BERLIN (Jul. 25)
The Cologne court of appeals today acquitted Joseph Grohe, Nazi leader and editor of the Nazi organ, the West German Beobachter, of the charge of having published an article which alleged that Jewish ritual murders were a proved fact. In February Grohe had been found guilty of a similar charge by the Cologne district court which fined him 300 marks. This verdict, however, was reversed by the German High Court.
At that time Grohe had described the Jews as a “criminal race” and alleged that the Talmud demands “blood ritual, fraud, perjury and the drinking of Christian blood by Jews”. The High Court based its decision on the ground that Grohe was not aware that blood ritual accusations were liable to incite sections of the population.
This decision came shortly after Theodor Wolff, editor-in-chief of the Berliner Tageblatt, had charged that the German courts, including the High Court itself, are infested with anti-Semitism. Wolf said that the great victory of the Hitlerites in the last Reichstag elections had encouraged the judges to make justice subservient to anti-Semitic views.
Today’s decision of the Cologne court was preceded by similar rulings on the part of the West Berlin court in a case involving Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, and the court at Manau, Bavaria, with Otto Hellmuth, Nazi member of the Bavarian parliament as the chief character.
In ruling on Goebbels’ blood libel charge against the Jews, the West Berlin court declared that to accuse Jews of practicing ritual murder is not to abuse them but to state an historic fact. After pointing out that many of martyrs who were murdered by their religious opponents, the court explained that when Goebbels abused the Jewish religion it was not established that he had referred to the religion itself, but that he had meant only fanatics belong to the Jewish religion.
Hellmuth, while lecturing at Manau, asserted that a child who had been mysteriously killed had been murdered by the Jews as part of their ritual. In his lecture he gave so-called circumstantial details of Jewish use of Christian blood and circulated among his audience picture postcards supposedly showing the use of Christian blood by Jews. He also published an article with similar details in the Bavarian Nazi paper, Stuermer.
Availing himself of parliamentary immunity to avoid appearing in court until the witnesses against him were no longer certain of the evidence they had given against him in the police court when the charge was first made, Hellmuth was finally found not guilty when the prosecution could not produce the witnesses.