Stahl, Heinrich

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STAHL, HEINRICH (1868–1942), president of the Jewish community of *Berlin under the Nazi regime. A prominent insurance executive, Stahl was a liberal Jew who attached great value to Jewish tradition. He became president of the Berlin community in May 1933, when its executive consisted of seven liberals (Reform), three Zionists, and one Orthodox representative. He was influential in the establishment of the Reichsvertretung der Deutschen Juden, and signed its first proclamation. In November 1935, the Nazi authorities demanded the reduction of the executive to seven members, and the Zionists put in their claim for 50% of the seats. Stahl saved the situation by reducing the number of his own liberal faction from seven to three. He attempted to retain a special status for the Berlin community vis-à-vis the *Reichsvertretung. He did not succeed, though it was agreed that its headquarters would remain in Berlin. Stahl, the patrician businessman, did not see eye to eye with the scholarly rabbi, Leo *Baeck. Deported to *Theresienstadt in 1942, in the month preceding his death he became deputy chairman of the camp's *Judenrat under Jacob *Edelstein.

[Kurt Jakob Ball-Kaduri]