Table of Contents

1. Jewish Discrimination and History6. Rules for Accepting Official Anti-Jewish Acts: What an OAJA Is & Isn’t
2. Definition of an Official Anti-Jewish Act7. Each Act Must Contains 8 Parts
3. The Project8. Deconstructing Three Examples of Acceptable Acts, Each Marked With Numbers 1 to 8; and Samples of 5 Additional Official Anti-Jewish Acts through 2000
4. Image of Draft Book (front & back) 9. Compensation for Submitted and Accepted Acts
5. Project Status10. Methodology & Definitions

1. Jewish Discrimination and History

Jews have been discriminated against for several thousand years. What isn’t well known or agreed on is why there has been so much discrimination against them for so long, and in so many parts of the world. 

While many historians and experts have studied the reasons for such discrimination, no clear consensus on that question has emerged, although theories abound.

Sidestepping the reasons for such discrimination, this work focuses on the actual Official Anti-Jewish Acts (“OAJA”) of Jewish Discrimination, in part because Official Acts are verifiable and because the Official Acts produce a broad picture of Jewish discrimination over substantial time and geography. (This book uses the following terms interchangeably: Official Anti-Jewish Acts, Official Acts, Acts, and OAJA.)

2. Definition of an Official Anti-Jewish Act

Official Anti-Jewish Acts for this work are defined as:

“Official Acts against Jews, (in some cases against Jews and others), that were in effect for at least a moment in time. Such Official Acts include, but are not limited to, Official Acts issued by governments, militaries and churches, proclamations, church canons, bulls, patents, ordinances, and final court decisions (such as those on the level of a country Supreme Court).”

3. The Project

The goal of the OAJA project is to locate and translate (first) into English all the Official Anti-Jewish Acts whenever and wherever they occurred, from the earliest date through the end of the 20th century.

4. Image of Draft Book (front & back)

5. Project Status

As of September 2020, we have found approximately 3,000 non-Nazi Acts. We estimate there are another 3,000 to 5,000 Acts to be found. In addition, there are probably several thousand Nazi Acts to be found and translated. The estimated date of completion for this project is December 31, 2027, depending on future circumstances. 


Wanted:

Researchers fluent in many languages to locate and translate Acts we haven’t yet found. Professional compensation for new Acts accepted.

N.B. If interested, please contact April at apriltheassistant@gmail.com – subject: OAJA.info

6. Rules for Accepting Official Anti-Jewish Acts: What an OAJA Is & Isn’t

A. Rules for accepting Acts:

  • Each Act must have been created by government, military and church laws from ruling religions; Acts from these ruling institutions differ in name and type, but may include church canons, church bulls, patents, ordinances, writs, and final court decisions (such as those on the level of a country’s Supreme Court).
  • Acts must be Anti-Jewish on their face. Such Acts often limit the work, travel, congregation, earnings of Jews, but not others. Other such Acts cause Jews to pay more in official taxes or fines, or fees or punish Jews or expel them in excess of such punishments of others.
  • If the researcher needs to explain why the words of an Act are Anti-Jewish, that Act as written shouldn’t be in this project.

B. Acts that would not be included in this project:

  • Acts that only refer to one Jew or a few Jews that seem to be based on specific facts applicable to a specific event or person(s).
  • A law banning Hebrew as a language in certain schools, unless it’s aim is Anti-Jewish.
  • Laws that are directed at Jews but on their face don’t seem specifically anti-Jewish. Examples are a law from 4/25/1850 regarding “the administration of oaths to Jews,” or a 5/4/1331 writ for the dukes to “enjoy the Jews” (depending on what enjoy means) as part of their privileges.
  • Acts that exclude Jews and others, such as a 1388 law stating that “Christians must not dwell within the quarters assigned to Jews and Moors…”; An oath in the 1776 Constitution of Maryland that required “…a declaration of his belief in the Christian religion.”
  • Acts that exclude “foreign” Jews and others within a country because it is not uncommon for foreigners to be banned from engaging in the same privileges granted citizens.

