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This Could Be Us

In Nazi Germany, the Aryan certificate (Ariernachweis) was a document certifying that a person was a member of the Aryan race (or not). Beginning in April 1933 it was required from all state employees according to the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service.


  1. Kleiner Ariernachweis (“Lesser Aryan certificate,” pictured above) required seven birth or baptism certificates (each blood relative going back to grandparents) and three marriage certificates (parents and grandparents).

  2. Großer Ariernachweis (“Greater Aryan certificate”) was required for compliance with the Reichserbhofgesetz (land heritage law) and membership in the Nazi party. This certificate had to trace the family pedigree down to the year 1800. According to the law “Preserving the Purity of German Blood,” only those who could prove that “none of their paternal nor their maternal ancestors had Jewish or colored blood” were eligible.

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