Defending Hitler entails great sacrifices. Fred Behrand, a husky German seaman, had a lot of time for reflection about his own sacrifices for Der Fuehrer last night, for he was not to be sentenced until next Wednesday.
Last night he pondered, among other things, why he should be imprisoned after defending Hitler by the sheer heroism of beating up a 105 pound Jewish rabbi (He himself weighs over 200.)
Last Friday, Behrand got into an argument with the Rev. Dr. Joshua Schusterman, twenty-nine, 244 West Ninety-ninth street, a graduate of the Breslau Theological School and a writer on Jewish topics. The argument concerned Hitler.
Amazed that some one could question of Der Fuehrer, Behrand pummeled the diminutive rabbi lustily, so lustily in fact, that the rabbi had to go to the Lenox Hill Hospital for treatment.
Both appeared before Magistrate Hugon Capshaw in West Fifty-seventh street Magistrate’s Court that night. Behrand pleaded guilty, but argued that he was only “defending my country.”
Examination by Magistrate Capshaw elicited the information that Behrand had filed his first citizenship papers here.
“What do you mean, your country?” asked the judge wrathfully. “this is your country.
“Do you know,” he added, “that a primary qualification for citizenship in the United States is no race prejudice?”
Behrand hung his head. Not that he regretted defending Hitler, but he figured that by appearing contrite he might get off easily.
Magistrate Capshaw remanded the German seaman to jail for five days pending an investigation into his history. On Wednesday he will be sentenced.
Last night Behrand lay on a narrow cot, his hands under his head, and his feet up on the wall. He felt very much confined. He is looking forward, not with too much anticipation, to some more confinement. But he was consoled by a feeling of duty well done.
After all, it is not everybody who beats up a 105 pound rabbi for Hitler’s sake.