7. Each Act Must Contains 8 Parts

  1. Full date of Act, with month, day, and year.
  2. Official Name of Act goes under the date, but sometimes Acts don’t have titles and a description may be used.
  3. Add Country of Act’s origin, but if that country or geographic region does not exist anymore (for example, the Roman Empire) add a Present Day Country(ies) as reference before the original area of origin.
  4. The text of the Act should be translated into English – no paraphrasing. Use quotes at the beginning and end, and if words not in the text are added for clarification, use [brackets]. The text may be reduced to about 150-200 words of relevant information about the Anti-Jewish part of the Act if the text is too long.
  5. Sometimes, but not always, a note may be added to clarify anything in the original text. Some examples include that the Act was revoked years later, or information not in the Act found during research.
  6. The Source of the Act is mandatory but not all sources have the same information. Sources in other languages should be translated in (parenthesis) after the original source name. Parts include: Author Name (last, first); Name of Source (book title, report title, website title); Publisher, Date. If the Source was accessed online, please note “Name of Website, Accessed online” at the end of the reference.
  7. The Translator’s Name is added after the Source.
  8. The date the Act was researched is added after the Translator’s Name.

8. Deconstructing Three Examples of Acceptable Acts, Each Marked With Numbers 1 to 8; and Samples of 5 Additional Official Anti-Jewish Acts through 2000

Here is a breakdown of the eight parts showing how each Official Anti-Jewish Act should be formatted before presenting it to us for review and payment. Followed by samples of 5 additional Official Anti-Jewish Acts through 2000.

A. Example 1

B. Example 2

C. Example 3

D. Samples of 5 Additional Official Anti-Jewish Acts through 2000

9. Compensation for Submitted and Accepted Acts

We have been paying per new non-Nazi-era Act found and accepted, and those interested should contact apriltheassistant@gmail.com ATTN: April at OAJA.info

Image of Compensation Chart

10. Methodology & Definitions

A. Methodology

The Methodology of this work changes from time to time as we learn more about Jewish discrimination around the globe and over several thousand years.

1. This book uses the following terms interchangeably:

  • Official Anti-Jewish Acts (OAJA)
  • Official Acts
  • Acts

2. Sourcing

  • Online books used as sources will not contain the link to the source (as links break, are taken down, or change), but the title of the work will be listed along with a note such as “Accessed online,” and date accessed.
  • The listing of sources, and the page numbers noted on various Acts sourced from books and other published works may vary by publisher and edition.
  • Although some Official Acts have been obtained from books, and they are sourced, the text of some Acts are sometimes summaries or paraphrases of the actual Official Act from a reputable archival document. Those archival documents may include, for example, the “Collection of all Ordinances issued in the Grand-Archduchy of Mecklenburg,” an archival document of the court library of Munich; “Collection of Ordinances in the Kingdom of Bavaria” on the State Archive of Bavaria website; or “Repertorium (Collection) of all Ordinances issued in the Archduchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz” digitized on the State Archive of Berlin website.
  • In such cases a researcher note will follow when we have obtained a summarized version or a paraphrase of an Official Act from one of these publications and not from the actual document itself. Reputable and respected publications include those from government archives, libraries, universities, historical societies, royal archives, papal archives and other sources to be determined.

3. Translators

  • The Language Translator’s name and date Researched/Translated are added when available.
  • Some translations in this work were done by non-certified translators.

4. Translations

This book’s English translations of Official Acts in other languages are usually of these basic types:

  • The as close as possible word for word translation of the original official source, which may vary by translator. 
  • Paraphrasing from original text – these are not direct translations but meant to smooth out language differences without losing the intent of the original text or Act.
  • Google Machine or other automated translation (machine translation [MT]). Some have said that such translations are about 80% accurate, depending on the algorithms of the software and the language translated. (Google itself noted: “Since the translations are generated by machines, not all translation will be perfect” according to its Google Translate About page, (Google accessed 12-9-14)).
  • The quality of translations can materially change or alter the meaning of words, ideas or concepts.

