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Jews May Change Jewish-sounding Names in Germany, Court Rules

The complaint of a Jewish tavern owner against the local police chief has won the assert of the Administrative Court here, which ruled that “a Jew may rightfully feel threatened when his racial affiliation becomes known.”

The innkeeper, who operates a tavern in the working class suburb of Neukoelln, brought suit when the Police Department rejected his application to permit the adoption of a new and less Jewish-sounding family name. He pointed out that, as long as he retains his present name, he has reason to be afraid of anti-Semitic outbursts by his guests. The court upheld his contention and reversed the Police Department decision.