Berlin (May. 19)
Herr Felix Hirsch, the editor of the “Achtuhr Abendblatt”, was today ordered by the court to pay a fine of 500 Marks (about Â£25) for having denounced in his paper as a dishonest politician Judge Kurt Soelling, the Chairman of the Berlin District Court, for supporting Hitler, although he is himself, as Herr Hirsch revealed, of Jewish birth.
Judge Soelling admitted in court today that he is of Jewish descent, contending that he had changed his religion out of conviction. He had changed his Jewish name, he said, because he had wanted one which sounded more German.
He attended Nazi meeting, he explained, because he believed that it was his duty as a Government official to keep himself informed of what was going on at Nazi meetings. He had raised his hand in salute when the cry “Hail Hitler” was raised, because everybody in the hall had raised their hands.
There was something of a sensation in court when it came out in the course of the proceedings that Judge Soelling is the son of the lay head of the Romberg Jewish Community, and that he had held over his baptism until after the death of a rich uncle who was a strictly observant Jew, so that he should not be cut out of his will, and that he had been baptised only after he had received the legacy.
Dr. Klee, who led for the defence, addressed the count for an hour, subjecting Judge Soelling’s career to close analysis and arguing that with these facts there could be no question about the man being a careerist, who subordinated everything else to his ambition to make his career.