Germany’s anti-Semitism commissioner called for the removal of 29 Nazi-era paragraphs that remain in the country’s laws in comments published on Sunday.
Felix Klein, appointed 2 years ago by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet, said the worst example was a 1938 Nazi remnant in Germany’s present-day law on changing a person’s name.
Jews in Nazi Germany were required under a 1939 regulation stemming from that law to insert a “typical” Jewish forename, Israel for men, and Sara for women, if their first name was not on a “typical” list maintained by the-then interior ministry.
Klein, who last year, with Social Democrat Eva Högl and Christian Democrat Thorsten Frei, demanded removal of such wording used to persecute Jews, told the magazine Der Spiegel parliament had already been sent a reformulations catalog.
“The name change law is the most blatant of all,” said Klein, adding that the latest version — dated 2008 and still accessible on the —still mentioned the “German Reich” and the “Reich Minister of the Interior,” terminology proscribed by the defeated Hitler regime.
In last year’s appeal, Klein, Högl and Frei wrote that the occupying Allied Control Council had sought to annul that law, but it lingered under Article 125 of Germany’s post-war constitution or Basic Law.
“Anyone who wants to change their first or last name in Germany today is [still] confronted with this anti-Semitic-motivated law from 1938,” they said.
Instead, an amendment should state the “Federal Republic of Germany” and the “Federal Minister of the Interior,” Klein told Spiegel in his latest appeal.
As further lingering examples, Klein cited Nazi-era paragraphs riddling Germany’s current law on naturopathic healing practitioners, its gambling casino ordinance, and a mutual Greek-German law on civil legal assistance.
The aim of the omnibus legislation (Artikelgesetz) now before the Bundestag parliament, said Klein, was to review and remove all such leftover Nazi-era passages.
In last year’s joint appeal, the trio said a further aim was to avoid Germany’s post-war federal ministers of the interior being defined as “successors” of the Nazi-era Reich Interior Minister and convicted war criminal Wilhelm Frick.
It was Frick, convicted at the Allied Nuremburg trials and executed in 1946, who from 1930 in the-then Thuringia state sought German nationality for the Austrian-born but stateless Adolf Hitler, regarded by Prussia as an undesirable alien.
Hitler finally got German nationality in 1932, via the-then adjacent German state of Braunschweig, becoming a year later German chancellor and seizing power.
ipj/aw (KNA, epd)
Germany: Anti-Semitism commissioner calls for removal of Nazi law leftovers The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Deutsche Welle.