dent of the Swiss Republic against the court for not stopping the court’s expert, Dr. Loosli, when he allegedly attacked Germany and the present German government during his testimony in court.
“I deplore the fact that the complaint was not made by Col. Fleischauer in court. If the minutes of the proceedings had proven that his assertion was correct, the court would have expressed its regrets,” the presiding judge said.
Judge Mayers reviewed the origin of the “Protocols” and declared that it has been definitely proven that they are baseless. He brought out the fact that since the trial’s opening, a new edition of the “Protocols” was published in Germany which is a revision of the 1931 edition published there by Fritsch, but this new edition is likewise “utterly untenable.”
The judge concluded his statement with an expression of hope that “the time will come when nobody will be able to understand why people ever took the Protocols seriously.” The spirit of Judaism is not in the “Protocols” as the Nazis allege, he said.
The case of the “Protocols” came up in the Berne court when Jewish leaders of Switzerland brought suit against Swiss Nazi leaders for spreading this notorious forged document as propaganda that the Jews wish to dominate the world.
Of the three experts who appeared before the court, two testified that the “Protocols” are not only a forgery but that they come under the category of obscene literature, aiming to incite to crime. One of these experts was Dr. C. A. Loosli, the official expert retained by the court. The other was Dr. Arthur Baumgartner, a non-Jewish scientist who testified for the prosecution.
THE NAZI ‘EXPERT’ FAILS
The third “expert,” Col. Ulrich Fleischauer, who was brought to Berne all the way from Erfurt, Germany, to testify for the Nazis, failed to prove that the “Protocols” are genuine. His arguments were based chiefly on the contention that it has never been established that the “Protocols” are not genuine.
The lawyers for the defense appealed to the court for the acquittal of the defendants, stating that the accused Swiss Nazis could not have known that the “Protocols” are forgeries. Since distribution of the “Protocols” was not prohibited in Switzerland, the defendants acted in good faith, the pro-Nazi lawyers argued.
Two of the defendants pleaded before the court in their own behalf, denying participation in the work of distributing the “Protocols.”
REICH AIDED DEFENSE
The German government, which is now building its entire anti-Jewish propaganda on the basis of the forged “Protocols,” watched the proceedings of the court with great interest. Members of the staff of the Ministry of Propaganda were sent by the German government to the trial to assist Col. Fleischauer, the Nazi “expert.”
The action was brought by the Union of Jewish Communities in Switzerland and by the Jewish Community of Berne, against the leaders of the National Socialist Party there, and against “parties unknown” who in Germany directed the spread of propaganda that alleged the “Protocols” are an authentic document and constitute a record of the first Zionist Congress held in Basle in 1897.
ACTION BASED ON BERNE LAW
A criminal charge was brought against the defendants for distribution of the “Protocols” by these organizations, on the basis of Article 14 of the Cantonal Bernese Act, which prohibits the dissemination of trashy literature and literature which stimulates the perpetration of crime and exercises a brutalizing influence.
In order to establish whether the “Protocols” are genuine or false, the court here decided to call a committee of experts to pass judgment upon the validity of the “Protocols.” Today’s verdict branding the “Protocols” a forgery is based upon the testimony of these experts.
In addition to the suit in Berne, an individual libel suit has also-been brought in Basle against the publishers of an anti-Jewish newspaper, The Iron Broom, which had maintained the truth of the “Protocols” and cited an article by the Chief Rabbi of Stockholm, Dr. Marcus Ehrenpreis. The court in Basle had already granted a provisional seizure of the newspaper and the “Protocols.”
A civil action is now being brought by J. Dreyfus Brodsky, president of the Jewish community of Basle and the Union of Jewish Communities, and Dr. Marcus Cohn, president of the Swiss Zionist Union. In addition, Dr. Ehrenpreis, directly named in the libel, has brought a second private action. The settlement of this case was deferred until the outcome of the Basle hearing.
NAZIS SOUGHT POSTPONEMENT
Efforts to postpone today’s verdict of the court in Berne were made by the Nazi lawyers, who demanded that new witnesses be called. Since the hearing was already postponed once six months ago, at the request of the Nazis, the court rejected the motion of the Nazi lawyers to postpone the case again.
The “Protocols” were published for the first time in 1905 in the Russian language, in a book by Serge Nilus, entitled “The Great and the Little.” In the first edition of 1905 no explanation of the origin of this document was given. In the second edition, published in 1911, it is claimed that a woman stole this document from a man of exalted position in Freemasonry, and that this woman gave them to Alexis N. Sukhotin, a nobleman who at one time was vice-governor of Stavropol. In later and other editions of the “Protocols,” disparate stories of their origin are given.
SOURCES OF FORGERY
The evidence given at the Berne trial conclusively proved that the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” is a brazen fabrication, made up of material taken from two sources: a political pamphlet which had no application whatsoever to the Jew, and a fantasy first written by the German novelist Goedsche. The political pamphlet is the book “Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu,” published in 1865 in Brussels. This book was directed against the despotism of Napoleon III and was written by a French lawyer, Maurice Joly, but published anonymously.
In 1921, the correspondent of the London Times in Constantinople investigated the authenticity of the “Protocols.” He pointed out the similarity between the “Dialogue” and the “Protocols.” He produced evidence that the author of the “Protocols” merely copied from the “Dialogue” a number of the passages which were put into the mouth of Machiavelli, and ascribed them to a Jewish “Elder.” A copy of this “Dialogue” reached the Secret Police of Czarist Russia through Rachkovsky, head of the Russian secret police in Paris, whose name figured repeatedly at the Berne trial.
The similarity between the “Protocols” and a novel by Goedsche, named “Biarritz,” was shown by Dr. J. Stanjek in Berlin. In 1920 a book was published in Luebeck, Germany, by Otto Friedrich, under the title “The Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion: A Book of Forgeries,” in which the parallel texts of the “Protocols” and Goedsche’s “Biarritz” were presented.
Ten leading national Jewish organizations in the United States issued a joint statement on December 1, 1920, denying the authenticity of the “Protocols” and denouncing them as a forgery. This statement reviewed the evidence for the fact that the “Protocols” were manufactured in Czarist Russia. The statement gave assurance that there has never existed a secret or other Jewish body for a purpose such as that implied in the “Protocols.” The statement also emphasized that the Jews have never conspired with the Freemasons or anybody for any purpose.
PRINTED HERE IN 1920
The “Protocols” were published in the United States for the first time in 1920, during the depression following the World War boom. They were also used for a series of articles which appeared in the Dearborn Independent at a time when this organ of Henry Ford conducted anti-Jewish propaganda. Mr. Ford later published an official apology and admitted that he had been misled into believing in the authenticity of the “Protocols.”
The revival of the “Protocols” assumed a menacing character when the Nazis came into power in Germany. Translations of the faked documents were spread by the Nazis throughout the world as means of Nazi propaganda against the Jews. In one of the latest bulletins of the Reich Ministry of Propaganda, under the title “Enlightening and Informative Material for Speakers,” it is openly avowea that “Germany and the National Socialist movement are the pioneers in the expansion and utilization of their knowledge of the Jewish race, and have thereby called the attention of the peoples of other lands to this problem.”