People’s law. – The law on marital status (Personenstandgesetz) of November 3, 1937 is important as it governs the documentation of events relating to marital status, such as birth, marriage, death.
Means of prevention against generations affected by hereditary diseases offers the law of July 14, 1933 (with the amendments of June 26, 1935 and February 4, 1936), which admits sterilization for a series of hereditary mental illnesses, for serious transmissible bodily deformities and more in case of severe alcoholism. This is ordered, on the proposal of the person affected by these diseases or of certain civil bodies, by the court for the health of the progeny (Erbgesundheitsgericht); it is to be distinguished from the castration of habitual offenders introduced as a security measure.
Family law. – The law for the welfare of youth (Jugendzwohlfahrtgesetz) of 9 July 1922 forms the basis for the care, carried out by public bodies, of young people whose education is not sufficiently guaranteed by the family. Protective judicial surveillance and coercive education are means of this education. The youth office (Jugendamt) is by law the guardian of all biological children. The law of July 15, 1921 regulates the religious education of minors.
The law of November 23, 1933 provides for any abuses in the conclusion of marriage and adoption. To complete the provisions of the BGB. on matrimonial nullities, the marriage, contracted exclusively or above all in order to make it possible for the wife to use the husband’s surname, is also voidable, without the consortium omnis vitae (so-called Namensehe) having to be created. Under certain conditions, the subsequent amnesty of nullity is possible. The action for nullity can only be brought by the Public Prosecutor (Staatsanwalt). Furthermore, the law is concerned with preventing the conclusion of adoption contracts (Adoptionsverträge), insofar as they are irreconcilable with the essence of this institute or are contrary to the interest of the adopter’s family or of the community. The list of matrimonial impediments and causes of nullity of marriage has been greatly expanded by means of the law for the protection of German blood and honor (Blutschutzgesetz) of 15 September 1935, with the relative first regulation of 14 November 1936, and by means of the law for the protection of the hereditary health care of the German people (Ehegesundheitsgesetz) of October 18, 1935, with the relative first regulation of November 29, 1935 In these laws the direct and impeding impediments are determined, connected with the diversity of race – in relation to the danger that can arise to the German people from the introduction of Jewish blood or of inferior races – and the bilateral impediments to defective marriage health, as well as the juridical consequences of their non-observance. The possible nullity of a marriage contracted against the prohibition can be asserted only on the basis of an action brought by the Public Prosecutor. The law on the modification and completion of the provisions of family law (and on the legal situation of stateless persons) of 12 April 1938, with the relative regulation of 23 April 1938, it creates the possibility of the dissolution of the matrimonial impediments of affinity. The law also brings a significant new regulation in the field of the annulment of legitimacy, while. in order to avoid injustices and blatant violations of the personal status, it expands the possibility of cancellation based on the law in force up to now and adds cancellation by the Public Prosecutor. Further provisions are related to the ascertainment of descent by means of hereditary and racist medical research, the declaration of legitimacy and its revocation, the amnesty of formal defects in the adoption and the judicial revocation of the adoption. in order to avoid injustices and blatant violations of the personal status, it expands the possibility of cancellation based on the law in force up to now and adds cancellation by the Public Prosecutor. Further provisions are related to the ascertainment of descent by means of hereditary and racist medical research, the declaration of legitimacy and its revocation, the amnesty of formal defects in the adoption and the judicial revocation of the adoption. in order to avoid injustices and blatant violations of the personal status, it expands the possibility of cancellation based on the law in force up to now and adds cancellation by the Public Prosecutor. Further provisions are related to the ascertainment of descent by means of hereditary and racist medical research, the declaration of legitimacy and its revocation, the amnesty of formal defects in the adoption and the judicial revocation of the adoption.
Hereditary law. – Who according to the provisions of the law of 14 July 1933 has been declared devoid of German citizenship, cannot, under the law on inheritance limitations for antisocial behavior of 5 November 1937, acquire mortis causa from a German citizen: so can his spouse and his children, if they too have lost their citizenship. According to the same law, a testator of German nationality and of German or similar blood (artverwandt) can deprive a descendant under the same conditions, if he has contracted a mixed marriage, prohibited by law or not administratively authorized for reasons of diversity of race.
