doctrine embodied in the Rassengesetze (Nuremberg
racial law) of 1935 defined "Aryan" as a person whose
paternal and maternal grandparents belonged to the "Aryan"
race. Members of the elite Nazi SS corps had to document
their "Aryan" ancestry to the period before Germany
emancipated Jews in 1850. In pursuit of this policy, Germans
searched church records and archives for evidence to prove
their racially pure heritage.
at Cologne received this October 14, 1936, cover that
contained documents and research materials from the Church
Community at Wolfsburg.
Wolfsburg is a city built by the Nazis adjacent to historic
Fallersleben in Lower Saxony, a residential community for
Volkswagen factory workers. The cancel commemorates
Fallersleben as the home of August Heinrich Hoffman von
Fallersleben, who wrote the lyrics of Germany's national
anthem Das Lied der Deutschen in 1941. His
opening line "Deutschland, Deutschland
alles" [Germany, Germany above all"] became notorious as
an expression of Nazi triumphalism, although its original
context had a liberal connotation.