Frankfurt, Germany (Oct. 18)
Herr Steinberg, former president of the Frankfurt police, stoically defended the former chief of the Frankfurt political police, Ferdinand Muerdel, who is on trial with Dr. Marx, representative of the Central Union of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith. Dr. Marx is accused of having bribed Herr Muerdel in order to obtain possession of information on Nazi activities in the hands of the police.
Herr Steinberg, who appeared in court at the insistence of the prosecutor, despite the fact that he had been certified as being ill in Berlin, declared that he was of pure Aryan peasant stock.
He testified that he saw nothing improper in collaboration between Dr. Marx and Herr Muerdel and stated that in any case all that Herr Muerdel possessed was an index which was hardly confidential, in the broader sense. Although strictly speaking, Herr Steinberg agreed, when confronted with confidential documents, that Herr Muerdel’s action was incorrect.
Part of the investigation of Herr Steinberg was conducted in camera, and the witness apparently suffering from a nervous breakdown as a result of recent experiences, repeatedly began to cry under the cross-examination by the prosecutor.
Testimony of other witnesses today disclosed that the original investigation into the activities of the Central Union had been undertaken in order to discover association between the Central Union and the communists. However, since the search yielded no results, a study of the material seized resulted in the subsequent charge of bribery being preferred against Dr. Marx.