Slayer of Nazi Leader to Go on Trial; Says He Acted on His Own Volition
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Slayer of Nazi Leader to Go on Trial; Says He Acted on His Own Volition

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David Frankfurter, confessed slayer of Wilhelm Gustloff, Swiss Nazi leader, declared today that he had no grudge against his victim, but used him to hit at Hitler.

The 26-year-old Yugoslavian Jewish medical student dispelled the idea that the assassination may have been planned by a terrorist group by asserting that he acted on his own will and “for ideological reasons.”

Preparations were made to remove the youth, who remained calm and self-possessed through an ordeal of grilling, to Berne. His trial will probably take place in the town of Chur.

Although it was denied in German circles that Gustloff had been connected with the German Government, the flag over the German consulate here was half-staffed today. It was stated that this was merely a gesture of unity between the German State and the Nazi Party.

It was announced in German quarters that Gustloff’s body would be transferred to Germany and buried with State honors. It was emphasized, however, by the Germans that no political significance was attached to the assassination and that the trial would not be used for propaganda.

Swiss newspapers today condemned the slaying but refrained from discussing the motive.

Frankfurter, who confessed that he had gone to the town of Davos from Berne to shoot Gustloff, studied medicine in Berne University until July, 1935, when he left Switzerland, returning in the Fall. He lived in a small pension on Erlacher Strasse, but did not resume his studies.

He was never known to have displayed an interest in political affairs and was connected with no party. He was not known in Berne Jewish circles.

Gustloff, a 41-year-old physicist attached to the Davos observatory, had often been warned by the Swiss Authorities about his activities in organizing the Germans in Switzerland in support of Hitler.

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