My Mischling Family

A particularly unpleasant occurrence

This is how Joseph Goebbels described Mischlinge. It is also the title of the book I’m writing about my Mischling Oma’s life in Nazi Berlin.
My Oma, Susanne, and her brother
in Bad Dürkheim, c.1932

According to the 1935 Nuremberg Laws, a child born to one Jewish and one ‘Aryan’ parent was called a Mischling. The term can be translated into English as something like ‘mongrel’ – essentially a derogatory term for a ‘mixed’ child. There were different levels of Mischlinge, depending, for example, on whether the child was active in the Jewish community, or had been baptised, or on whether the mother or father was the Jewish parent. My Oma (my mum’s mum), Susanne Schwarz, was categorised as a Mischling ersten Grades – a ‘first degree’ Mischling

  • Small acts of kindness
    Doing this research is hard. Reading my Oma’s diaries and memoirs can be pretty depressing, and the more I learn about the whole period, the bleaker it seems. My family – although temporarily exempted from the mass deportations of Jews – lived under harsh restrictions, with increasingly meagre food rations … More My Mischling FamilyRead more
  • Onkel Fritz
    January 27th is Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK – in 2020 it marks 75 years to the day since Auschwitz-Birkenau, the Nazi’s largest concentration camp, was liberated. The theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is ♯StandTogether and the organisers are encouraging people to take part online, by sharing … More My Mischling FamilyRead more
  • Oma and the Rosenstrasse Protests
    My Oma (my mum’s mum) kept diaries for most of her life and we recently found a whole box of them in our attic. Her diaries are the type I’ve always wanted to be able to keep up – notes of what she did each day, with a couple of … More My Mischling FamilyRead more

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