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November 11, 1966 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-11-11

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Purely Commentary

By Philip Slomovitz

German Lawyers' Rule Against Clemency for Nazi Criminals

Trials of Nazi criminals continue, while a search must go on
for the top Nazis who have escaped justice. Of interest at this time
is the declaration — referred to as the "Koenigstein Resolution" —
which was adopted by the 46th German Lawyers' Congress in Essen
recently. It was acted upon at a session that was devoted to discussion
of punishment for Nazi crimes and asserted:
"The confirmation of the rule of law and the protection of human
life require the prosecution and punishment of Nazi crimes of violence.
The joint responsibility of society for the crimes that took place must
not be allowed to result in misplaced clemency being displayed toward
those who committed such acts."
It is not a strong resolution, yet it affirms that the legal forces
in Germany recognize that a cessation or slowing of prosecutions must
be ruled out.
The German Lawyers' Congress discussions were marked by
important admissions. As reported by Deutschland-Berichte published
in Bonn by Rolf Vogel, Dr. Ernest Friesenhahn, the president of the
lawyers' congress, appealed to - all responsible departments" in the
German government to take all possible steps to punish the murderers.
It is-reported that Prof. Friesenhahn received the demonstrative assent
of all the delegates when he said: "We are all responsible, accused and
judges and all those of us who kept silent at that time!" He criticized
some juries for "misplaced clemency" towards Nazi criminals, often,
as Rolf reports, due to the fact that criminals who ought to have
been punished as the perpetrators of these crimes were only punished,
incorrectly, for being accessories.
Dr. Friesenhahn announced that as an aid towards arriving at
legal decisions, the following rule had been adopted, to establish when
the accused must be regarded as the perpetrator of a crime: "In every
case the accused perpetrated a crime when, regardless of his motives,
he killed without concrete orders, or exceeded his orders or, in his
capacity as a person competent to give orders with his own powers
of discretion, he ordered killings."
Does ignorance of the unlawfulness of a deed diminish guilt?
The commission decided: "The Nazi awareness of one's mission and
party ideology do not prevent a person from being aware of right and
wrong." On the question of the so-called "Befehlsnotstand" (the
plea that the accused had no choice but to obey orders), Dr. Friesen-
hahn stated that the courts were often wrong in accepting this plea
as an excuse for leniency. "Despite extensive subsequent inquiries by
the Central Department at Ludwigsburg," he said, "there has not yet
been proof of a single case whereby a member of the SS or police
who refused to kill people was exposed to any reprisal endangering
life and limb. On the contrary, refusal to obey orders never had any
serious consequences for those concerned." It is however recognized
in the resolution, continued the President, "that some of the accused
had perpetrated these crimes with the feeling that some vague threat
was hanging over them"; in such exceptional cases, grounds for clem-
ency beyond the strict letter of the law might be assumed, so that a
sentence of penal servitude for life would not be justified.
Dr. Friesenhahn took the view that the reason for the criticized
sentences "is to be found not so much in the inadequate rule of law
but in an irrational reluctance on the part of the courts to sentence
Nazi criminals to lifelong imprisonment for murder 20 years after the
Nazi regime has been destroyed."
These discussions reflect the major problems facing German courts
and the basic moral issues involved in judging the crimes. It is heart-
ening to learn that the defense based on "taking orders" is now being
considered with greater seriousness and that German lawyerS are
ready to rule it out. It has been made too easy for some criminals
to escape punishment on the claim of having followed orders. The
immorality of a people submitting to commands to resort to mass
murders must not be condoned, and the lapse of time — the 20-year
period that has elapsed since the rule of Nazism—must not be per-
mitted to soften the hearts of judges.
The period of jungle rule has not been forgotten. That's the chief
point to be remembered as the trials of the criminals continue and
as the lawyers of Germany take into account the responsibility of the
entire German people to admit collective guilt and to pledge never
to end the case until all the criminals have been apprehended and
there are more certain assurances that the Nazi spirit will not emerge

The Late Sol Satinsky

Mr. Satinsky

American Jewry has sustained a se-
rious loss in the passing of Sol Satinsky. A
Philadelphian, a leader in his own com-
munity, he rose to high stature in national
ranks. As president of the Jewish Publica-
tion Society of America, he gave valuable
guidance in the selection and publication
of Jewish classics and in efforts to enroll
larger numbers of American Jews as JPS
A member of the reorganized board
of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, he was
one of a handful of men who were pri-
marily responsible for the strengthening
of the only Jewish news agency on the
world Jewish scene. Thanks to him, the
JTA has gained solidity, without which the
entire system of communications between
Jewsh communities might have collapsed.
Sol Satinsky was a dedicated Jew and
a proud American who knew how to link
his heritage from both cultures into a
dignified humanitarianism.

