Essay on The Mischlinge: The Forgotten Victims of The Holocaust

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Those of half and quarter Jewish descent remain largely forgotten in the history of the Third Reich and genocide of the Holocaust. Known as Mischlinge, persons of deemed “mixed blood” or “hybrid” status faced extensive persecution and alienation within German society and found themselves in the crosshairs of a rampant National Socialist racial ideology. Controversially, these people proved somewhat difficult to define under Nazi law that sought to cleave the Volk from the primarily Jewish “other”, and as the mechanization toward Hitler’s “Final Solution” the Mischlinge faced probable annihilation. The somewhat neglected status of Mischlinge necessitates a refocusing on German racialization as well as reconsideration of the implications…show more content…
Anti-Semitism, deeply ingrained in the culture, would lastly become the focal point of racial fervor, but it was the general xenophobia that fuelled both German nationalism and the idea of pure racial solidarity. Any deviation away from the pure German line meant a serious threat to the Volk, who were “not defined by links to an original biological community, but was itself an actual living community” in need of protection from the defilement of miscegenation (Hutton 153). The embedded racial ideology would reach boiling point under the fascist extremism of Hitler’s rule, but it was not until the actual racialization under law of Jewish identity that militant and indiscriminate extermination measures would be implemented. The ultimate racialization of the Jewish religion came with the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, and those of “mixed blood” status were now legally labeled and bound. The law decreed that German citizens with two Jewish grandparents were first degree Mischlinge or Halbjudge, and those with a single Jewish grandparent were considered second degree or Verteljude (Ehmann 117). These laws signified the shift not only to further subjugate the Jews, but any remotely associated persons and the eventual goal of total racial elimination. However, it is important to

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