Mischling Test

Mischling Test refers to the legal test under Nazi Germany's Nuremberg Laws that was applied to determine whether a person was considered a "Jew" or a "Mischling" (mixed-blood).


On 11 April 1933 the regime promulgated the First Supplementary Decree for the Execution of the Law of Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, colloquially known as the First Racial Definition. This implementing decree stipulated that a person would be regarded as a racial Jew for purposes of the law[1] if he had one Jewish parent or one Jewish grandparent, i.e. if the ancestor was "of the Jewish faith."[2]

Under the law, Jews were to be discharged from the civil service, unless they had been employed since before World War I or unless they had fought on the front lines in the war, or had a father or son who had been killed in the war.[2]

The "one Jewish grandparent" rule was predominant for a period of time in the Third Reich, and had typically been the test incorporated into the so-called Aryan Paragraph, which had been in currency before Hitler's assumption of power on 30 January 1933. However, various social and political factions militated in favor of a new set of discriminatory laws, which were forthcoming at the NSDAP party rally in 1935 in Nuremberg.

The Nuremberg Laws,[3] as originally promulgated in September 1935, used the term "Jew" but did not define the term. The definition of the term was problematic for the Nazis and it was not until the issuance of a supplementary regulation in mid-November 1935 that a legal test that was specific to the Nuremberg laws was formally published.

The original draftsmen of the Nuremberg Laws, puzzled over the problem and pressed for a quick solution, solved it by the simple expedient of limiting the meaning of the term to encompass only "full Jews" (German: Volljuden). This test was relatively easy to state and apply, but Hitler vetoed the idea, without stipulating what he wanted as a replacement.

Meetings among Government and Party officials after the September 1933 annual Nuremberg party rally revealed the existence of two factions:

Obviously there was a considerable divergence of opinion. The resulting compromise was implemented by the First Supplementary Decree.[7] The practical application of "mischling" first and second degree were further elaborated in the Wannsee Conferences and meetings on the "final solution".


The First Supplementary Decree of 14 November 1935 (Decree) addressed this issue by defining three categories:

By applying the test, a person would be classified into exactly one of the preceding categories.

The Test

The Decree sets up the legal test defined here.

Part One

The first part of the test is implemented by setting up three categories as follows:

Part Two

The remaining problem was the treatment of a person with two Jewish, and two non-Jewish, grandparents. This leads to the second part of the test, which has four subdivisions.

A person with exactly two Jewish grandparents was deemed a Jew[10] if either:

If such a person is not classified as a Jew under any of these four subtests, then he is a Mischling of the 1st degree (by the terms of Part One).


Racial classification chart based on the Nuremberg Laws.

The following Examples demonstrate how Part Two of the Decree's legal test operates.

Remember that in every case, X always has exactly two Jewish grandparents. Unless this initial condition applies, there is no point in applying these tests, as the categorization into the three basic classes (Jew, Mischling, German) is only complicated in the case of "exactly two" Jewish grandparents.

Test A

Test B

Test C

Test D

  • if his parents were married on 15 September 1935, he is a Mischling (1st degree).
  • if his parents were married on 15 October 1935, he is a Jew.
  • if his parents never marry, he is a Mischling (1st degree).

See also



  1. The law itself had been issued by decree on 7 April under the newly enacted Enabling Act of 1933.
  2. 1 2 The decree stipulated in particular that for purposes of the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service
    A person is ... non-Aryan [if] ... descended from non-Aryan, especially Jewish, parents or grandparents. This holds true even if only one parent or grandparent is ... non-Aryan ... [and] especially obtains if one parent or grandparent was of the Jewish faith.
    See Mendes-Florh p. 642 for the text and for his commentary, in which he also notes that the term "non-Aryan" was the common circumlocution for "Jew" in legal documents until the Nuremberg Laws.
  3. There were two racial laws originally decreed at the party rally itself. One was a "citizenship "law regulating citizenship, voting and office holding by Jews, and the other the so-called "blood" law, regulating marriage and sexual relations. The third, and notorious, "eugenics" law was decreed later.
  4. The "one-fourth" standard advocated here was, in fact, very similar to the standard that had been decreed in the First Racial Decree. Goebbels, although a prominent member of the government, was a leading radical.
  5. There had been considerable intermarriage between Jews and Christians during Weimar, and even before, and there was concern about the social disruption that might arise if too broad a definition of "Jew" was decreed. Furthermore, military conscription had been decreed by Hitler in early 1935 (in a complete flaunting of the detested Versailles), and there was concern about the impact of a broad definition of "Jew" on the dramatic expansion of the new Army (with its draftees): how would a new recruit react to a letter from home informing him that his father was, in fact, now considered to be "Jewish" and was as a consequence no longer a citizen of the Reich?
  6. Before 1875, there was no civil marriage in Germany. Accordingly, in the case of a Jewish-Christian intermarriage, one spouse had to convert to the faith of the other. Almost without exception, the Jewish partner converted to Christianity. Holocaust and History p. 118.
  7. See Kershaw p. 551-570 for history of the laws and the negotiations.
  8. The "degrees" themselves were not part of this early Decree, but arose later in other decrees and through usage, as the legalistic refinements of Nazi racism were articulated. First degree Mischinge, as the Nazi plan developed, were forbidden to marry either "true Germans" or second degree Mischlinge; and if they married Jews, they would by virtue of the Nuremberg blood law themselves be deemed Jewish, which (to say the least) was not a healthy status to assume voluntarily in the Third Reich. They were thus encouraged, by Nazi social policy, to either remain single or to marry other Mischlinge of the first degree.
  9. Second degree Mischlinge were entitled only to marry "true Germans" (i.e. neither Jews nor Mischlinge) under the subsequent Nazi racial regulations. In this fashion their "Jewishness" would eventually be diluted in their descendants. Second degree Mischlinge did not suffer, for the most part, the racial persecution aimed at the Jews, the Nazis being content with a policy of assimilation for them.
  10. These persons were "Jews under (or by virtue of) the law" (German: Geltungsjuden)


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