The Political Revolt

A two-party system was upheld for this nation at the election on
Tuesday. Yet, the result also represents a revolt by the voters. In one
area it was bigoted—in opposition to the civil rights movement; in an-
other, a distinguished Negro was elected to the United States Senate
and he'll be the first Negro in the Senate in 85 years.
Evidence of the backlash is mounting, yet there are also repercus-
sions involving American foreign policies and the programs for the
social advancements in this country.
It is too early fully to judge the results of Tuesday's election, but
the results, drastic as they were, will be studied and debated for a
long time to come. They point to something drastic for 1968 and both
parties have good cause to seek pragmatism in their approaches to the
electorate in the forthcoming Presidential election.

ss i gnments
Detro i ters Given Important A ssignments
at Los Angeles CJFWF General Assembly

Detroiters will play a prominent
role in the program of the 35th
general assembly of the Council
of Jewish Federations and Welfare
Funds which opens Thursday in Los
At meetings on Wednesday, a
day prior to the general assem-
bly's formal opening, the Large
City Budgeting Conference, which
represents the 23 largest welfare
funds, will review the 1967 budgets
of cooperating national and over-
seas agencies.
Max M. Fisher, general chair-
man of the United Jewish Appeal
will speak at the Thursday evening
general meeting on "Overseas
Changes-1967". He has recently
returned from a tour of facilities
in Italy, Switzerland and Israel.
Hyman Safran, president of the
Federation, will be on a panel to
discuss "Housing for the Elderly—
Some Planning Questions", during
the final day meetings, Nov. 20.
Mandell L. Berman, chairman
of the education division of the
Detroit Federation will be chair-
man of a meeting which will
look into the problem of teacher
shortages. He will also serve as
chairman of a Friday meeting
which will discuss ways of con-
tinuing Jewish education with
children past the primary grades
into their teens and early adult
George M. Stutz, member of the
executive committee of the Detroit
Federation, will be chairman of a
budget review of the Synagogue
Council of America.
William Avrunin, executive di-
rector of Federation, will be a
discussant in a meeting on "Guide-
lines for Budgeting National Pro-
grams for Jewish Commitment,
Knowledge and Culture."
Mrs. Harry L. Jones, member of
the Federation's Women's Division,
will be chairman of the keynote
session on Women's Communal
Jack 0. Lefton, vice president of
Federation, will serve on a panel
examining "Supplementary Fund
Raising—Asset or Liability?", at
opening day session.
Alan E. Luckoff, winner of this
year's Wetsman Award for Young
Leadership, will be a participant in
a round-table meeting on leader-
ship development.
Dr. William Haber, Ann Arbor,
Dean of the College of Litera-
ture, Science and Art, University
of Michigan, will give the Herb-
ert R. Abeles Memorial Address,
speaking on "The Economy—
Where Is It Going?", at a lunch-
eon meeting, Thursday.
Philip Slomovitz, vice president
of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency,
will preside at the luncheon meet-
ing of the JTA at noon next Friday,
when JTA's role as the world's
only Jewish news gathering and
distributing agency will be re-
Detroit members of the Program
Committee who aided in planning

the four-day meeting are Avrunin, Irwin Green, Mr. and Mrs. Hugh
Sam Cohen, assistant director of W. Greenberg, Mr. and Mrs. Gross-
Federation; F i s h e r, Lewis S. man, Mr. and Mrs. David Handle-
Grossman, member of the Federa- man, Mrs. I. Jerome Hauser, Mr.
tion board, and Stutz. Fisher is a and Mrs. John C. Hopp, Mr. and
CJFWF vice president. Stutz and Mrs. Sidney J. Karbel, Mrs. Jack
Judge Theodore Levin are board 0. Lefton, Judge Levin, Mrs. Alan
E. Luckoff, Mr. and Mrs. Sidney
Among those attending from De- M. Shevitz, Mr. and Mrs. Nathan
troit, in addition to program par- Silverman, Mrs. Philip Slomovitz,
ticipants are; Mrs. Mandell L. Ber- Mr. and Mrs. Ira I. Sonnenblick,
man, Mr. and Mrs. Avern L. Cohn, Mrs. George M. Stutz, George M.
Mrs. Abraham Cooper, Sol Drach- Zeltzer and Mr. and Mrs. Max J.
ler, Albert Elazar, Mr. and Mrs. Zivian.

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Boris Smotar's

'Between You
. . and Me'

(Copyright, 1966, JTA, Inc.)

