CHUR, Switzerland (Dec. 10)
David Frankfurter, young Yugoslavian Jewish medical student who faces 18 years in prison for the assassination last February of the Swiss Nazi leader, Wilhelm Gustloff, sobbed bitterly today as a letter from his father was read in court.
The letter, read by Dr. Ursprung, attorney for Gustloff’s widow, upbraided Frankfurter for not making progress in his studies and for not writing.
Nazi reporters among the 250 correspondents covering the trial brought contemptuous laughter from their colleagues when they sprang to attention and gave the Nazi salute as Frau Gustloff entered the courtroom to testify this morning. They repeated the action on her departure.
Frau Gustloff, on the witness stand, denied Frankfurter’s assertion that Gustloff, telephoning while Frankfurter waited in his study on the day of the shooting, had said: “The dirty Jews, we’ll show them.”
The prisoner denied he was contemplating the murder when he arrived in Davos, asserting he had merely wished to get out of Berne to commit suicide. He said he had been goaded to the crime by an article in Der Stuermer, Julius Streicher’s anti-Semitic weekly.
When he left Berne for Davos, he told the five judges before whom he is being tried, he had no clear idea of his intentions. He said that some internal force impelled him there to commit an act of vengeance in behalf of his race.