Berne, Switzerland (Oct. 26)
Correspondents from all over the world are arriving here for the beginning of a momentous trial on Monday, which involves the origin and truth of the notorious “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” the bible of the world anti-Semites.
Since the trial involves the startling accusation that the Jews of the world are “plotting world domination,” the trial is expected to attract world-wide attention.
Complainants in the case are: Dr. J. Dreyfus-Brodezky, president of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities and head of the Basle Jewish community; Dr. Marcus Cohen, president of the Zionist Federation of Switzerland; and Dr. Marcus Ehrenpreis of Stockholm, Chief Rabbi of Sweden.
Defendants in the original criminal libel suit were Dr. A. Zander, editor-in-chief of the Swiss Nazi organ, Eiserne Besen (Iron Broom), who published articles affirming the truth of the “Protocols”; Theodor Fritsch, German anti-Semite and publisher of anti-German book; and Colonel Mueller von Hansen, a retired German officer, who published a book, “‘The Secrets of the Elders of Zion” under the pen name of Gottfried zur Beek. The last two named defendants have died since the inception of the suit. Dr. Zander is, therefore, the only defendant.
SAYS “PROTOCOLS’ ARE TRUE
In an article published on June 9, 1933, the Eiserne Besen declared that Jews were contesting the truth of the “Protocols” because it revealed their secret designs on the rulership of the world, and cited von Hansen and Fritsch as evidence of the truth of the allegations contained in the “Protocols.”
“The Jewish and Jewish-controlled press may rave and yell as they please, the truth of the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ is obvious to all,” the article concluded.
Associated with the Swiss Jewish leaders in pressing the libel charge is Dr. Ehrenpreis, who was drawn into the affair when the Swiss Nazi paper, in attempting to prove the verity of the “Protocols,” alleged that “a secret Jewish world government was organized in Basle, Switzerland in 1897 at the first World Zionist Congress called by Dr. Theodor Herzl, founder of modern Zionism.” The Eiserne Besen quoted an article written by Dr. Ehrenpreis many years ago on the beginnings of modern Zionism to prove the fact that such a world super-government had been organized at the Basle Zionist Congress and called attention to the fact that both von Hansen and Fritsch had used the same article.
Dr. Ehrenpreis indignantly denied that anything he had ever written had dealt with such a fantastic subject or that the Basle Congress had ever considered “world domination.” He also pointed out that since the death of Dr. Herzl, he had disagreed with the Zionist leaders and was no longer active in the Zionist movement.
The Jewish complainants declare they have suffered personal damage, since the “Protocols” are an attack on the integrity of the Jewish community, to which they belong.
In a preliminary investigation, which involved confiscation of some 700 copies of the “Protocols,” Dr. Zander expressed himself as willing to withdraw the statement that Dr. Ehrenpreis himself had proven authenticity of the “Protocols.” The attorney for the plaintiffs, however, refused to assent unless the court declared the “Protocols” were a forgery and the books of von Hansen and Fritsch deliberate incitement against the Jewish people.
Noted Jewish and non-Jewish leaders of the world opinion are scheduled to appear in Berne to testify that the “Protocols” are an outright forgery. Professor Paul Hiliukov, former Minister of Foreign Affairs under Alexander Kerensky, and Vladimir Burtzev, Russian journalist and enemy of Czarism, are to testify. The late Dr. Leo Motzkin, chairman of the Committee of Jewish Delegations, was to have been the chief witness for the prosecution, but Dr. Motzkin died before the date of the trial was announced. Dr. Motzkin was considered an authority on the history of the forged “Protocols.”
BASIS OF INCITEMENT
One of the most notorious forgeries in modern times, the “Protocols” have constituted a basis for all anti-Semitic agitation, since they were first made public in Russia in 1905. At that time a Russian reactionary, writing under the name of “Nilus,” published the book to help the Czarist government and the “Black Hundreds” in the anti-Semitic campaign which was a definite part of Czarist policy. The book was translated into many languages and became the bible of the anti-Semites of the world.
Jews everywhere protested that the “Protocols” were a ridiculous forgery, but the anti-Semites continued to publish the book in many languages and to insist that it proved the “existence of a Jewish plot to forment revolution and disorder and thereby conquer the world.”
In 1921 the London Times, leading British paper, published an expose completely disproving the “Protocols” and showing in detail how the book was forged. Ward Price, Istanbul correspondent of the Times, came into contact with Russian monarchists, who told how a pamphlet written by a Parisian lawyer, Maurice Joly, in 1864, thirty years before the Zionist Congress in Basle, which was an attack on Napoleon III, had fallen accidentally in the hands of a Russian monarchist. The book was entitled “A Dialogue in Hades Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu,” and revealed the alleged plot of Napoleon to conquer the entire world.