How did the Germans know who was Jewish?

The Germans arrive in some desolate russian town. They & Einsatzgruppen want to kill all the Jews, so how do they know who is Jewish?


I can’t speak for Russian territory but I image the census of captured nations was a big help. Each citizen is required to be counted and your religion is part of it. They would know who you are, where you live, where you work and how many in your family there are.


It was known that the Germans used many techniques to out people of the Jewish faith. It could be as simple as their names, to the way they dressed, what businesses they owned and seeing who went to the synagogue. Then there were other less savoury methods from interrogation, relying on informants, torture and threats of death. Germans were also known to pay local citizenry to turn in Jewish people as well.

It is important to note as well many people distrusted Jews and it was no big stretch for Jews to be turned in by their neighbours and friends as well.


The jewish people already lives in ghetto before the nazis. In Austria the Catholic church make false baptismal documents and the nazis does not discover. Ok in Austria and Hungary the jewish people was part of the society (many “Von” in Austria - a dignity title like Sir- and in Hungary many owners of industries were jews. In USSR was different, in the Baltic States they lived in ghettos, in Russia depends of collaborationist and another kind of low people (including many jews -the judenrats, the kaapoes, etc-). Remember in Russia they suffered progroms by the cossacs. Well the last name in german was a signal for the nazis because the yiddish deformation, : -man in german in yidish becames mann, etc

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