Leipzig (Jul. 12)
The anti-Semitic “hate prayers” introduced into the public schools of Thuringia by the National Socialist minister of education, Dr. Wilhelm Frick, were yesterday declared unconstitutional and prohibited by the State Tribunal here, the highest court in Germany. This decision is a severe set-back to the National Socialists in Thuringia. The matter of the prayers had been raised in the Reichstag and Jews and others who saw in them a violation of the German constitution had also protested.
M. Bumke, president of the State Tribunal, explained that the prayers hurt the feelings of people holding different convictions, because they contain anti-Semitic utterances which degrade the Jews by calling them “the people’s betrayers.” M. Bumke, whose position is similar to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in the United States, pointed out in his decision that the anti-Semitic spirit of the prayers in the schools is transferred to the homes.
In the course of his interrogation on behalf of the Federal government, M. Zweigert, state secretary for constitutional political affairs, declared that the prayers poison the minds of the youth of Thuringia by accusing the Jews of treason, and infringe on the constitution. M. Zweigert said that the Jews were not the traitors but that Frick was a traitor.
The noted theologian and lecturer on Catholicism, Professor Eger, testified that the prayers corrupt the sense of higher devotion.
The prayers were introduced last May and were directed against “aliens to our race, the Jews who demoralize the German people.” The prayers called on the “Lord to protect us from people of a foreign element.” When the prayers were first framed the So-