D O C U M E N T S 4 7 6 , 4 7 7 F E B R U A R Y 1 9 2 7 4 6 9 476. To Otto Braun[1] Berlin, 7 February 1927 Your Excellency, The signatories[2] request, most respectfully and reverentially, that you make use of the high power of clemency in the case of the two young people who orchestrated the deadly train attack near Leiferde.[3] We do not fail to recognize the severity of the crime and its horrific consequences. But it also seems horrific to extinguish these two 20-year-old human lives for all eternity. Because, clearly, we are not dealing with incorrigible brutes, whose existence is so wholly without value to humanity that it can be destroyed without hesitation. Rather, Schlesinger has shown traces of the gentleness of his sensibility, in light of which the crime itself seems puzzling. It is a fact that this young, talented artist abandoned his position as conductor at the Altenburg theater because he could not reconcile with his artistic conscience the fact that, every day, he was required to present trivial musical productions to the audience.[4] Hence, he was at a loss. With the utmost consideration, during the trial itself, he deflected questions that could have compromised a lady, even though he was fighting for his life.[5] Inward instability is not uncommon among great artists as well. Hunger and poverty, perhaps, did the rest, temporarily destroying the moral footing of this per- son. This young man, as well as his companion, is certainly not a “murderer” of incorrigible coarseness and brutality, but someone who can be reformed in the hard school of prison and who can be habituated to productive behavior. We and many other people in the German intellectual community would be deeply thankful, your excellency, for an act of clemency.[6] Respectfully yours, [Signatories] 477. To Menasseh Meyer[1] Berlin, 8 February 1927 Dear Mr. Menasse Meyer, Dr. Goldstein’s visit to you is a joyous occasion for me to remember the harmo- nious hours that I spent in your home a few years ago.[2] On that trip, I observed with delight that there are proud Jews all over the world who remain true to their
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