Thursday, October 7, 2010
All Humans Are Created Equal
The Nuremburg Laws of 1935 that Hitler signed and that took away citizenship rights of Jews in Germany are now on public display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C for the first time.
I find it interesting that Germany felt that they had to make it into law to remove a whole group of peoples' civil rights. Hitler made exceptions as he personally signed papers permitting Jewish soldiers to remain in the German military during the 1930s. See the book titled Hitler's Jewish Soldiers for the full story. The author of this book estimated that there were 150,000 of these men, that by the German legal definition of a Jew, were in the German army, navy and air force after Hitler came to power.
Almost 30 years later, the United States passed legislation known as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that gave civil rights to African Americans and women. It took many years and several suits by civil rights organizations to make the law passed in 1964 a reality. These same African Americans and women that had served their country in the military during WWII, now had to wait almost another 20 years from the war's end to obtain their civil rights.
Countries can move forward or backward when it comes to preserving the civil rights of its people, and a country can change the laws and make a whole group of people "outside" the protection of the law. Holding on to a higher form of human behavior is not guaranteed by any society. Each day good people must rededicate themselves to the proposition that all humans are created equal.
I am sure I could have written much more on this subject, but I think you all get the idea.