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Was everyone expected to carry identification on their person at all times in Germany after 1938 or only the Jews?

Certain groups (notably draft-age German males) had to apply for a Kennkarte, but did they have to carry it? Compare the present-day Personalausweis rules in Germany

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    Where have you looked? Does this help? Wikipedia Kennkarte Nov 6 '21 at 7:55
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    – MCW
    Nov 6 '21 at 10:35
  • @LarsBosteen, certain other groups (notably draft-age German males) had to apply for a Kennkarte, but did they have to carry it? Compare the present-day Personalausweis rules in Germany
    – o.m.
    Nov 6 '21 at 10:35
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Was everyone expected to carry identification on their person at all times in Germany after 1938 or only the Jews?

No, all together only 3 groups of persons were required to have a Kennkarte.

The conditions under which they were required to present the Kennkarte were different.

For all 3 groups there to was no requirement to carry identification on their person at all times.

These groups (and conditions) were defined in the First, Second and Third announcement of the compulsory ID cards requirement. July 23, 1938:

  • Male German citizens have within the last three months before reaching the age of 18 (entry into compulsory military service)
    • to be shown on request [of proof of identity] via their identity card.
  • German citizens over 15 years of age may only be issued ID cards [for border zone areas and excursion traffic] (Section 69 of the passport announcement of June 7, 1932 - Reichsgesetzbl. I p. 257) from January 1, 1939 if they present a valid ID card.
  • Jews (Section 5 of the First Ordinance on the Reich Citizenship Act of November 14, 1935 - Reichsgesetzbl. I p. 1333) who are German citizens, with reference to their status as Jews, are required to apply for an identification card issued by the competent police authority by December 31, 1938.
    • As soon as they have received an identification card, Jews (§ 1) must, without being asked, indicate their status as Jews in applications they address to official or party official agencies, and state their identification number and location of their identification card or, if the applications are made orally, unsolicited present their identification card. The same applies to any kind of inquiries and submissions that Jews address to official or party official agencies, as well as to reporting to the police.

After the introduction of rationing (1939-08-27), there was no formal requirements for a Kennkarte stated in the relevant regulations.


  • 22. Juli 1938 (Reichsgesetzblatt, Teil I 1938, S. 913-915)
    • 23. Juli 1938 (Reichsgesetzblatt, Teil I, 1938, S. 921-922)
      • Erste, Zweite und Dritte Bekanntmachung über den Kennkartenzwang. Vom 23. Juli 1938.
        • Männliche deutsche Staatsangehörige haben innerhalb der letzten drei Monate vor Vollendung ihres 18. Lebensjahrs (Eintritt in das Wehrpflichtverhältnis)
        • Deutschen Staatsangehörigen über 15 Jahre dürfen die im kleinen Grenzverkehr und im Ausflugsverkehr eingeführten Ausweise (§ 69 der Paßbekanntmachung vom 7. Juni 1932 – Reichsgesetzbl. I S. 257) vom 1. Januar 1939 ab nur ausgestellt werden, wenn sie eine gültige Kennkarte vorlegen.
        • Juden (§ 5 der Ersten Verordnung zum Reichsbürgergesetz vom 14. November 1935 – Reichsgesetzbl. I S. 1333), die deutsche Staatsangehörige sind, haben unter Hinweis auf ihre Eigenschaft als Jude bis zum 31. Dezember 1938 bei der zuständigen Polizeibehörde die Ausstellung einer Kennkarte zu beantragen.
          • Juden (§ 1) haben, sobald sie eine Kennkarte erhalten haben, bei Anträgen, die sie an amtliche oder parteiamtliche Dienststellen richten, unaufgefordert auf ihre Eigenschaft als Jude hinzuweisen sowie Kennort und Kennummer ihrer Kennkarte anzugeben oder, falls die Anträge mündlich gestellt werden, unaufgefordert ihre Kennkarte vorzulegen. Das gleiche gilt für jede Art von Anfragen und Eingaben, die Juden an amtliche oder parteiamtliche Dienststellen richten, sowie bei der polizeilichen Meldung.

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