5. Rules for Accepting Official Anti-Jewish Acts

  • Each Act must have been created by government, military and church laws from ruling religions; Acts from these ruling institutions differ in name and type, but may include church canons, church bulls, patents, ordinances, writs, and final court decisions (such as those on the level of a country’s Supreme Court).
  • Acts must be Anti-Jewish on their face. Such Acts often limit the work, travel, congregation, earnings of Jews, but not others. Other such Acts cause Jews to pay more in official taxes or fines, or fees or punish Jews or expel them in excess of such punishments of others.
  • If the researcher needs to explain why the words of an Act are Anti-Jewish, that Act as written shouldn’t be in this project.

Acts that would not be included in this project

  • Acts that only refer to one Jew or a few Jews that seem to be based on specific facts applicable to a specific event or person(s).
  • A law banning Hebrew as a language in certain schools, unless it’s aim is Anti-Jewish.
  • Laws that are directed at Jews but on their face don’t seem specifically anti-Jewish. Examples are a law from 4/25/1850 regarding “the administration of oaths to Jews,” or a 5/4/1331 writ for the dukes to “enjoy the Jews” (depending on what enjoy means) as part of their privileges.
  • Acts that exclude Jews and others, such as a 1388 law stating that “Christians must not dwell within the quarters assigned to Jews and Moors…”; An oath in the 1776 Constitution of Maryland that required “…a declaration of his belief in the Christian religion.”
  • Acts that exclude “foreign” Jews and others within a country because it is not uncommon for foreigners to be banned from engaging in the same privileges granted citizens.

6. The term “Israeli” was used to refer to the Jewish people throughout history before the State of Israel was formally established in 1948. “The name Israel derives from the name given to Jacob…So, the names Israel, Israeli or Jewish refer to people of the same origin,” according to the Israel Science and Technology website on Sept. 8, 2020.

Other definitions for the term “Israeli,” according to multiple sources on Sept. 8, 2020, include: “a native or inhabitant of the republic of Israel…First Known Use of Israeli…1948” (merriam-webster.com); “A native or inhabitant of Israel, or a person of Israeli descent.” (lexico.com); “‘citizen of the state of Israel,’ 1948…It distinguishes the citizens of the modern state from the ancient people who had been known in English since 14c. as Israelites” (etymonline.com).

7. Given that some Official Acts are lengthy, for brevity, some of their content has been eliminated with the use of ellipses to denote Official text has been removed, while leaving the more pertinent Anti-Jewish components of such Acts.

8. Geography of Acts

  • It is difficult, if not impossible, to find Present-day equivalents of the geography of some older Acts. For example, the Holy Roman Empire and Prussia changed boundaries over the years. This project attempts to add the Present-day geographical equivalents to the Acts.
  • In many of the older Acts, this work quotes a Present-day country in brackets, but it is clear that over the years the geography of countries may have changed and sometimes the boundaries of a Present-day country is only an approximate outline of its previous borders.
  • During the time from BC to the present, countries and empires have risen and fallen, expanded and contracted. This work attempts to equate the geography of the acts when they happened to present-day countries whenever possible, although many Acts contain references to more than one present-day country. For counting purposes, each Act was counted only once even if there were several countries or areas listed by the researcher on the Act in bold brackets.

9. Nazi Era Acts

  • Nazi era, for this work is defined as beginning in 1919, when the German Workers’ Party was founded, and continues to the end of 1945, during which time Adolf Hitler reportedly committed suicide and German representatives surrendered on May 7, 1945.
  • This work at this time only includes Anti-Jewish Acts on the German national level since research on the British Library website has turned up references to approximately 2,000 Anti-Jewish Acts from this German period. However, local German Anti-Jewish Acts of exceptional note have been added on a case-by-case basis, and the extent of the Nazi acts used is unsettled.
  • National Nazi era Acts issued in German-occupied or controlled countries will be recorded as issued under German occupied rule but with the Occupied or controlled country, too. For example, Nazi Germany occupied Norway from 1940 until 1945 and Official Anti-Jewish Acts issued in that country were issued by a regime controlled by the Nazi Party, so the designation of that Act would be [Germany / Occupied Norway].
  • The term non-Aryan is ill-defined. Some believe that the term non-Aryan included many races, nationalities and religions, even though the Restoration of the Civil Service of April 7, 1933, passed by the Nazi regime defined non-Aryan “basically” as Jews. Official Acts that only reference non-Aryans have not been added to this work unless the word Jews or Israelis was specifically mentioned.

