The part of a person's name which refers to the individual, not the individual's family.

In "Western" cultures, this is also often known as the first name.

On August 17, 1938 the German Reichstag passed a law1 requiring that German Jews be given only names that were listed as 'Jewish' by the directives of the Reich Ministry of the Interior, thus effectively forbidding Jews to take 'Aryan' names. The law also required all living German Jews whose given names were not listed as 'approved' given names to assume an additional given name. The order came into effect on January 1st, 1939.

For females, the required additional given name was Sara. For males, the required name was Israel.

This law was followed by the much more infamous "Police Decree Concerning the Marking of Jews" which established the law requiring Jews to wear Star of David badges in public.

The Ministry of the Interior's list of approved "Jewish" given names follows below.

Male First Names:

  • Abimelech, Ahasver, Anschel
  • Bachja, Barak, Baruch
  • Chaggai, Chajin, Chananja
  • Denny
  • Ehud, Eisig
  • Faleg, Feibisch, Feitel
  • Gedalja
  • Hemor, Henoch
  • Isidor, Itzig
  • Jakusiel, Jiftach, Jomteb
  • Kaleb, Korach
  • Laban, Leiser
  • Machol, Menachem, Mosche, Moses
  • Naftali, Nissi, Nochem
  • Oscher
  • Pinchas, Pinkus
  • Rachmiel
  • Sallum, Salusch, Schalom, Schnur
  • Teit, Tewele
  • Uria
  • Zedek, Zephania

Female First Names:

  • Abigail
  • Baile, Breine, Brocha
  • Chana, Cheicha, Chinke
  • Deiche, Driesel
  • Egele
  • Feigle, Fradchen
  • Gaugel, Ginendel
  • Hadasse, Hitzel
  • Jachel, Jezabel
  • Keile
  • Libsche
  • Machle, Milkele
  • Nacha
  • Peirche, Pesse, Pessel
  • Rebekka, Rechel, Reitzsche
  • Scharne, Scheindel, Schlaemche
  • Tana, Treibel
  • Zilla, Zimle, Zipora

  1. The Second Decree for the Implementation of the Law Regarding Changes of Family Names and Given Names, one of a series of decrees implementing aspects of the Nuremberg Laws. In German it was the Zweite Verordnung zur Durchführung des Gesetzes über die Änderung von Familiennamen und Vornamen. The decree was signed by Wilhelm Frick.

Sources: Numerous Holocaust websites in English and German (as absurdly translated by Babelfish).

Disclaimer: I just learned about this as an aside in church today. If you have more or contradictory information, please let me know.

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