The beginning of the end of German Jewry


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8 April 1933

Letter from the President of the Regional Court I to Gerhard Intrator

On 31 March 1933, the Reich Commissioner for the Prussian Ministry of Justice imposed the first anti-Jewish measures within the Prussian state. Jewish judges and legal professionals employed at courts were put on forced leave and the number of Jewish lawyers authorized to serve at the courts was restricted to a number proportionate to the percentage of Jews in the population as a whole. During the boycott of Jewish businesses the following day, Jewish notaries were advised "to refrain from performing their duties." A regulation issued two days later, on 3 April, barred Jews from being appointed as law clerks.

Gerhard Intrator (1910–1993) received the notification shown here on 8 April. One day earlier, on his twenty-third birthday, the Nazi regime passed the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, which initiated the alignment (Gleichschaltung) of the civil service. The letter, sent by the president of Regional Court I, suspended Intrator from his traineeship in the civil service. After four years of university studies and one year of work as a law clerk, he now faced an entirely uncertain future. In the ensuing weeks, he was barred from any form of employment in the judicial system.

In early June Gerhard Intrator was fortunate enough to find a job in the administrative department of Gebrüder Berglas Mechanische Kammgarnwebereien, the worsted yarn company run by his cousin. Although he had no chance of ever working in the German judicial system, he completed his doctorate in June 1934 with a dissertation titled "The Content, Purpose and Fate of the Failed 1908 Draft Criminal Procedure Code, with Special Emphasis on the Constitution of the Criminal Courts." On the advice of his professor, he had decided against pursuing his original topic: "The Criminal Law Program of the National Socialist Workers‘ Party."

Gerhard Intrator emigrated to the United States in 1937. During the following years, he did everything he could to save his parents. They managed to flee to Cuba via Lisbon in early 1942, and in April 1943 they finally reached New York, where Gerhard‘s father died one day after his arrival.

Aubrey Pomerance

Categorie(s): Berlin | lawyers | occupational ban
Letter from the President of the Regional Court I to Gerhard Intrator, Berlin, 8 April 1933
Gift of Joanne Intrator