PARIS (Jul. 20)
A committee of distinguished Jewish leaders today completely exonerated Vladimir Poliakoff of charges by former employes that he had sold out the Pariser Tageblatt, German emigre paper published here, to the Nazi propaganda office.
Poliakoff, the committee’s verdict states, was the “victim of an attack against his good name and property unprecedented in the history of journalism.”
The committee, which had spent weeks investigating the charges, was headed by Dr. Henry Sliosberg, famous lawyer and champion of Jewish causes. Others on the committee included Justizrat Dr. Werthauer; Vladimir Jabotinsky, president of the New Zionist Organization; Benedickt Offberchin, editor of a Russian daily, and N. Finkelstein, publisher of the Haint, local Yiddish paper.
Dr. Georg Bernhard, exiled Berlin journalist who contends his dismissal as editor of the Tageblatt was part of the “sell-out” to the Nazis, refused to testify before the committee. Also refusing the committee’s invitation to appear were the Tageblatt’s former business manager and other members of the editorial staff. The fact that a court action is pending in which they are defendants was ascribed as the reason for their refusal to appear.
The committee’s verdict emphasizes that it is “firmly convinced the charges against Poliakoff have no basis whatsoever.”
“Even if the editors should refer to any alleged facts,” the verdict continues, “these facts can be termed with absolute certainty as false.”
The committee reaches the conclusion that “from all the facts studied, it is to be considered that Poliakoff is the victim of an attack against his good name and property unprecedented in the history of journalism.”
The charges against the publisher of the Tageblatt were announced sensationally June 11 on page one of the paper itself and were signed by the editorial staff. Dr. Bernhard at the time was on a speaking tour in the United States on behalf of the forthcoming World Jewish Congress at Geneva.
According to the charges, Poliakoff had agreed with the Nazi propaganda office to change the spirit of the paper and to dismiss Dr. Bernhard as the first step in this direction.
The announcement went on to state that “this is the last number of the free, anti-Nazi Pariser Tageblatt.”
Poliakoff vigorously denied the charges and immediately brought libel suits against the staff, which in the meantime had started a new emigre paper, the Pariser Tageszeitung, under the editorship of Dr. Bernhard.
Commenting on the development, Dr. Bernhard while in New York told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that his dismissal was “an extension of Hitler’s propaganda front into France.”