Victims Describe Anti-jewish Rosh Hashanah Excesses to Berlin Court
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Victims Describe Anti-jewish Rosh Hashanah Excesses to Berlin Court

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I live in the Kurfuerstendamm, at the corner of the Fasanen Strasse, and about 8.30 in the evening I saw a crowd of about 1,500 Nazi storm troopers come up, all apparently between 18 and 22 years of age, and all acting clearly under the orders of recognised leaders, Dr. Alfred Apfel, a Jewish lawyer, who is a former President of the Berlin Zionist Organisation, declared in giving evidence to-day in the trial against Count Helldorf and the other prisoners who are accused of having organised and directed the anti-Jewish excesses in Berlin last Rosh Hashanah.

Outside my house, he said, there were five or six of these leaders in charge of operations. They sent a number of their people over to the Kempinski corner, where there was one man standing, who called out the commands. He had a loudspeaker, and kept on shouting “Judal”, to which the mob responded “Perish!”.

I saw about fifteen of the Nazi troopers knock down a Jewish-looking man, and stamp on him.

I did not come forward in the first trial of the participants in the excesses, Dr. Apfel said, because I did not want to contribute by my evidence to sending working people to prison, no matter whether they belong to right or left, because I consider them to have been used as dupes by the instigators. But now, when it is the leaders who are on trial, I have come forward to say what I saw. It is these people who led the others into mischief, thinking as usual to get out of it themselves, while their dupes paid for their crimes. About nine o’clock, he concluded, a big force of police came up, and everything became quiet. But when the police went a second series of demonstrations and excesses started.

Dr. Moehring, who was a victim of the outbreak, sustaining severe injuries, which kept him in hospital for weeks, began his evidence by declaring:

I am not a Jew, and I am not an opponent of the Nazis. I did not believe that I would be attacked. I was going along the Schlueter Strasse when I heard someone who was attacked cry out. Soon after a troop of Nazis came along, pushed me into the gutter, a young man came out from the rest and with his whistle blew a signal, whereupon people came from all sides and threw themselves on me. I was hit with something hard on the head and I heard shouting all round me:” Shoot the Jew down”. I ran to the Reimann Cafe, but they ran after me and beat me with cudgels over the head and breast until I fell senseless. When I recovered consciousness I felt that I was still being beaten and trampled on. Some of them stamped their heavy boots in my face. For three weeks I lay at death’s door. I hardly thought that I would recover.

Herr Reimann, the proprietor of the Reimann Cafe, which was wrecked by the Hazi storm troopers who came in search of Jewish customers, swore that he had heard orders called out, on which the Nazi storm-troopers who had invaded his cafe acted.

A number of other victims, including several non-Jews followed, in all cases declaring that they had heard orders being issued to the rioters. Only one of them, a student named Pawel, was able to recognise any of the accused, as having been on the scene, and he swore that he had seen Engineer Prandt, the leader of the Young Steelhelm issuing orders to the rioters in his own vicinity.

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