MINTZ, PAUL (1870–after 1940), Latvian lawyer. Born in Dvinsk (Daugavpils), Mintz was one of the most prominent lawyers in Riga. After Latvia became an independent republic (1918), he was appointed professor of criminal law at the University of Riga. He was a member of the Latvian National Council and the Constituent Assembly, and was the only Jewish member of the Latvian government, serving as state controller. He published various legal works and was chairman of the commission preparing the Latvian code of criminal law. He was also active in Jewish affairs as founder of the Ḥevrat Mefiẓei Haskalah (*Society for the Promotion of Culture Among the Jews of Russia), in Riga, chairman of the Jewish National-Democratic Party, chairman of the commission preparing a draft for the legal framework of Jewish national autonomy, a non-Zionist member of the *Jewish Agency for Palestine, and chairman of the Jewish Lawyers' Society in Latvia. In 1940, when Latvia was occupied by the Soviet forces, Mintz was arrested together with other Jewish and non-Jewish leaders and deported to Kansk, near Krasnoyarsk, and later to a Soviet labor camp, where he died.


Yahadut Latvia (1953), index.

[Joseph Gar]

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.