The Nazi Document

The Nazi Document
Preparations for our wedding included getting the right papers and certificates together, which in my case was not so easy, because I was born in Japan. It took a while to overcome practical issues like a self addressed envelop with sufficient (Japanese) stamps, but the officials were helpful and I got my birth certificate in beautiful Japanese calligraphy. In order to get an authorised translation from the Japanese embassy however, I needed an additional document for the spelling of  my and my parents names which were written down phonetically in Japanese characters.

Clara Jaeckel, showing her grandparents "Familienbuch" as updated by the Amsterdam Registrar with the inscription of a gay mariage 
© An Stalpers http://www.fotografica-nijmegen.nl/

Clara Jaeckel, showing the "Familienbuch" of her grandparents , as just updated by the Amsterdam Registrar, with the inscription of our gay marriage.
© An Stalpers http://www.fotografica-nijmegen.nl

My eldest brother in the USA had the official family registry book, in which each birth of us five siblings was officially registered. We asked him to send it to us and when the book arrived I was relieved to be able to cross this issue off our list.
Marieke, however, started reading the document which turned out to be a Nazi document. It was issued in 1937 when my parents married and had an elaborate section on “the role of the family in racial hygiene”. The state had an important role in racial hygiene the book stated, but so did the families.  There was an extensive introduction on the duties of starting an Arian family with many healthy children and keeping it “clean”. You were to document your family as far back as possible, but the book also held space to register the marriage of each of your children.

© An Stalpers http://www.fotografica-nijmegen.nl/

The inscription of our marriage in the Nazi document.
© An Stalpers http://www.fotografica-nijmegen.nl

My nieces were to return this book to my brother. When leaving the room at our wedding ceremony I looked back to see my niece Clara talking to the municipal official who had performed our wedding. Later I understood that she had asked him to enter our names and our marriage into this section of our Family Registry Book, complete with the Amsterdam municipal seal and his signature. So now the family owns a document that starts with Nazi indoctrination and ends with the official certification of a same sex marriage, truly a historic document.