Only Surviving Family in German Town Testifies at Trial of Pogrom Participants

The only surviving Jews in the towns of Treuchtlingen and Weissenburg, Karl Gutman and his two sons, testified today at the trial of 58 Germans charged with attacking Jews and destroying Jewish property, including synagogues, during the pogroms which occurred in many German cities following the assassination of Nazi diplomat Ernst von Rath, in Nov. 1938.

Gutman testified that relations between Jews and non-Jews in the area were excellent until the arrival of Michael Gerstner, who became mayor of Treuchtlingen under the Nazis, and several of the other defendants.

On the night of Nov. 10, he said, a mob invaded his house and forced him to surrender money and valuables. He was dragged to the local prison, and from there sent to the Dachau camp. When he returned to his home after his release from Dechau a few weeks later he was told to leave town within three days, which he did.

The defendants, who are finding it difficult to counter the evidence against them, are calling upon witnesses who they know are long since dead, or are charging that their arrest was a case of mistaken identity. The court will visit the scenes of their crimes on Friday, and defense summations are scheduled for next week.

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