The Weissberger Arrest in Czecho-slovakia: Details Show He Shot Peasants on Orders of Officer in Cha
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The Weissberger Arrest in Czecho-slovakia: Details Show He Shot Peasants on Orders of Officer in Cha

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the following details are given of the arrest of the Jew, Samuel Weissberger, of Michalovce, near Kaschau, an iron merchant, on suspicion that on November 10th., 1918, when he was an assistant gendarme, he shot dead two peasants, Nikolaus Kuszik and Jan Jurca, belonging to the village of Zbinec, in the district of Michalovce.

On November 10th., 1918, an automobile arrived in Michalovce, carrying a party of soldiers under command of an officer, all of them belonging to the flying corps. Samuel Weissberger was allocated to the party by the local gendarmerie station as local guide. The party with Weissberger went on to Krasnoveo. There it stopped and salvo of machine guns was tired. The soldiers visited the Mayor of the village. There were at that time a large number of people in Krasnoveo who had not reported for military duty, and thinking that the soldiers had come searching for deserters the entire population fled from the village. The soldiers then went to the village of Zbinec and surrounded it. The allegation is that several of the soldiers, headed by the Commandant and including Weissberger, went into the village. They stopped outside the house of the peasant Jurca, and demanded that he should come out, and when he came, Weissberger shot him down. This is said to be vouched for by eye-witnesses. The other peasant, Kucik, was in the church and refused to leave when he heard that he was being searched for. When the service was over the soldiers took him away, and it is alleged that Weissberger shot him down in Zbinec. This, too, is said to be vouched for by eye-witnesses. After the executions the soldiers returned to Michalovce. The death certificates state that Kucik was shot by order of court martial and Jurca for resisting the military. It is understood, it is added, that Weissberger had been ordered by the officer in charge of the party to carry out the executions in his capacity as the local gendarme attached to the party. The authorities deny, however, that there was a state of martial law at that time. The Defence makes much of the point that for 13 years the authorities did not consider it necessary to take any action, accepting the death certificates which state that the executions were carried out on the order of a court martial, and the matter has been brought up only now as a kind of counterblast to the Horak acquittal.

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