Munich (May. 26)
Five displaced Jews and eight German civilians go on trial tomorrow before an American Military Government court at Mindalheim, charged with participating in a public disturbance at the nearby town of Oberammingen on March 28.
Included among the German defendants is Martin Mayer, the mayor of the town, who is accused of having incited and led German attacks upon a group of Jewish DP’s living in a schoolhouse in Oberammingen. Witnesses charged Mayer of having threatened to have all the Jews in town murdered on the night of the attack. Capt. Albert Friedlander of Los Angeles, who is attached to the legal department of U.S. forces in Bavarta, has been assigned to defend the five Jews arrested during the battle.
Expressing “complete surprise” at the conviction and sentencing of 19 of the 20 displaced Jews accused of participating in a riot at Landsberg, the Central Committee of Liberated Jews in the U.S. zone in Germany issued a statement over the week-end declaring that it would “avail itself of all lawful means” to obtain revocation of the sentences ranging from three months to two years meted out by an American Military Government court at Augsburg last Wednesday.
The Committee pointed out that the accused persons were all victims of Nazism and asserted that since “the principle applied in every military court is that one is responsible only for acts committed by himself, it seems almost unbelievable that in this case an ‘example’ should be made, as a warning to others.” The statement said that the Committee agreed with the defense that the sentences cannot and must not be enforced and added that it was convinced that higher authorities, to whom the sentences have been appealed, will “do justice.”
At the same time, the Committee appealed to all DP’s to maintain order and not to commit any breach of the peace. In view of indications that demonstrations were planned in various DP centers, it appealed to local and regional committees to maintain order.