Berlin (Oct. 10)
Mystery continued to surround the fate today of Dr. Otto Hirsch, president of the executive of the Reichsvertretung, central representative Jewish body, who was arrested here yesterday by the Gestapo in connection with a special Yom Kippur message issued by the Reichsvertretung to the Jews of Germany.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency was today refused information about the fate of Dr. Hirsch, by the Gestapo. The secret police declined to divulge where he is being held.
All copies of the Yom Kippur message, signed by Dr. Hirsch and Chief Rabbi Dr. Leo Baeck, president of the Reichsvertretung, were ordered confiscated today by the Gestapo.
It is believed that the wrath of the Gestapo was provoked especially by the following paragraph appearing in the message:
“We stand before the Lord. With the same strength with which we have acknowledged our sins, the sins of individuals and the sins of the community, we declare with a feeling of abhorrence that the lies directed against us, and the calumnies spread against our religion and its Testament, are repudiated by us root and branch.”
This message was to have been read in all synagogues on the Jewish Day of Atonement, last Monday. But the Gestapo sent out telegraphic orders prohibiting the reading of the message. Dr. Leo Baeck was arrested, and was released after having been detained by the secret police for 24 hours until after the holiday. Dr. Hirsch, who was not in Berlin on Yom Kippur, was arrested yesterday on his return.