Upper Silesian Jew Held on “rassenschande” Charge

What is believed to be a clear case of violation of national minority rights in Upper Silesia, as guaranteed by the League of Nations, occurred today in the town of Grottkau where Egon Gabiel, a Jew, was arrested on a charge of “rassenschande” (race pollution).

The Nuremberg laws, of which the “rassenschande” law is a part, are understood not to be applicable to Upper Silesia, which is a plebiscite area under the juridsidction of the League of Nations. In that respect they are classed in the same category as the “Aryan Paragraph,” which the League of Nations in the famous Franz Bernheim case of two years ago decided should not be applied in Upper Silesia. Although the Third Reich is totally divorced from the League of Nations, its resignation having become effective Oct. 21, she must still observe national minority rights under a Polish-German treaty sanctioned by the League.

The Upper Silesian Mixed Commission, under the chairmanship of Felix Calonder of Switzerland is still under the obligation of watching that Germany does not violate national minority rights in that territory.

Gabiel is being held in a Brieg jail on charges of maintaining relations with an “Aryan” girl. His case, it is believed, will develop into a test of the applicability of the Nuremberg laws to Upper Silesia.

Not long after the Hitler regime came into power and the “Aryan Paragraph” was promulgated, anti-Jewish measures began to be applied in Upper Silesia. Franz Bernheim, a Jewish citizen of the territory, submitted a petition to the League of Nations in which he charged that the German Government was dismissing Jews from governmental service on the basis of the “Aryan Paragraph.”

Bernheim’s petition was upheld by the League and as a result Germany was instructed to cease her dismissals of Jews from civil service posts. Although Germany promised to observe national minority rights with respects to the Jews of Upper Silesia, the promise has never been strictly deserved.

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