Trial of Landsberg Dp’s Opens; Defendants Refuse Offer of U.S. Defense Counsel

The trial of the 20 Jewish DP’s arrested following the April 28th disturbance at Landsberg opened today before the American Military Government General Court here.

The morning session was devoted to questioning of the defendants by the court. Each gave his name, his marital status and the number of concentration camps in which he had been imprisoned. Asked how they had come to Germany, all of them replied that they had been brought there by the S.S.

When court resumed after the luncheon recess, the prosecution amended its complaint, dropping the charge that the DP’s had “broken into homes and assaulted civilians.” The remaining charges are: participating in a riot, resisting arrest, assaulting troops and participating in a public disturbance.

The prosecution presented three witnesses today. Adolph Holl, a draftsman from Augsburg, who drew a map of the Landsberg camp, which was included among the exhibits, and Alois Schmell and Vittes Rutsch, who testified that they had driven a milk truck through Landsberg on the day of the disturbance. They said that the truck had been stoned, but added that neither of them had been injured, and neither could identify any of the defendants as having been among the group which stoned them.

This morning the defendants refused an offer from Rep. Adolph Sabath of Chicago, conveyed to them through Gen. Joseph T. McNarney, U.S. commander in Germany, that an American trial lawyer be sent to Germany to aid their defense and that the trial be postponed until he arrived.

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