Law of obligations. – The aforementioned law of November 5, 1937 prohibits German citizens from donating to those who have lost their citizenship due to antisocial behavior and to their families, if the loss of citizenship also affects them. The law of May 16, 1894 establishes some protective provisions for non-traders on sales with payment by installments. The Reich, the Länder and other public corporations are liable for failures committed by their employees in the fulfillment of their office obligations (Reich law of 22 May 1910; Prussian law of 10 August 1909; Article 131 of the 1919 constitution). Liability for accidents is made more or less independent of the element of fault in the law of 7 June 1871 (Eisenbahn – Haftpflichtgesetz), in the law of 3 May 1909 (Kraftfahrzeuggesetz) and in the law of 10 August 1922 (Luftverkehrsgesetz, text of 21 August 1936), relating, respectively, to railway liability, mechanical traction vehicles and air transport. On the service contract, as well as on the lease, there are numerous special laws.
Property rights. – The real estate decree of January 15, 1919 (Erbbauverordnung) improved the legal position of the superficial.
According to Itypemba, the preservation of the “peasant state as the source of life of the German people” and the “protection of farms from mortgage overloads and divisions by succession” is the aim of the law of September 29, 1933 (Reichserbhofgesetz). For this reason, every landed property exploited for agricultural or woodland economy, which is sufficient to support a family but does not exceed the surface of 125 hectares, is a “hereditary farm” (Erbhof), if it belongs to a person capable of being a farmer; “farmer” can be any honest German citizen of German or related blood. The hereditary farm is in principle inalienable and non-mortgageable: it is transmitted to the next heirs in a different way from the rest of the farmer’s property, according to special rules established by law. In execution and completion of the law, the regulation of 21 December 1936 (Erbhofrechtsverordnung) was issued.
In the field of law concerning mining and fishing, the many laws of the former German Länder are still in force today; now a national law on mining law is being prepared (Reichsberggesetz). The right to hunt was regulated in a uniform manner by the hunting law (Reichsjagügesetz) of 10 July 1934 (extended on 29 July 1936 and amended by law 23 April 1938) and by the relative regulation of 27 March 1935 (text of the regulations 24 June 1936, February 5, 1937 and April 25, 1938)
Rights on intangible assets. – The patent law (Patentgesetz) of May 5, 1936, which took the place of the law of April 7, 1891 (new text of December 7, 1923), is distinguished, like the previous one, by the fact that for it the inventions are subject to a thorough preliminary examination by the highly competent patent office before the patent is agreed, which is valid for 18 years. However, the patent owner’s right of exclusive disposal has its limitations: § 8 of the new law does not allow the validity of the patent, if the invention is to be used, by order of the Reich government, in the interest of the popular community (Volksgemeinschaft). The procedure for granting patents was simplified with the law of April 9, 1938. Alongside this, the law of May 5, 1936 (Gebrauchsmustergesetz) protects “models of work tools or objects of use”, insofar as they must serve the their purpose “in a new form, arrangement or device” without subjecting them to a special preliminary examination, for three years after registration with the patent office; an extension for three years is possible. According to the law of 11 January 1870 (Geschmacksmustergesetz) the right “to copy in whole or in part a sample or industrial model” lasts from one to three years after registration in the model register (Musterregister); however this period can be extended up to 15 years. The “works of figurative art or photography” are instead protected from imitations, without the need for registration, by the law for the protection of works of art (Kunstschutzgesetz) of 9 January 1907, for a duration fixed by the law of 13 December 1934 in 50 years after the author’s death; being instead of photographs, for 10 years from their production. The copyright of literary and musical works is guaranteed by the law of 19 July 1901 (now also for 50 years from the author’s death); the legal relationships between the author of a literary or musical work and the publisher are governed by the law on editorial property (Verlagsgesetz) of June 19, 1901. This series is completed by the law against unfair competition, of June 7, 1909, whose § 1 expresses itself in a general and comprehensive sentence: “Whoever undertakes in the commercial field for the purpose of competition actions contrary to morality, can be forced to abandon this activity and pay damages “. Trademarks are protected (law 5 May 1936) by being registered in a special register (Zeichenrolle).