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Jew Becomes Acting President of Germany’s Supreme Tribunal

Dr. Rudolf Katz, a Jew who spent the war years in the United States, has become Acting President of the Supreme Constitutional Court at Karisruhe, West Germany’s highest tribunal, following the death of Chief Justice Hermann Hoepker-Aschoff.

Until a new Chief Justice is chosen by the German Parliament–and that may not be for some time–Dr. Katz will be the top jurist of a court which has been invested with more authority than any other in the history of Germany.

Dr. Katz, who is 59, was born at Falkenberg, Pomerania, in a family which gave a number of rabbis to German Jewry. Since his return to Germany six years ago, however, he has taken no interest in Jewish affairs and has not affiliated himself with the Jewish community.

In pre-Hitler Germany, Dr. Katz was a Social Democratic leader and fled when the Nazis came to power. In the United States, where he lived from 1935 to 1946, Dr. Katz was editor of the German-language Socialist newspaper “Neue Folkszeitung.” He returned to Germany in 1947 to become Minister of Justice in Schleswig-Holstein and in 1950 was elected vice-president of the Supreme Court.

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