The beginning of the end of German Jewry


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10 July 1933

Letter requesting Arthur Daniel to turn in his notarial records

In July 1933 Arthur Daniel (1866–1933) found his life in ruins: he had begun studying law in 1887, served as a lawyer in Berlin for a quarter of a century and in 1925 also begun working as a notary. But then in May 1933 the sixty-seven year old was expelled from the bar and stripped of his notary license. In the ensuing weeks he fought unsuccessfully to be reinstated and thereby to avoid what he saw as "complete ruin."

Meanwhile, the wheels of the Berlin bureaucracy continued to turn. On 10 July the Charlottenburg District Court curtly informed the "retired notary" that he was to turn in his "notarial records, account registers, seals, seal press matrices and notarial protest files" to the court. This request was based on Section 102 of the Prussian Law on Voluntary Jurisdiction (PrFGG), which regulated the custody of records in the event of the resignation, death or transfer of a notary.

When he received the notice, Arthur Daniel apparently still thought that the Nazi government was only a temporary phenomenon and that the occupational ban imposed on him would be lifted. He initially did not comply with the request, citing Section 97 of the jurisdiction law, which contained provisions on the safe custody of records in the event of the "temporary hindrance of the notary." He was currently unable to meet the request, he wrote, for reasons that included the state of his health.

After repeated reminders, the president of the district court intervened and asked Daniel "for the last time" on 10 October "to turn in the records within ten days or face enforcement." Faced with this threat Daniel gave in and delivered the notarial deeds and instruments. As far as the director of Charlottenburg District Court was concerned, this meant that the case was closed. Arthur Daniel died a few weeks later on 4 December.

Jörg Waßmer

Categorie(s): Berlin | lawyers | occupational ban
Letter sent to Arthur Daniel by the director of the Charlottenburg District Court in Berlin asking him to turn in his notarial records, 10 July 1933