MUNICH (May. 21)
The trial of Dr. Philip Auerbach, former head of the Restitution Office of Bavaria, will open here at the end of this month, it was announced today by Bavarian Premier Hans Ehard.
Dr. Auerbach, who was arrested several months ago after coming under attack by political opponents in the provincial parliament, is being held on charges of fraud in the operation of his office, the acceptance of bribes, and mistreatment of fellow prisoners in the Osweicim camp during the Nazi regime. The manner in which his case has been publicized–to the detriment of the Jewish community–has been protested by German Jews and German liberals.
Dr. George Shuster, American High Commissioner for Bavaria, last Friday called for a speedy trial for Dr. Auerbach, so that Auerbach could be given an opportunity to defend himself. The present situation, the U.S. Commissioner said, is giving rise to all sorts of rumors and provides ammunition for anti-democratic elements. The public, he said, was entitled to know the facts and the results of judicial investigations into the restitution office. The American official said that while Auerbach’s conduct of the restitution office had left much to be desired, what Auerbach had done in the nature of restitution and indemnification for Nazi persecutees should not be underestimated.
Immediately after Dr. Shuster’s statement, the public prosecutor’s office released the second part of the accusation against Auerbach. This charged him with fraud, trickery and faithlessness to his office, accused him of preferential treatment to personal friends in extending credits and of maintaining bookkeeping and administrative methods not in accordance with State regulations.