MUNICH (Feb. 19)
As the protest against the acquittal of ex-Nazi Wolfgang Hedler on charges of inciting anti-Semitism reached major proportions in Germany this week-end, it was learned that the prosecution plans to appeal the verdict on the grounds that two of the three judges who freed him were themselves one-time members of the Nazi Party.
At the same time, it was learned that denazification proceedings will be begun against Hedler, a suspended rightist deputy in the Bonn Parliament, next Friday. The reason for the denazification proceedings is that Hedler falsified an official questionnaire concerning his Nazi background. On the questionnaire he stated that he had joined the party in 1934, but it has since been learned that he was a Nazi Party stalwart, having signed up in 1932, prior to Hitler’s rise to power.
Meanwhile varicus Jewish communities in West Germany this week-end joined the Berlin community in a protest to West German President Theodor Heuss and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. The communities pointed out that the verdict “fosters anti-Semitism.” Dr. Philip Auerbach, Bavarian Commissioner for Persecutees and head of the provincial office for restitution, attacked the verdict as the “shame of German justice.”
In Kiel and Neu Muenster, where the Schleswig-Holstein provincial court which freed Hedler sat, 15,000 workers demonstrated against the court’s decision. Transportation, and industry and commerce in both cities were tied up. The labor unions of West Germany are calling a special meeting to consider legislation to protect civic rights which are “not sufficiently protected under the Constitution.”
The Federal Minister of Justice, Thomas Dehler will submit a new measure to Parliament outlawing anti-Semitism and attempts to foster it as “treason against internal peace.” A spokesman for the Cabinet has announced that it has decided that Hedler’s trial was “correctly, objectively and conscientiously” conducted and there is no reason to level reproach against the judges, Reuters reported.