Joachim Prinz, 86; Exiled Anti-Nazi, U.S. Rights Leader

Joachim Prinz, who spoke out against the Nazis as a rabbi in Berlin in the 1920s and ‘30s, was expelled from Germany and went on to become a civil rights leader in the United States and president of the American Jewish Congress, died Friday of a heart attack in a Livingston, N.J., hospital. He was 86.

Born in Saxony, Prinz began preaching against the rising National Socialist Movement just two years after being ordained as a rabbi in 1925. When the Nazis assumed power, he urged Jews to migrate to Palestine and left his pulpit in Berlin to carry his message to other parts of Germany and Europe.

Prinz emigrated to the United States in 1937 after repeated arrests by the Gestapo. Two years later, he became the rabbi of Temple B’nai Abraham in Newark, N.J., where he served until his retirement in 1977.

From 1958 to 1966 he was president of the American Jewish Congress. He was a two-term chairman of the Conference of Major American Jewish Organizations.


In his adopted country, Prinz participated in numerous civil rights marches in the South and elsewhere.