Under the legal and administrative system of Nazi Germany, people categorized as Fremdvölkische (literally, "foreign people") were subject to special laws that restricted their rights, limited their protection under the law, and exposed them to extraordinary legal sanctions and brutal, extralegal police actions. These special laws, one of the central constitutional principles of the Third Reich, applied to Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, non-Europeans: anyone perceived as different or racially inferior, whether German citizens or not.
In "Non-Germans" under the Third Reich, legal scholar Diemut Majer traces the establishment and evolution of these laws from the beginnings of the Third Reich through the administration of annexed and occupied eastern territories during the war. Drawing extensively on German archival sources as well as on previously unexplored material from Poland and elsewhere in eastern Europe, Majer shows with chilling detail how the National Socialist government maintained a superficial legal continuity from the Weimar Republic while expanding the legal definition of Fremdvölkische, ultimately giving itself legal sanction for the Holocaust. Replete with revealing quotations from secret decrees, instructions, orders, and reports, this major work of scholarship offers a sobering assessment of the theory and practice of law in Nazi Germany.