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On This Day in History: October 5

On October 5, 1938, the Reich Ministry of the Interior invalidated all German passports held by Jews. The move was taken in response to a request not from inside Germany, but from Switzerland. Like many other industrialized nations, Switzerland was experiencing an influx of asylum requests from German Jews. On October 5, German Jews were forced to surrender their old passports. The German government then mandated that all Jewish passports in Germany be stamped with a red “J.” The action further isolated German Jews and perpetuated their oppression.

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