Victims of Rosh Hashanah Excesses Appear in Court Swathed in Bandages to Give Evidence Against Their
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Victims of Rosh Hashanah Excesses Appear in Court Swathed in Bandages to Give Evidence Against Their

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Swathed in bandages, many of the victims who received injuries in the Hitlerist outbreak on Rosh Hashanah appeared in court to-day to give evidence against the prisoners, whose number was increased to-day to 42. Several police officers and constables were also called to-day as witnesses.

When the name of Dr. Moehring, a Jewish lawyer who was seriously injured in the disturbances, was called in court as a witness, it was explained that Dr. Moehring could not appear, because his condition is so dangerous that he is not expected to live.

Herr Alexander Rosenfeld, the Vice-President of the Maccabee Jewish Athletic and Sports World Organisation, who was severely beaten about the head, turned faint while he was giving his evidence, and the President of the court ordered that he should be given a chair, and he continued his evidence seated. Twenty Hitlerists had hurled themselves at him, he said. He had defended himself, and at first he had managed to break away from them, but they finally overpowered him by force of numbers. He did not see his assailants among the prisoners, he said. He looked so weak and exhausted when he had finished that the President of the Court said that he could go home immediately he had concluded his evidence.

A large number of the victims who appeared as witnesses to-day are not Jews. Incidentally, one of these, an Armenian merchant, said that in the Achenbach Hospital, where he had come from, there are a considerable number of people who were injured in the excesses, who are not included in the official list of victims, which appears in that case to be much larger than the police figure.

Another non-Jewish victim, a Roumanian engineer, said with a great deal of indignation that it seemed as if all dark-haired people would now have to be given permits to carry arms for self-defence if they wanted to live in Berlin, because they might be mistaken for Jews and beaten.

He informed the Court that two officials of the Roumanian Consulate in Berlin had also been attacked, but they had declined to prosecute, preferring to lodge a complaint with the Roumanian Government.

Two Roumanian students who were attacked by the Hitlerist rioters on Rosh Hashanah said that all sorts of inducements had been held out to them to prevail on them to come to Berlin to study, although they would have found it cheaper to attend courses in some other country, and now that they had come to Berlin they were being set upon in the streets.


Dr. Hecht, a 63 year old Jewish dental surgeon, described to the court how he was knocked down by five Hitlerists. I ran into a house to escape from them, he said, but they followed me and pulled me back into the street, where they knocked me down and beat me about terribly.

Director Kraft, another witness heard to-day, said that he was walking with his mother, who was 70 years of age, and they were both knocked down and beaten, and his mother screamed until she was in hysterics. He had not the slightest doubt, he said, that the whole affair was carried out on the orders of recognised leaders.

A Jewish shopkeeper named Preis said that he had tried to protect a Jewish woman who was being beaten by Hitlerists, and he had been set upon himself and knocked down. He recognised one of the prisoners named Sheffler as having been among his assailants.


Police Captain Obenaus said that the police had received information of the excesses only at nine o’clock in the evening. Two large motor lorries full of police had been dispatched immediately to the scene of the disturbances, but the worst of the trouble was already over by the time they arrived. They had established, however, that even then there were 1,200 demonstrators participating in the excesses, and a large number of wounded had immediately reported to them, asking for protection.

The evidence given by Captain Obenaus and other police witnesses showing that the police were not on the spot while the actual fighting was in progress is of assistance to the contention of the Defence that the police have no real proof against the prisoners that they were participants in the excesses, since no one was caught red-handed, and that the only charges possible against the prisoners are resisting the police when they were ordered to disperse, or being found in possession of arms. Against this, however, is to be set the evidence of the victims, who have identified some of their assailants among the prisoners.

Herr Reimann, whose cafe was broken into by Hitlerists in search of Jews, told the Court that about a hundred demonstrators led by a recognised commander who was issuing orders, took possession of the garden of his cafe, and after hurling the marble tables and the chairs through the plate-glass windows, broke into the cafe and attacked his customers. It was on a definite signal, he said, that they had finally disappeared in a body, clearly acting under orders.

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