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Judy Scales-Trent - Human Rights Quarterly (May 2001) Hearing the federal government address so casually the notion of "racial purity" in the United States is frightening, for that discussion leads ineluctably to theories of "racial purity" in Nazi Germany, and the role this concept played in the destruction of millions of lives. Is there a relationship between US notions of "race" and Nazi concepts of racial purity? Is there a core of sameness within the two theories? If there are similarities, how do they manifest themselves? If our country does have profound ideological similarities with Nazi Germany, the paradigmatic outlaw country, what are the implications for US self-identity and self-understanding? This article will explore these questions through a comparison of the racial purity laws in both countries focusing on Jews in Nazi Germany and blacks in the United States. The comparison will suggest an answer to that question. It will also allow us to see the underlying structural framework of legal systems of racial purity.