Berlin (Feb. 23)
The German Supreme Court, the Reichsgericht, sitting at Leipzig, has quashed another sentence against a Hitlerist agitator found guilty, by a lower court of antisemitic incitement.
The Cologne District Court had fined the editor of the local Hitlerist paper, the “Westdeutscher Beobachter”, one Joseph Grohe, a sum of 300 Marks for writing there that the Jews are a criminal race, who in obedience to the Talmud practise ritual murders, fraud and perjury, and drink Christian blood in order to become reconciled to the Jewish God.
The Reichsgericht has on appeal quashed the sentence, finding that Grohe cannot be convicted because he did not know that the ritual murder allegation is designed to arouse enmity against a certain class of the community.
Dr. Theodor Wolff, the famous editor of the “Berliner Tageblatt” drew attention the other day to the tendency of the Reichsgericht to quash sentences passed on antisemites by the lower courts. The German courts, and above all the Reichsgericht, the highest court of all, he wrote, have been dangerously infected by Hitlerism, and have been encouraged by the growth of Hitlerist strength to allow their dogmatic antisemitism to overrule the principle of abstract justice, introducing definite anti-Jewish bias in their judgments. He instanced as a particularly flagrant example the quashing by the Reichsgericht of the sentence against a number of antisemites for libelling the Jews of Hischberg and Witten by alleging that they were engaged in a systematic campaign of infecting thousands of German girls with venereal diseases, and that Jewish employers were systematically corrupting their women employees. The Reichsgericht based the acquittal on the ground that there was no libel against individual Jews of Hirschberg and Witten, but that the charge had been made against all Jewry, which cannot bring a legal action as individuals can. Future generations will consider such decisions on a level with those of the dark days of the Middle Ages, Dr. Wolff commented.