The Nürnberger Gesetze
or Nuremberg Laws were signed into effect by Hitler in 1935, codifying the racist classification of who the Nazis considered Jewish, and restricting the rights of German Jews in a whole spectrum of ways. The laws are monumental as examples of the power of the modern state used as an implacable force to deny rights and destroy people.
An original four page copy of the laws, with Hitler's signature, was found in 1945 by a Jewish U.S. Army officer under the command of General George S. Patton. Patton took them back to California. This was in violation of a directive which ordered U.S. soldiers to hand over any evidence or documents to superiors for use in making the prosecution case against the Nazis, many of whom were tried after the war at, ironically, Nuremberg.
While on leave as the war in Europe was ending, Patton gave the documents to the Huntington Library
, located near where he lived in San Marino. (The library's founder had helped Patton get into West Point many years before).
He then returned to Germany, and was killed in an accident in December 1945. The documents remained with the Huntington Library until this year, when they were handed over to the U.S. National Archives in August. The story of the officer who found the documents is fascinating too
. Below, the final page of the documents with Hitler's signature.