Berlin (Sep. 22)
Count Helldorf, the Commandant of the Hitlerist Storm Troops in Berlin, and his Chief of Staff, Ernst, who surrendered to the court yesterday and were expected to be tried together with the rioters, on the charge of having directed the excesses, will be tried separately on Friday. They were called as witnesses, however, during the closing stages of the trial.
Both argued that they had not known anything of what had happened in the Kurfuerstendamm district on Rosh Hashanah. They had been there on their usual nightly tour of inspection, Ernst declared, when the Public Prosecutor pointed out that they had been seen there in their motor car during the height of the riots. He adopted a very arrogant and swaggering attitude as he insisted that no orders had been given to the storm troops to gather at the Kurfuerstendamm and that no commands or passwords connected with anti-Jewish attacks had been issued.
Count Helldorf, who is a former army officer, was much more courteous in his bearing, as he gravely assured the court that he drove along the Kurfuerstendamm that night only to order back to their homes any Nazi storm troopers when he might find there.
But who called out the Nazi storm troopers to the Kurfuerstendamm? the President of the court interjected.
Perhaps a Communist spy managed to obtain our password and used it to inveigle our men to the Kurfuerstendamm to create trouble, he replied.
That is impossible, the President of the court retorted, because the storm troop pay-offices issued their fares to the storm troopers.
Count Helldorf then began to argue that the demonstration had not been of an avowedly antisemitic character. Most of the Nazi storm troopers had not even known that it was Rosh Hashanah, he said. We National Socialists do not fight against individual Jews, he went on, but against the Jewish capitalistic system.
Is that why you smashed up the Reimann Cafe? the Public Prosecutor, Dr. Stenig, cried jumping to his feet. The Reimann Cafe is well-known as a meeting-place of Jewish artists, who are notoriously poor, so that the point went home.