Hans Luther, German Ambassador to the United States, is invited to testify before the American Inquiry Commission, which begins its sessions July 2. The invitation, signed by Arthur Garfield Hays, a member of the commission, informs Luther that he may submit “any testimony” which he “would care to place before this tribunal.”
The commission will hear witnesses on legislation, education and civil liberties in Nazi Germany, and will investigate particularly the status of law and political trials now pending in Germany.
Soon after it was decided to hold the public inquiry, the commission agreed to offer both official and unofficial representatives of the Hitler government an opportunity to testify on behalf of their regime and to cross-examine witnesses.
As the first step in that direction a telegram was sent last week to Ernst Hanfstaengl, Hitler’s right-hand man, now visiting at Harvard University, following a class reunion. Although Hanfstaengl was asked to reply collect to the commission’s request that he testify or cross-examine witnesses, up to a late hour Wednesday no reply was forthcoming, according to Raymond L. Wise, secretary of the commission.
Explaining why the invitation to the German Embassy was not sent earlier, Mr. Wise declared that it was felt that the Hitler representatives should be given ample opportunity to acquaint themselves with the preparations of the commission and the witnesses who are to testify.
In addition to Hays, members include George Gordon Battle, United States Senator Edward P. Costigan, Clarence Darrow, Stanley High, Dudley F. Malone and George Z. Medalie.
The letter to Ambassador Luther reads in part:
“The Commission will inquire into the legal situation, the alleged persecution of minority groups, German education, the status of women, the question of civil liberties and like matters.
“We wish to approach this task in a spirit of fairness and would be pleased to consider any testimony which you, acting for your government, would care to place before this tribunal. We should welcome the presence of an observer or, if you desire, of some lawyer who will have an opportunity to cross-examine witnesses.”