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N.Y. Court Rules Woman Can Divorce Husband if He Has a Nazi Past

The New York State Court of Appeals, highest Judicial body in the state, ruled this weekend that a woman who charged that her husband had had a secret Nazi past was entitled to an annulment of their marriage, if she can prove her allegations.

The case involved a petition for annulment by Mrs. Josef Kober, who is not Jewish. She charged that her husband was “fanatically anti-Semitic, believed in the extermination of the Jewish people,” and required her to “weed out” all her Jewish friends and cease associating with them. She said he had concealed from her the fact that he had been a member of the German Nazi Party and had served in Hitler’s army.

A lower bench, the Appellate Division, had ruled against Mrs. Kober last February. The Court of Appeals, by a similar 4-3 decision, reversed the earlier ruling, holding that all the woman had to do now is to prove her charges of her husband’s secret Nazism before the New York State Supreme Court. “A conviction that a race of people should be exterminated.” the highest court declared, “evinces a diseased mind and makeup which parallels the ground for annulment.”

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