Mousy Jewish Judge Was Goebbels Adversary

Mousy Jewish Judge Was Goebbels Adversary

October 28, 2015

(left, Bernhard Weiss 1880-1951, Deputy Police Chief of Berlin in the years before the National Socialists came to power, 1927-32. Goebbels mockingly dubbed him “Isidor,” a nickname meant to underscore his Jewish ancestry and appearance. )

According to David Irving, Bernhard Weiss was Joseph Goebbels most formidable opponent.
He kept the Berlin Gauleiter tied up in law suits and banned his newspaper. When the Nazis finally assumed power, Weiss barely escaped arrest. What Wikipedia won’t tell you is that Weiss spent the war years in Shanghai where he was entrusted with the reorganization of the Chinese police by Chiang Kai-shek’s government.

“Weiss looked so much like a Jewish caricature that his photographs didn’t need to be re-touched by the Nazis. He was stereotypically Semitic in feature: short, with rounded ears and hook nose, and wearing spectacles.”

Revelations from Goebbels Diary
by David Irving
(Excerpt by

When Goebbels arrived in Berlin as Gauleiter in 1926, he was confronted by a city with 179,000 Jews, one third of all Jews in Germany, and he made use of this fact. [They] disproportionately controlled all the lucrative professions. This rankled with Berlin’s non-Jewish population, of course, and Goebbels…zeroed in on this as a wound that he could work on to promote the Nazi cause.

His chief opponent there, Berlin’s Deputy Police Chief (who acted as though he was Police Chief; even the real Police Chief referred to him as being the Chief) was Dr. Bernhard Weiss, a Jew.

Weiss looked so much like a Jewish caricature that his photographs didn’t need to be re-touched by the Nazis. He was stereotypically Semitic in feature: short, with rounded ears and hook nose, and wearing spectacles.

In London I located Weiss’ daughter, Hilda Baban-Weiss, and I pleaded with her for a more attractive photograph of her father, pointing out that the ones I have are not very flattering. I got total silence from the daughter, so I abandoned my quest.

Dr. Goebbels promptly dubbed Weiss “Isidor,” to such a degree of success that within two or three years there was hardly a Berliner who didn’t believe that “Isidor” was his real first name.

The fight between Dr. Bernhard Weiss and Dr. Joseph Goebbels, is, I think, one of the most hilarious, improbable stories to come out of this era. Twenty-eight times Weiss sued Goebbels for calling him a Jew. Twenty-eight times the judges pointed out to Weiss that he was in fact Jewish, and therefore it was no libel.

On one occasion, Dr. Goebbels’ newspaper Der Angriff published a cartoon showing a donkey with the head of Dr. Weiss, with all of its legs splayed on an ice pond, and a caption reading: “Isidor on thin ice.”

Isidor Weiss (you see, even I’m calling him Isidor now), immediately sued for libel. Goebbels pointed out it was just a cartoon, but the judge said it was quite obvious that the donkey had the face of Dr. Weiss. Whereupon a headline in the next issue of Der Angriff declared: “Judge Confirms Donkey Has Face of Dr. Weiss.”

A German scholar recently published a 600-page book purely devoted to the fight between Dr. Goebbels and Dr. Weiss. It would be worth having this book in English, except that the problems between the two men are almost untranslatable.


As Goebbels orchestrated the rise of the Nazi party in Berlin, part of the problem for the democrats there was that much of what he said was true. The Jewish community not only dominated the legal and medical professions in Berlin, they also dominated the crime scene.

In my biography, I’ve quoted Interpol figures of the percentage of Jews among those arrested for drug dealing and narcotics. Moreover, three-quarters of the pickpockets in Berlin were Jewish. It was quite easy for Goebbels to draw attention to such facts, and to embellish them in a propaganda campaign. This came to him as second nature. In every new scandal in Berlin, it seemed, Jews were at the base of it – ripping off the banks, ripping off the taxpayers, and ripping off the government. And again and again, they seemed to be getting off scot-free.

At Syracuse University I found the private papers of Heinrich Brüning, who was Hitler’s predecessor as Chancellor (1930-1932). In this collection is a manuscript in which he describes his problems as Chancellor. Brüning recounts that at one time, he ordered an investigation of Jewish banks in Berlin and their methods, and in his manuscript he writes: “The results were so horrifying that I ordered this document to be kept secret, because if it had been allowed to become public knowledge, it would have resulted in anti-Jewish riots.” Of course, even though much of what Goebbels said was true, this just doesn’t justify what he did later on. We must, in all fairness, keep emphasizing this point.


During the 1920s Goebbels wrote a play called Michael, and it’s interesting to compare the various drafts of it, which are available. When he first wrote it back in 1923 or 1924, it was a straightforward kind of morality play. But Goebbels would change things. After Anka Stalherm annoyed him, he changed the leading female character. And as he became more and more annoyed with the Jews, he wrote more anti-Semitism into the play. In the drafts you can see him becoming progressively more anti-Jewish.

After seeing his first Hollywood movie, he wrote in his diary (on Dec. 3, 1928): “Sheer hell. Jewish kitsch. Virtually all you saw were Hebrews.” A few months later, on February 15, 1929, he wrote: “The Jewish question is the questions of all questions.”

There is a curious passage in his private diary that shows how increasingly obsessed he had become. It was after three years in Berlin as Gauleiter, fighting this increasingly desperate battle, almost with one hand tied behind his back, being repeatedly banned on orders of Dr. Weiss, having repeatedly nearly been sent to prison himself.

One night he has a dream, which he then records in his diary (December 17, 1929). In this dream he’s back at school, running madly through the corridors with pillars flashing past him, and he’s being chased by Jews screaming at him, “Hate, hate, hate.” He’s always able to keep a few limping strides ahead of his pursuers, occasionally turning round and flinging back at them the same taunt: “Hate, hate, hate!”

What an odd thing for a man to write in his own diary. One doesn’t often write down one’s own dreams in a diary. The mere fact that he had dreams like that shows that he was becoming obsessed with these Jews, the enemy.
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