After a trial which lasted more than two weeks, the court in Berne, Switzerland, delivered a blow this week to the anti-Semitic myth about the existence of a secret Jewish government by issuing a verdict that the notorious “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” are a forgery and come under the category of trashy literature.
This takes the wind out of the Nazi sails in their anti-Jewish propaganda. Basing most of their propaganda on the allegation that the “Protocols” are a genuine record of a plan mapped out by Jewish elders to dominate the world, the Nazis will now have to look for a new argument against the Jews since it has been proven by impartial experts before the court at Berne that the Protocols were a brazen fabrication of the Czarist secret police.
NAZIS REFUSE TO ACCEPT VERDICT AS FINAL
It would be too optimistic to expect the Nazis to admit their defeat under the Berne verdict, and discontinue disseminating the forged document. The Voelkischer Beobachter, Hitler’s chief organ, made it clear this week that the verdict means nothing to the Nazis. The trial of the Protocols, the paper said, did not end as far as the Nazis are concerned. To them it was only the beginning of a wave of new anti-Jewish propaganda.
Although the verdict was accepted by the entire civilized world as a just one, the Nazis involved in the case announced that they would appeal to a higher court. It is clear that this appeal is not aimed so much against the judgment of the court as it is for the purpose of gaining another public platform to air anti-Jewish pronouncements.
The Berne verdict puts on judicial record for the first time the fact that the 30-year-old legend about the authenticity of the “Protocols” is nothing but a myth. This verdict will serve as a precedent for other courts, should the “Protocols” again come up for trial in any other country.
FLEISCHAUER SUED FOR LIBEL
As an aftermath of the trial in Berne, another trial will take place there on May 28, with the defendant Col. Fleischauer, the Nazi “expert” who was sent from Germany to testify that the “Protocols” are a genuine document. In his testimony before the court Col. Fleischauer made libelous remarks about a Swiss manufacturer, M. Tobler, who appeared as a prosecution witness at the trial. Mr. Tobler is now suing Col. Fleischauer and it is expected that this trial too will attract no little attention.
Foreseeing their defeat, the Nazis exerted all the influence they could summon to have the verdict on the Berne trial postponed. The German government intervened with the government of Switzerland to influence the Berne court in this direction. Happily, these Nazi efforts failed.
LEAGUE COUNCIL TO ACT ON DANZIG REPRESSIONS
Defeated in Berne, the Nazis are now likely to suffer another blow when the next session of the Council of the League of Nations opens in Geneva. It is at this session that a Jewish petition will be taken up against the Nazi activities in Danzig.
Entirely controlled by Nazis, the administration of the Free City of Danzig is depriving the Jews of their rights along the same lines as in Germany. In addition to ousting Jewish doctors and officials from State institutions, and introducing all kinds of restrictions against Jewish artisans, the Nazis in Danzig are developing a furious anti-Jewish boycott campaign, which is affecting not only Danzig-born Jews but thousands of Jews who are Polish citizens.
This is in direct violation of the agreement existing between Poland and the administration of Danzig. It is also against the provisions of the League of Nations, which holds the official supervision over Danzig.
SENATE DISREGARDED LESTER COMPLAINTS
The League’s High Commissioner for Danzig, Sean Lester, an Irishman, has long since complained to the League against the mistreatment of the Jews in Danzig by the Nazi administration. His complaint, however, was not taken seriously by the Danzig Senate, which is dominated by a Nazi majority acting under instructions from Berlin.
With the recent elections in Danzig having proven a blow to Nazi expectations, the League’s High Commissioner now feels much more secure in his position. So does the Polish representative in Danzig. The Jews of Danzig have therefore seen fit to bring official complaints to the League of Nations against the Danzig administration.
The complaint of the Danzig Jews to the League is similar in many respects to the Bernheim petition which was submitted to the League of Nations as a Jewish complaint against Nazi Germany and which resulted in a favorable decision on the part of the League for the Jews in the German part of Upper Silesia. Such a decision is also expected now with regard to Danzig, as it is certain that the Polish representatives in Geneva will have a direct interest in supporting the Jewish complaints, not to speak of representatives of other governments who are not so well disposed towards Germany as the Polish Government is.
JEWS MOURN DEATH OF MARSHAL PILSUDSKI
The thirty million residents of Poland, including the three-and-a-half million Jews, mourned this week the death of Marshal Josef Pilsudski, the man who delivered Poland from Czarist domination and who remained the actual ruler of the country until the last day of his life.
Friendly towards the Jews, Pilsudski always saw to it that the efforts of the anti-Semitic elements in the country to organize pogroms against the Jews were promptly checked. Although suffering from all manner of economic discrimination, the Jews of Poland knew that as long as Pilsudski lived, they had nothing to fear from the threats of the anti-Semitic National Democratic Party to exterminate the Jewish population by physical terror.
The death of Pilsudski is therefore a substantial loss to Polish Jewry. No one is in a position at present to predict how the passing of Pilsudski will affect the internal politics of Poland in the near future. Internal strife may, however, be expected since the anti-Semitic National Democratic Party has long been looking forward to the death of Pilsudski in order to indulge in an attempt to capture the power in the country.
A sincere attempt to curb anti-Semitic outbreaks was made this week by the Government of Rumania when Jewish students were attacked in the Bucharest University immediately after the university had been reopened following a month’s suspension as a result of previous anti-Jewish outbreaks.
BUCHAREST U. AGAIN CLOSED AFTER RIOTS
Without hesitation the Minister of Education in Bucharest ordered the University closed again this week when the anti-Semitic students refused to leave the Jewish students in peace. The government also invited the rectors of all the universities in Rumania for a special conference to consider ways and means for instituting strict measures against students who are obstructing the normal functioning of the universities.
The anti-Jewish disturbances in the Bucharest University this week show that anti-Semitic elements among the students do not intend to give up their fight to force the government to oust Jews from the study of medicine and law. The disturbances started at the medical college and a number of Jewish students were injured. They later spread to the streets in the vicinity of the university where Jewish passers-by were molested.
YOUTHS SEEK TO GO TO BIRO-BIDJAN, PALESTINE
The problem of the Jewish youth in Rumania, as in Poland, continues to be serious in view of the fight conducted by the anti-Semitic elements to bar Jews from professions. Hundreds of Jewish youths in these countries are therefore now besieging the offices of the ORT in Poland and Rumania to register as prospective emigrants to Biro-Bidjan. Thousands of them are besieging the Palestine offices in their countries asking for an opportunity to proceed to Palestine.
While the government officials of Soviet Russia announced this week that more than 4,000 foreign Jews will be admitted to Biro-Bidjan this year as an experiment, the Palestine government introduced a series of restrictions against Jewish immigration. The first restriction was to notify the Jewish Agency that it could no longer assist visitors to Palestine, who subsequently found employment, to remain in the country as permanent residents by issuing to them certificates from its labor schedule hitherto retained for this purpose.
ENTRY OF FAMILIES IS RESTRICTED
The second and more serious restriction was when the government curbed the entry of families under the labor schedule by stipulating for the first time that “chalutzim” are to come in under the category of “unmarried,” whereby each visa is valid for one immigrant only.
In order to prevent the entry of Jews from Syria, the Palestine government this week asked the government of Syria to issue special passports to Syrian Jews proceeding from Syria to Transjordan. The Palestine government hinted that she fears that Jews from Syria, coming into Transjordan, might cross the Jordan River and enter Palestine. The government therefore wishes to introduce a passport system