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Gestapo Closes J.t.a. Bureau in Berlin; Charges Violation of Pact Not to Send News Abroad

THE GESTAPO, GERMAN SECRET POLICE, TODAY FORMALLY EXPLAINED TO THE AMERICAN CONSULATE GENERAL WHY IT HAD INVOKED A DECREE ENACTED IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE HINDENBURG REGIME TO CLOSE ON WEDNESDAY THE BERLIN BUREAU OF THE JEWISH TELEGRAPHIC AGENCY, AMERICAN-OWNED NEWS SERVICE.

IN PADLOCKING THE OFFICES, GESTAPO AGENTS HAD INFORMED BUREAU MANAGER OTTO SCHICK, AN AUSTRIAN CITIZEN, THE ACTION WAS TAKEN “ON ACCOUNT OF ENDANGERING PUBLIC SAFETY AND ORDER,” UNDER TERMS OF THE DECREE OF FEB. 20, 1933.

THIS MORNING CONSUL RAYMOND GEIST WAS INFORMED THE BUREAU WAS CHARGED WITH SENDING NEWS ABROAD, IN VIOLATION OF AN AGREEMENT REACHED AFTER THE NAZIS HAD CLOSED THE BUREAU IN JULY, 1933, UNDER WHICH THE JEWISH TELEGRAPHIC AGENCY UNDERTOOK TO CONFINE THE BUREAU’S ACTIVITIES TO DISSEMINATION OF NEWS WITHIN GERMANY ALONE.

THE GESTAPO DID NOT SHOW MR. GEIST THE ALLEGED EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT ITS CHARGE, BUT PROMISED TO PRODUCE IT NEXT MONDAY.

SINCE THE AGREEMENT WAS ENTERED INTO BETWEEN REPRESENTATIVE OF THE JEWISH TELEGRAPHIC AGENCY AND THE GERMAN AUTHORITIES, SHORTLY AFTER THE NAZI REGIME TOOK POWER IN 1933, THE BERLIN BUREAU HAS FUNCTIONED ONLY INTERNALLY, SUPPLYING THE GERMAN-JEWISH PRESS WITH NEWS.

ALL NEWS ORIGINATING IN GERMANY AND INTENDED FOR DISTRIBUTION OUTSIDE OF THE REICH HAS BEEN HANDLED EXCLUSIVELY BY SPECIAL CORRESPONDENTS FUNCTIONING INDEPENDENTLY OF THE BUREAU.

ACTION OF THE GESTAPO IN CLOSING THE BERLIN OFFICE CUTS OFF THE GERMAN-JEWISH NEWSPAPERS FROM THEIR VIRTUALLY SOLE SOURCE OF NEWS FROM ABROAD.

THE STATE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN ASKED BY GEORGE BACKER, PRESIDENT OF THE JEWISH TELEGRAPHIC AGENCY, TO INTERVENE WITH THE GERMAN AUTHORITIES FOR REOPENING OF THE BUREAU.

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