Reich Courts Differ on Application of Racial Laws

German courts, it appeared today from press reports of their decisions, cannot agree on enforcement of the Nuremberg racial laws.

Their confusion was revealed in two conflicting decisions handed down in two cases involving the same principle and almost identical circumstances. In both cases Jews who had been discharged by their employers simply because they are Jews sued for compensation. And in both cases, too, the employers explained that they had been forced to dismiss the Jews since they wished to display “Aryan” business signs and were refused permission to do so by the Labor Front’s district offices unless they discharged their Jewish employes.

A labor court in Frankfurt-am-Main rejected the application of the discharged Jewish employe, who had served the firm fourteen years, ruling that it was “in the interest of the firm to display the sign.” On the other hand the labor court at Oberhausen ruled for the employe despite the employer’s plea that the district office of the Labor Front had demanded the discharge of the Jew. The court ruled that the Labor Front does not have the authority to order the dismissal of Jews and that Jews may not be dismissed solely on the ground of their Jewishness and that, furthermore, such dismissals violate the warning by Economics Minister Dr. Hjalmar Schacht and Propaganda Minister Paul Joseph Goebbels against molesting Jews in commerce.

The employer’s argument in this latter case that the situation has been changed by the Nuremberg laws, was answered by the court with the retort that these laws so far affect only citizenship and do not have any bearing on employment in commercial fields.

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