MUNICH (Apr. 17)
American quarters here today expressed concern over the trial of Dr. Philip Auerbach, deposed head of the Bavarian Restitution office who is charged with fraud in office and illegally paying out over $700,000 in false claims during his administration. The trial opened here yesterday in a German court and after the charges were read, the case was recessed until Friday.
American circles feel that the airing of the case may result in a new surge of anti-Semitic feeling and may create disorder. They point out that the Auerbach case has already caused a good dead of tension and bad feeling among the various political parties. The possibilities of the present Bavarian Government falling as a result of the trial are being discussed.
Some sources here feel that the wide publicity given to the case in the German press and the German newspapers’ handling of the matter, have worked up a good deal of prejudice against the Jewish former official. Under such circumstances, it is thought that the American authorities may eventually be forced to enter the case and possibly, an occupation court may end up trying it.
Defense attorneys have been turned down once on this point, but may be able to re-open it later. They are also questioning the competence of the court on the grounds that its members were former Nazi Party members and high officials of Nazi legal institutions. One defense attorney has indicated that he may challenge the handling of the case because Dr. Auerbach’s constitutional rights were violated when he was forced to go to trial during the Passover holiday.