JERUSALEM IMPRESSIONS: Jerusalem had a Jewish population
of about 60,000 before the establishment of Israel . . . It now has a
population of more than 190,000 Jews . . . The increase is made up
largely of immigrants from Morocco, Tunis, Iran, Iraq, Yemen and
other Moslem countries . . . These are all Jews living on a low
standard, having large families with many children, and counting many
sick and aged . . • In other words, they are mostly families requiring
aid . . . They constitute a problem for the Jerusalem municipaltiy not
only because of the aid they need, but also because they are not tax-
payers . . . They have not enough income to be taxed by the city . .
Thus, it is not .easy to be a mayor of Jerusalem where two-thirds of
the population are to receive city service without obtaining from them
any municipal income . . . Teddy Kolleck, the present mayor of
Jerusalem, can tell you a lot about the headaches he has in directing
the affairs of the city . . . But he sums up his troubles jokingly by
saying that the mayoralty in Jerusalem "is not a job for a Jew" . . .
He has his hands full from 6 o'clock in the morning till very late
at night . ._. When does he sleep? . . . Who has time to sleep when
he is The mayor of the Holy City with its manifold daily problems! . .
The major problem is, of course, the constant deficit under which the
municipality works . . Jerusalem is the capital of Israel where all
the government offices are located . . . Government institutions are
tax-exempt . . . It is also a city where national institutions like the
Parliament, the Hebrew University, the National Museum and dozens
of others are situated . . . They, too, are tax exempt . . . So is the
Hadassah Hospital and similar welfare institutions . . . So are the
many synagogues, yeshivas and all other religious institutions • .
Wherefrom should, therefore, the income for municipal needs come?
. . The answer is: it does not come . . . Small wonder that being
a mayor of Jerusalem is no easy job . .. It is certainly a much more
difficult job than being a mayor of Tel Aviv or Haifa — cities of
commerce and industry, and where there are not as many tax-exempt
institutions as in Jerusalem.
JERUSALEM PROBLEMS: The chronic municipal deficit is big
enough of a problem in Jerusalem, but there is also the fact that the
city is a border town . . . It is surrounded on three sides by the
Jordan army which is always on the alert .. . Whether in the center
of the city — at King David Hotel — or at the outskirts — you can
see the Jordan military outposts with the naked eye ... The Jordanians
on their part, can see the Israeli outposts also with the naked eye .. .
At some places in the city the border is flat land, while at the out-
skirts it lies between mountains and valleys . . . Infiltration of Arab
terrorists has been very seldom from Jordan and comparative quiet
had prevailed on the Jerusalem border for some time . . However,
the situation has changed now, with Syria sending in its terrorists into
Israel through Jordan . . . I saw in Jerusalem the two newly-built
apartment houses at the Romena outskirts of the city which were
bombed recently by Arab infiltrators, and it was difficult for me to
figure out how the terrorists reached this section of Jerusalem without
being noticed . . • They had to climb border mountains for many
hours before reaching the buildings under which they placed their
explosives, and it probably had to take them that much time to return
to their base on the Jordanian side . . . Yet, they made both ways
under the very nose of the Israeli border units . . . This does not speak
so favorably for the Israeli military border patrols, however it shows
how well trained Arab saboteurs have become recently . . . When
visiting Jerusalem, no American thinks of it as a military front town,
because life within the city goes on quite normally; however, local
residents know that they are just a few steps from the enemy . .
B-G's Birthday Marked
In fact, they warn you that if you stay at the King David Hotel y
in Rio, Johannesburg
should keep the windows facing Jordan closed because of possibf':
RIO DE JANEIRO (JTA)—The sniping from the Jordanian side.
second of two celebrations marking
the 80th birthday of Israel's former
JERUSALEM REFLECTIONS: The authorities, municipal and
Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion
was conducted here Nov. 2 by the military, face problems every day . . . The municipal authorities must
Zionist Organization of Brazil. All also face the problem of juvenile delinquency . . . As unemployment
Jewish organizations and institu- increases, juvenile delinquency grows among the boys of the immigrant
tions in Brazil participated in this families from the Moslem countries . . . These boys become "street
event. Earler, a separate observ- boys" after leaving public school, since few of them are in a position
ance of Ben-Gurion's birthday was to pay high school tuition and because of the fact that there are no
youth centers where they could spend their time usefully . . . The
held at the Bialik Library.
In Johannesburg, the South Afri- problem of establishing youth centers is not limited to Jerusalem alone;
can Zionist Federation decided to where the immigrants from North Africa and Asia form a majority
mark Ben-Gurion's birthday by of the population • . . However, in Jerusalem the problem is even
planting a forest of 10,000 trees more acute because of the fact that the Jews from Moslem countries
near Sde Boker, his kibbutz. The constitute about two-thirds of the entire population . . . If they were
project, to which Jews throughout organized as a political group in time of election, they could elect
South Africa will be asked to con- one of their men as mayor of Jerusalem without any difficulty by an
tribute, has the approval of Ben- absolute majority . . . No such possibility exists now only because
Gurion and the Jewish National these immigrant families have other basic worries than to put up their
own candidate for mayor . . . But voters they are and their needs
In London, a gathering to cele- are great, and whoever is mayor of the city must take their needs
brate the birthday was held here into consideration . . . So must the central government and the Jewish
under the joint sponsorship of the Agency which seek to create public works for them or keep them on
World Jewish Congress and the relief.
Association of Jewish Writers and
2—Friday, November 11, 1966

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