For the first time in Jewish history a court with every means at its disposal was to render a judgment as to whether the notorious “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion” are an authentic document or a forgery.
The case came up in the House of Justice in Berne and provoked tremendous interest throughout the world. Prominent figures such as Dr. Weizmann, Dr. Sliosberg, the Russian ex-minister Miliukoff and well-known experts appeared in court. They testified that the “Protocols” were forged in Russia by the Czarist government to provoke anti-Jewish hatred.
The verdict in this case has been postponed for a month, since the defendants asked the court to allow them time to bring a Nazi expert from Germany.
SWISS ANTI-JEWISH DRIVE BEGUN LAST YEAR
When, at the beginning of last year, an anti-Semitic movement spread over Switzerland, showing itself especially in the press, the Union of Jewish Communities in Switzerland and the Jewish Community of Berne resolved to take action against the leaders of the new political group, the Federation of Swiss National Socialists, and against Dr. A. Zander, the editor of a Nazi paper, Der Eiserne Besen.
The plaintiffs referred to the law existing in the Canton of Berne against trashy literature which reads:
“The printing, the editing, the selling, the hiring out, the public exhibition and offer, as well as all other ways of spreading of trashy literature, especially of works the form and contents of which are apt to lead to crime or are conducive to immorality, to hurt the sense of shame, to excite vile instincts and in other ways to cause brutal offense.
“The prohibition refers to books, papers, printed matter, songs, posters, advertisements and other printed matters or pictures. “
The matter of complaint was a pamphlet, a newspaper, and especially the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” The latter were called by the plaintiffs a gross falsification. The plaintiffs urged prohibition and confiscation of these publications.
Counsels for the plaintiffs made it a point that in having cleared up the origin of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” the judge would render the whole question a great service.
COURT ORDERS EXPERTS TO STUDY PROBLEM
The judge agreed to establish the origin of the “Protocols” and ordered a committee of three experts to determine the matter. One expert was chosen by each party, defendants and plaintiffs, while the third was nominated by the Chief Justice. The plaintiffs proposed as their expert Professor Arthur Baumgarten, a professor of law at the University of Basle. The defendants named a Pastor Munchmeyer of Oldenburg, Germany, as their expert. The chief justice engaged as his representative C. A. Loosli, a novelist and a well-known figure in Switzerland.
At the trial this week in Berne, Mr. Loosli testified that there can be no question that the “Protocols” are a forgery. It was after Mr. Loosli’s testimony that the Nazis asked the court to postpone the verdict and to give them a chance to bring the new expert from Germany.
The trial in Berne was considered by the entire world not merely a local case but one which involves Jews all over the world. There is no doubt that the verdict in this case will proclaim the “Protocols” as falsification. Thus for the first time, the Jews will have a chance to establish through a court the baselessness of the allegations that the Jews maintain a secret international organization the purpose of which is to dominate the world.
LONG STEP TOWARD ZIONIST UNITY
A substantial step towards unity in the Zionist ranks was made this week when David Ben-Gurion, the Palestine labor leader, and Vladimir Jabotinsky, leader of the Revisionists, signed an agreement in London obligating both parties to maintain peace and to avoid terrorist acts.
Although this agreement does not mean that a complete understanding has been reached between the Laborites and the Revisionists on their basic theoretical differences, it nevertheless opened wider possibilities for reaching such an understanding.
The Zionist movement has suffered greatly from the clashes taking place between Laborites and Revisionists in Palestine, in Poland and wherever these two parties have a following. Now these clashes will no longer occur. This state of armistice is especially fortunate for Palestine where inter-party physical attacks had reached a point of actual terror.
CONCLUDED ON EVE OF BALFOUR ANNIVERSARY
The armistice pact between the Laborites and the Revisionists was concluded first a few days before the seventeenth anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.
The observance of the Balfour Declaration in the week just concluded it was emphasized that the spirit of the Declaration is now no longer followed by the British government, since Jewish immigration into Palestine is restricted and since the government insists on the creation there of a Legislative Council, which would not help the upbuilding of the Jewish National Home in Palestine as provided by the Balfour Declaration.
Sir Arthur Wauchope, High Commissioner for Palestine, who is pressing upon the Jews to accept the projected Legislative Council, received a number of Jewish delegations in London this week.
He discussed with them the various aspects of his project. He is scheduled to leave soon for Palestine, and to bring along with him the approval of his scheme by the British government.
AUSTRIA PROMULGATES FASCIST CONSTITUTION
In Austria the new Fascist corporate constitution was promulgated, making Austria a pure Catholic country.
Although Dr. Desider Friedmann, the president of the Vienna Jewish community, was appointed a member of the Austrian State Council when the new constitution was promulgated, the Jewish situation in Austria will hardly improve with the modification of the Austrian constitution for the purpose of making Austria a Christian Catholic State.
Dr. Friedman, though the president of the Jewish community of Vienna, is nevertheless not recognized at present by many sections of the Jewish population as their representative. He is being accused of not taking a firm stand in protecting Jewish interests in Austria. He is also being held responsible for the deportation of M. Tenenblatt, the Vienna correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, of whom the government wished to get rid a year ago when the anti-Jewish discriminations began under the Dollfuss regime.
In Poland the anti-Semitic Nara Party was resurrected as a pro-government youth party under the name “Federation of Young Nationalists.” Open support is now being given to this party by government leaders notwithstanding the fact that the program of the newly-formed group is completely anti-Semitic and demands the annihilation of Jews in Poland.