10. Font and Type Sizes, and Formatting

  • Font and size for the Acts are Arial 10.
  • The font size of the source material is 3 pts. smaller than the text of the Acts.

B. Definitions

As noted, Official Anti-Jewish Acts are Official Acts against Jews, (in some cases against Jews and others), that were in effect for at least a moment in time. Such Official Acts include, but are not limited to, government, military and church laws, proclamations, church canons, bulls, patents, ordinances, and final court decisions (such as those on the level of a country Supreme Court).”

Such Official Anti-Jewish Acts include:

  • “Announcements” of the Royal Court Chancellor’s Office (Hofkanzlei-Bescheid) – Hofkanzlei-Bescheid were announcements of official laws issued by the Royal Court Chancellor’s Office (“Hofkanzlei”) made by the ruler himself/herself or on his/her behalf. The “Hofkanzlei” was the main legal administrative office of royal rulers in German speaking countries, including Austria. In Austria, the Royal Court Chancellor’s Office could also function as the highest legal entity/court of law. (Please also see “Bescheid”) 
  • Bescheid – In administrative law, a “Bescheid” is a specific decision/notification/order issued by the administrative authority in either Germany or Austria which is to be followed by all legal entities (citizens/subjects). It is usually written in a specific form and can contain one or more administrative acts and/or regulations.
  • Canons – “An ecclesiastical rule or law enacted by a council or other competent authority and, in the Roman Catholic Church, approved by the pope.” (Dictionary.com, 5/28/2016)
  • Circulars (Circulare) – Official public announcements in written form. They could be used by the government to publicize laws, regulations, orders and/or new legal positions. Circulars were commonly used by governments during the 18th and 19th centuries, especially in and around Austria. 
  • Danish Chancellery – (Danish: Danske Kancelli) From 1665 to 1848, Denmark was an absolute monarchy, i.e., the king had unlimited power, unrestrained by courts, law, or any sort of parliament. During that time, the Danish Chancellery was the administrative and communications office for the king, and when it would respond to a petition or inquiry with a “rescript,” these formal letters, just as all other communications of the Chancellery, always represented the monarch and thus were the law of the land, without any option of appeal. 
  • Decrees – “An official order given by a person with power or by a government.” (Merriam-Webster.com, 5/28/2016)
  • Decretal – “A papal [of or relating to a pope or to the Roman Catholic Church] letter giving an authoritative decision on a point of canon law.” (Merriam-Webster.com, 10/1/2017)
  • Hofbescheid – A “Hofbescheid” was an order/announcement (“Bescheid”) of the Royal Court in German speaking territories (including Austria).  This could be an order/announcement issued by the ruler (king/emperor/prince) himself or on his behalf. “Hofbescheid” disappeared alongwith the ruling royal families in Europe. (Please also see “Bescheid.”
  • Intimation (German: ‘Intimat;’ Latin: ‘Intimatio’) – A public legal announcement usually in the form of a court notice, a summons (of one or more persons), or a subpoena.  An ‘Intimat’ was a legally binding order. 
  • Jewish-Privileges (‘Judenprivileg’) — Jewish-Privileges are historically known legal sources in which the civil liberties (and often restrictions) of Jews were determined and regulated in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period.  Please also see “Privileges.
  • Letter/Writ of Protection (Schutzbrief) –  Official documents/letters given to selective Jews which permitted them to settle in a certain territory and to enjoy a number of privileges — usually in exchange for large payments in the form of taxes or liens.
  • Liber PoeNintentialis – “[A] book with Christian codes of canons relating to penance and their imposition.  The rules contained in this book are similar to the canons that were issued during the ‘Councils/Synods’ of certain cities during the Roman Empire and later in the Holy Roman Empire.” 
  • Maiestas Carolina (Majesty Carolina) – “Legal code issued by Charles IV to govern Bohemia.” 
  • Ordinance – “A law or regulation made by a city or town government.” (Merriam-Webster.com, 5/28/2016)
  • Modern Day – Some Official Anti-Jewish Acts come from regions that no longer exist and when that happens, we add a modern day country or countries that roughly equate to the region of the original country/geography where the Act existed.
