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How did the Nazis know who was a jew and who was not?


did they already have id cards where it says if a person is jew, german, danish etc.?
i mean there were lots of jews in germany. how did they pin point where they live? some of them might look just like a german.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 09:03 PM   #2

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I'd say when the Nazis came to power in Germany, they gathered a great deal of information on Jewish citizens largely by the many anti-Jewish laws regarding professions and business licensing, marriage regulation, immigration, military pension records, education, and so on. Later, when German conquests took place, fascist organizations and governments assisted in identifying Jews in their countries. Often the Germans could obtain a great deal of information from immigration records in these countries. The Gestapo was quite good at ferreting out information on Jews. And of course, many in the gentile populations of the conquered countries were more than happy to put the finger on Jews in the hope of making life a little less dangerous for themselves.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 09:16 PM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by infestør View Post
did they already have id cards where it says if a person is jew, german, danish etc.?
i mean there were lots of jews in germany. how did they pin point where they live? some of them might look just like a german.
This is one of the biggest questions in the history of humanity... how was it that a large democratic country's bureaucracy became subverted to perform the act of genocide. It made us question whether government is something for the benefit of people or could it be made to work against the interest of citizens. Some of the first computers were used to categorize Germans and understand who was who in order to divide and conquer.

You will never think kindly on IBM again...
IBM_and_the_Holocaust IBM_and_the_Holocaust
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Old October 26th, 2012, 10:32 PM   #4

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Originally Posted by rehabnonono View Post
This is one of the biggest questions in the history of humanity... how was it that a large democratic country's bureaucracy became subverted to perform the act of genocide. It made us question whether government is something for the benefit of people or could it be made to work against the interest of citizens. Some of the first computers were used to categorize Germans and understand who was who in order to divide and conquer.

You will never think kindly on IBM again...
IBM and the Holocaust - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
i already knew that IBM was involved in extermination process. I did not know that they also categorized the entire population.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 10:49 PM   #5

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I imagine it was on their birth certificates. Plus people would know who went to the synagogue, ate kosher food etc. Jews didn't usually make a secret of being Jewish.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 11:09 PM   #6

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Jews in Germany presented themselves to the National Socialist authorities in a quite ironic fashion and it was nothing to do with IBM.
Germany had (and still has) a system of Church tax whereby church funds can be collected by the state on behalf of the churches. Members of a specific church or faith can state that they are a member on their tax forms and elect to have a church tax deducted from their income by their employers. The church tax is itself deducted from gross taxable income for other income tax considerations. Self employed persons make a pre-paid payment to the revenue authorities together with their pre-payments of income taxes.
Churches however can "opt-out" and decide to collect the tax themselves in order to save the collection fee levied by the state. The only major group to "opt-out" under Weimar were Jewish synagogues. Thus any Jew, religious or not, a member of a congregation or not, could claim that he was paying the church tax and thus claim the appropriate income tax deduction.
With the tax forms on file and a religion declared it was a bit difficult to change horses in mid-stream.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 11:17 PM   #7

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Originally Posted by Spartacuss View Post
I'd say when the Nazis came to power in Germany, they gathered a great deal of information on Jewish citizens largely by the many anti-Jewish laws regarding professions and business licensing, marriage regulation, immigration, military pension records, education, and so on. Later, when German conquests took place, fascist organizations and governments assisted in identifying Jews in their countries. Often the Germans could obtain a great deal of information from immigration records in these countries. The Gestapo was quite good at ferreting out information on Jews. And of course, many in the gentile populations of the conquered countries were more than happy to put the finger on Jews in the hope of making life a little less dangerous for themselves.
This. And a lot of coordination and a lot of manpower both military, citizen and, in occupied countries, collaborator. If it was simply a matter of seeing if they are eating kosher or going to temple people would have just stopped doing that when things got really bad. It took a lot more than observation by a few people to do this. It was a HUGE operation.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 11:18 PM   #8

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Originally Posted by Louise C View Post
I imagine it was on their birth certificates. Plus people would know who went to the synagogue, ate kosher food etc. Jews didn't usually make a secret of being Jewish.
Sadly just keeping your head down was not enough, the Jewish people could not hide even if the wanted to...

Quote:
"Since the advent of the Third Reich, thousands of Jews nervously assumed they could hide from the Aryan clause.

"But Jews could not hide from millions of punch cards thudding through Hollerith machines, comparing names across generations, address changes across regions, families trees and personal data across unending registries. It did not matter that the required forms or questionnaires were filled in by leaking pens or barely sharpened pencils, only that they were later tabulated and sorted by IBM's precision technology."[20]
Soon the estimated number of Jews in Germany jumped from 400,000 to 2 million as computer cards began cross referencing names and finding people who had only one Jewish Grandparent.

Quote:
...in an understated aside, that fully half of IBM's German subsidiary's annual profit — RM 1.8 million — was suddenly generated in December 1939.[29]
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Old October 26th, 2012, 11:30 PM   #9

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Originally Posted by Ancientgeezer View Post
Jews in Germany presented themselves to the National Socialist authorities in a quite ironic fashion and it was nothing to do with IBM.
Germany had (and still has) a system of Church tax whereby church funds can be collected by the state on behalf of the churches. Members of a specific church or faith can state that they are a member on their tax forms and elect to have a church tax deducted from their income by their employers. The church tax is itself deducted from gross taxable income for other income tax considerations. Self employed persons make a pre-paid payment to the revenue authorities together with their pre-payments of income taxes.
Churches however can "opt-out" and decide to collect the tax themselves in order to save the collection fee levied by the state. The only major group to "opt-out" under Weimar were Jewish synagogues. Thus any Jew, religious or not, a member of a congregation or not, could claim that he was paying the church tax and thus claim the appropriate income tax deduction.
With the tax forms on file and a religion declared it was a bit difficult to change horses in mid-stream.
That would have caught a few religious Jews but as my previous post explains, the IBM punch cards found people who never identified as Jews. People that had only one Jewish ancestor... the estimated number went from 400,000 to 2 million Jews. So clearly not all synagogue goers...

Quote:
On September 13, 1935, Hitler demanded the immediate implementation of a "Law for the Protection of German Blood" which deprived Jews of German citizenship and prohibited them from having sexual relations with or from marrying Aryans.[21] Machine-tabulated census data greatly expanded the estimated number of Jews in Germany by identifying individuals with only one or a few Jewish ancestors. Previous estimates of 400,000 to 600,000 were abandoned for a new estimate of 2 million Jews in the nation of 65 million.[22]
Eventually this practice was applied in Poland as well and the estimated numbers exploded... soon hundreds of thousands, even millions were ghettoized or on their way to camps to be gassed and incinerated.
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Old October 27th, 2012, 06:27 AM   #10

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"Wo Jude ist, bestimme ich!"

(I'll decide who's a jew!)

Hermann Goering

They didn't seem particularly interested in carefully choosing their victims.
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