Warsaw (Sep. 25)
Found guilty of “wilful insult” to Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler, Nahum Halberstadt, Polish Jewish dealer in chemicals and laboratory supplies, was today sentenced to eight months imprisonment.
Packed with eager spectators, the courtroom was in a turmoil when the verdict was handed down.
Article III of the Criminal Code, which makes it a crime to insult the head of a friendly nation, provides maximum sentence of three years. But the court in passing sentence declared that it took into consideration extenuating circumstances, namely, the fact that Halberstadt “acted under provocation,” and also that he was never before arraigned in a court.
Halberstadt’s alleged slur on Hitler was contained in a letter written by him to a German chemical concern in 1933. On an inquiry from the German firm as to why he had broken off dealing with them, Halberstadt answered that he would not purchase good made in Germany “as long as Hitler and his mob rule the country.
German postal authorities intercepted the letter, and following its submission to the Foreign Office, representations were made to the Polish Government.
Halberstadt was today permitted to go free in the custody of his attorney, Alexander Margolis, pending an appeal to a higher court.