By James Q. Whitman
How American race legislations supplied a blueprint for Nazi Germany
Nazism triumphed in Germany in the course of the excessive period of Jim Crow legislation within the usa. Did the yank regime of racial oppression by any means motivate the Nazis? The unsettling solution is definite. In Hitler's American Model, James Whitman offers a close research of the yank effect at the infamous Nuremberg legislation, the center-piece anti-Jewish laws of the Nazi regime. opposite to those that have insisted that there has been no significant connection among American and German racial repression, Whitman demonstrates that the Nazis took a true, sustained, major, and revealing curiosity in American race policies.
As Whitman indicates, the Nuremberg legislation have been crafted in an environment of substantial recognition to the precedents American race legislation needed to supply. German compliment for American practices, already present in Hitler's Mein Kampf, was once non-stop in the course of the early Thirties, and the main radical Nazi legal professionals have been keen advocates of using American versions. yet whereas Jim Crow segregation was once one element of yank legislation that appealed to Nazi radicals, it was once no longer the main consequential one. relatively, either American citizenship and antimiscegenation legislation proved without delay proper to the 2 relevant Nuremberg Laws--the Citizenship legislations and the Blood legislations. Whitman appears to be like on the final, gruesome irony that once Nazis rejected American practices, it used to be occasionally no longer simply because they discovered them too enlightened, yet too harsh.
Indelibly linking American race legislation to the shaping of Nazi regulations in Germany, Hitler's American Model upends understandings of America's impression on racist practices within the wider world.
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Extra resources for Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law
Consider, for example, Albrecht Wirth. Wirth, in his 1934 Völkisch World History, a global history for Nazi readers, with a stock portrait of Hitler as its frontispiece, described America for his German readers in these terms in his opening pages: “The most important event in the history of the states of the Second Millennium—up until the [First World] War—was the founding of the United States of America. ” Nor was Wirth alone; he was reciting a standard tenet of Nazi world history in the early 1930s.
Louis Brodsky, the New York Jew who triggered the Nuremberg Laws, was an improbable protagonist in an international diplomatic crisis. His career was shaped by both the opportunities and the obstacles that early twentieth-century America presented to Jews. 8 But Jewish lawyers did not find it easy to make their way into prestigious law firms or judgeships in early twentieth-century America. It was certainly infinitely better to be a Jewish lawyer in the United States than in Nazi Germany, but it was still tough (as the Nazi literature of the early 1930s gleefully observed),9 and Brodsky took a different route.
For now, I begin with the American law of immigration, naturalization, and citizenship. To some extent, what Nazi lawyers found intriguing about America extended back to the same Founding Era that was highlighted by Nazi world historians. 57 For the most part, though, the America that appealed to the Nazis (and other European racists as well) was the America of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. ”58 That is not to say that there were no restrictions at all before the 1880s. 60 Nevertheless, taken in the large, the United States was a country of open borders during the first two-thirds of the nineteenth century, and of course it was a country that attracted large migrations from Europe.