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Stigmatizing bureaucracy

The name change becomes official

“I hereby dutifully report that the above-mentioned four persons will as of January 1st, 1939 bear the additional first names ‘Sara’ resp. ‘Israel’ in accordance with legal requirements.”

Schwandorf, Bavaria

On August 17th, a provision was added to the Law on Alteration of Family and Personal Names, forcing German Jews to identify themselves as Jews by adding the name “Sara” or “Israel” to their given names. This provision was slated to come into effect on January 1st, 1939. The registry office in charge and local police were to be notified of the implementation of the provision until the end of January. This notification by the Friedmann family, dated December 21st, 1938, to the local police authorities in Schwandorf, Bavaria, falls into this context. It also communicates that the registry offices in charge have been notified of the imminent name changes of Amalie, Bruno, Lillian and Georg Friedmann.


on the days before