Tidying up German law / Rechtsbereinigung

Rechtsbereinigung is the process of repealing statutes and provisions no longer used. A Rechtsbereinigungsgesetz (Repeal Act?) was passed in mid-October, repealing 200 statutes and statutory orders. Under the heading Eingeführt von den Nazis: Anwaltsmonopol, Kindergeld und olympischer Fackellauf, RP online mentions the legislation (not all repealed) introduced in the Third Reich.

Read on for details:

The following are listed:
Heilpraktikergesetz dates from 1939. It provides that anyone may work as a Heilpraktiker (alternative medical practitioner) – rather like translators! -, which makes it hard to put a stop to quacks.

Schornsteinfeger (chmineysweeps) have a monopoly, introduced in 1935. The statute was revised in 1969. but it is still the case that chmineys have to be swept at regular intervals and only the district chimneysweep can do this. More than that, the chimneysweet comes to my flat once a year to check that the water heater is in a clean condition. For a discussion on this, see earlier entry with comments. How long can this monopoly continue in the EU?

May 1 was first declared a holiday, as Labour Day, in 1933. The Allies confirmed this holiday in 1946. But it goes back long before 1933: there were demonstrations in the USA on May 1 1886, and it was made a German holiday in 1919 (but presumably removed later?)

Joint taxation of spouses was introduced by the Nazis in 1934, to make it less appealing to women to go out to work. It was revised in 1958. [Correction to earlier version: the term Ehegattensplitting refers to the 1958 revision and the present situation, not (as the article say) to the 1934 arrangements. The situation since 1958 is that a single person earning the same as two spouses pays more tax than they do: marriage is tax-privileged (to put it simply). English explanation here.

From 1935 on, low-income families were given child benefit from the fifth child on. In 1938, this was done from the third child. Child benefit was reintroduced in 1955: from the third child on, the parents were given 25 DM.

Under the 1935 Energy Act (Energiegesetz), the energy industry was to be protected from the ‘damaging effects of competition”. Only in 1998, at the instigation of the EU, was this changed.

In 1941, Martin Bormann was responsible for a decree providing that Roman lettering should be used exclusively in place of old German handwriting and print. Sütterlinschrift and Fraktur were banned in school. Here, in German and English, is Bormann’s decree, which states that Gothic script (Fraktur) is Jewish in origin. – When I studied German in London in the 1960s, we used to get quite a lot of Reklams in Fraktur that we found slow to read – was this a postwar backlash?

Die sogenannte gotische Schrift als eine deutsche Schrift anzusehen oder zu bezeichnen ist falsch. In Wirklichkeit besteht die sogenannte gotische Schrift aus Schwabacher Judenlettern. Genau wie sie sich später in den Besitz der Zeitungen setzten, setzten sich die in Deutschland ansässigen Juden bei Einführung des Buchdrucks in den Besitz der Buchdruckereien und dadurch kam es in Deutschland zu der starken Einführung der Schwabacher Judenlettern.

It is false to regard or describe the so-called Gothic typeface as a German typeface. In reality the so-called Gothic typeface consists of Schwabacher-Jewish letters. Just as they later came to own the newspapers, the Jews living in Germany also owned the printing presses when the printing of books was introduced and thus came about the strong influx into Germany of Schwabacher-Jewish letters.

The Imperial Nature Conservation Act (Reichsnaturschutzgesetz) of 1935 was replaced by the Federal Nature Conservation Act (Bundesnaturschutzgesetz) of 1976. After the Nazis had built 3650 kilometres of motorway, the first overall plan for nature conservation measures was drawn up in 1941.

The torch relay at the Olympic Games was introduced in the Berlin games in 1936.

(Via Strafprozesse und andere Ungereimtheiten)

2 thoughts on “Tidying up German law / Rechtsbereinigung

  1. Dear Margaret,

    the source of your source was a journalist. Since he/she was writing about legal matters, a certain caution seems appropriate.

    Actually, the Nazis *did* (re-)introduce joint taxation (‘Zusammenveranlagung von Ehegatten’) which – combined with a progressive tax rate – made working quite unattractive for spouses. They *did not* introduce the ‘Ehegattensplitting’. This was what came in 1958, after the Bundesverfassungsgericht had declared the old form of joint taxation unconstitutional.

    The ‘Ehegattensplitting’ reversed the original effect. A married couple now has to pay significantly *lower* taxes than an unmarried pair with the same income.

    • Michael Cunningham: Thanks – of course you are quite right that newspaper articles normally get legal details wrong. This struck me as better than most and I was hoping for some input. I have corrected the entry, I hope adequately.

      Can you think of other examples? I seem to recall that Hitler introduced the German Commercial Code into Austria, where it remained. And what about hunting law? German hunting law seems to be a huge edifice.

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