  • Papal Bull – A formal proclamation issued by the Catholic pope. “So called because a lead bulla or seal was attached to the Pope’s edict by a cord.” (Dictionary.com, 5/28/2016)
  • Patents/Edict of Tolerations (Toleranzpatent) – Patents of tolerations were official laws passed by a number of the Habsburg and/or Roman Emperors/Empresses. These usually contained a number of privileges for non-catholics, particularly Jews, but contained very serious restrictions as well. 
  • Penitent book – A book of code of canons relating to penance, its imposition etc. A penitent book could technically pertain to any church – but in the Middle Ages referred to a book of canons of the Catholic church. 
  • Privileges (law) – Privileges refer to the entitlement of a set of privileges/laws (which could also include restrictions) given to a certain group by a state government or ruler — often on a conditional basis which could be revoked anytime.  Etymologically, privilege — or Latin “privilegium” — refer to laws relating to individuals or a specific group. 
  • Proclamation – A public announcement of a rule, law or advisory. This book adds proclamations that create a law.
  • Regesta – Official, historical (Papal) letters and documents from the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period; or publications containing such documents commonly kept in chronological order with essential summaries of important passages. In English, they are also often referred to as a “calendar.”
  • Regierungsbescheid – A “Regierungsbescheid” is a order/announcement (“Bescheid”) of the government in German speaking domains (including Austria).  (Please also see “Bescheid.”
  • Rescript – (latin: rescriptum) – An official rule of law or announcement by a monarch or (Roman-Catholic) church. It could be issued by the head of the state as a response to a formal inquiry or in order to clarify a point of law –sometimes after formal consultation with the magistrate. In cannon law, it could be the ad hoc reply of a pope to a specific question or canon law. In German, “Reskript” is known as an “official decision/announcement,” an “administrative act,” or “legal order.” 
  • Royal Ordinance – Ordinances issued by “heads of states,” Lords, or royals who held reign over a special territory. 
  • Seemingly Solid Reference – These are references that may not come from a direct Official source, but from an Official historical publication (such as The Persecution of the Jews in the Roman Empire (300-428), by James Everett Seaver or The History of the Jews of Spain and Portugal, by Elias H. Lindo) where it was mentioned by a historian or in a collection of Acts from a reliable source.
  • “Tolerance” Licences – Permits given to certain Jews – mostly in return for a substantial (annual/special) payment/taxes. Tolerance licences were issued by (royal courts of any) German speaking country – though often by the Austrian royal court. 
  • Toleranzpatent – The term “Toleranzpatent” or “Toleranz-Circulare” describes a German-language royal decree or edict issued by the emperor Joseph II (October 13, 1781). (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek – InfoDesk, 5/31/16)
  • Ukase – A ukase, or ukaz (Russian for “imposition”), in Imperial Russia, was a proclamation of the tsar, government, or a religious leader (patriarch) that had the force of law. “Edict” and “decree” are adequate translations using the terminology and concepts of Roman law. 
  • Writ – A “formal order under seal, issued in the name of a sovereign, government, court, or other competent authority, enjoining the officer or other person to whom it is issued or addressed to do or refrain from some specified act.” (Dictionary.com, updated 8/6/2020
  • Würfelzoll – A “dice-tax” was a special Jewish “Leibzoll” (“body tax”) in the Middle Ages that lasted all the way up to the 17th century.
  • Zollordnung – The closest translation would be “Toll/Customs Ordinance.” 

C. Disclaimer

Probably Never 100% Complete

  • Given that this work covers several thousand years of history, it’s improbable that all of the documentation about Official Anti-Jewish Acts have survived, or will be found. Therefore, this work will probably never be 100% complete. However, we will continue to look for Acts from the beginning of time through Dec. 31, 2000.

We are always interested in your thoughts about our project. Please send them to apriltheassistant@gmail.com ATTN: April at OAJA.info