1 4 6 D O C . 8 3 F O R T H E F R E E D O M O F A R T Published in Berliner Tageblatt, 1 October 1925, EE Vossische Zeitung, 2 October 1925. [1]The Lex Heinze was a controversial law in the penal code of the German Reich (the Reichsstraf- gesetzbuch, §184) enacted in 1900. It was named after the Berlin potter Gotthilf Heinze (1864–?), who was accused of murder and pimping in 1891. The case sparked intense political debate on public morality for ten years. During the parliamentary discussions on the bill, the Catholic Zentrum party proposed an “art and display window clause” (“Kunst- und Schaufensterparagraph”), which aimed to outlaw “large parts of unmoral art in theater, literature, and art.” The bill was opposed by the Liberals and Social Democrats and “also provoked a powerful extraparliamentary mass-protest movement that reached well beyond the intellectual and artistic community.” The controversy also led to the estab- lishment, in 1900, of the Goethebund, a union of artists, liberal politicians, and scientists formed to fight against the banning of immoral art (see Evans 1976, p. 120 Stark 2009, pp. 22–23) and Heberer 2014, pp. 39–41). [2]A series of political assassinations from June 1921 to June 1922 by radical right-wing extrem- ists, which saw the killings of the USPD member of parliament Otto Gareis, the Zentrum politician Matthias Erzberger, and, most notably, foreign minister Walther Rathenau, led to the enactment of the “Gesetz zum Schutze der Republik” on 21 July 1922 by the government of chancellor Joseph Wirth. The legislation was limited to a period of five years and outlawed agitation against the republic. The “Staatsgerichtshof zum Schutze der Republik” was established to penalize criminal actions and acts of violence directed against the republic (see Kotulla 2008, p. 604). [3]Lask (1878–1967) was a German-Jewish Communist writer, playwright, and journalist. Lask 1925 celebrated the quadricentenary of the 1525 peasant uprising led by the Protestant theologian Thomas Müntzer (ca. 1489–1525). Prior to the publication of the appeal, the play had been banned, theater productions had been closed down, and Lask had been threatened with being accused of high treason under article 82 of the German criminal code (see Cardinal 1995, pp. 65–66). [4]Becher (1891–1958) was a German Communist novelist and poet. In June 1925, a magistrate’s court in Berlin ordered that Becher 1925 be confiscated and banned because it, allegedly, “encouraged the violent overthrow of the republic” (see Lewy 2016, p. 3). [5]Kurt Kläber (1897–1959), aka Kurt Held, was a German-Jewish Communist author. Kläber 1925 was a collection of stories about the armed conflict between the “Rote Ruhrarmee” (“Red Army of the Ruhr”) and the Reichswehr and the Freikorps in 1920. In June 1925, the municipal court in Berlin-Schöneberg ruled that the work constituted “Aufreizung zum Klassenhaß” (“incitement to class hatred”), and, in August 1925, the “Staatsgerichtshof zum Schutze der Republik” confiscated the book, accusing Kläber of high treason. The confiscation led to expressions of support from prominent writers such as Thomas Mann and Gerhard Hauptmann (see Hannover and Hannover- Drück 1966, pp. 246–250 Olenhusen 1971, p. 430 and Hueck 1996, p. 178). [6]Josef (Rolf) Gärtner (1887–1973) was a German actor. He had recited poems at the “Revolu- tionäre Gedenkfeier zum 7. Jahrestag der russischen Revolution und zum 10-jährigen Gründungstag der KPD Württemberg” (“Revolutionary commemoration of the 7th anniversary of the Russian Rev- olution and the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the KPD in Württemberg”), an event hosted by the German Communist Party (KPD) and the Kommunistische Jugend in November 1924. Gärtner was also accused of conspiring to commit high treason (see Hannover and Hannover-Drück 1966, pp. 239 and 241). [7]Schiller 1925a, 1925b, Büchner 1923a, and Hauptmann 1925. [8]The appeal was signed by representatives of various German cultural, artistic, and intellectual organizations, and by numerous German-speaking intellectuals, clergymen, writers, artists, politi- cians, and lawyers, including Count Georg von Arco, Hermann Bahr, Max Brod, Alfred Döblin, Lion Feuchtwanger, Samuel Fischer, Hellmut von Gerlach, Walter Hasenclever, Gerhart Hauptmann, Her- mann Hesse, Kurt Hiller, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Rudolf Kayser, Klabund, Käthe Kollwitz, Max Liebermann, Paul Löbe, Heinrich Mann, Thomas Mann, Franz Oppenheimer, Gustav Radbruch, Ernst Rowohlt, Felix Salten, Ernst Toller, Ferdinand Tönnies, Fritz von Unruh, Theodor Wolff, Hein- rich Zille, and Stefan Zweig.
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