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Hiterlist Thrust Fails: Referendum to Turn out Prussian Government Falls Flat: Crushing Defeat for D

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Less than ten million votes out of the total electorate of over twenty-six million have been cast in today’s referendum for the demand of the combined Right and Left extremists, the Hitlerists, the Nationalists, and the Communists, for the dissolution of the Prussian Parliament, and fresh elections, which it was thought would sweep a Hitlerist Government into power in Prussia and thus clear the way for the establishment of a Hitlerist dictatorship throughout Germany.

In order for the referendum to succeed, the demand would have had to be supported by a clear majority of the whole Prussian electorate, so that the result is a crushing defeat of the extremists, and a victory for the moderate and stable elements in the country.

The newspapers of the Right are consoling themselves by putting down the reverse to the small support which they say was obtained by their temporary allies, the Communists, but the Democratic press contends that the biggest falling-off is in the ranks of the Hitlerists, pointing out that in many constituencies the decrease in the extremist vote is larger than was the entire Communist vote at the Reichstag elections last September, when the Hitlerist vote in Prussia was increased by more than three million.

Serious disturbances were feared in connection with the referendum, but although there were some clashes, with several killed and many injured, things have gone off much more quietly than was expected. The Berlin Jewish quarter in the vicinity of the Grenadier-Strasse was not affected, and the clashes that took place were not antisemitic in character. The most serious fighting took place during the evening, in the Buelow Square not far from the Jewish quarter, where the Communist headquarters are situated, when Communists came into collission with the police. Two police officers were shot dead and a number of demonstrators were killed and injured, among them a Jewish boy of fifteen, named Adolf Doew.

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