Five Sentenced in Germany for Attacking Jewish Cafe Owner
Menu JTA Search

Five Sentenced in Germany for Attacking Jewish Cafe Owner

Download PDF for this date

Five of 11 defendants accused of harassing Kart Sumpf, a Jewish cafe owner in nearby Koeppern, and his family, were convicted yesterday of breaking the peace, assorted misdemeanors, and public anti-Semitic libel. Six others were acquitted for lack of evidence.

The defendants, ranging in age from 21 to 53 years, had pleaded innocent to charges of having attacked, injured and threatened the plaintiff, his wife and his eight-year-old-son on various occasions last year.

Heinrich Weidmann, a truck driver who was held to be the leader in the attacks, was sentenced to four months in jail, and fined 400 marks. Helmut Hartmann, a soldier in the West German Army, was turned over to military authorities. Three other defendants were fined 30 to 150 marks.

Sumpf, a German-born Israel citizen, returned with his family to Germany in 1956 and leased a cafe in Koeppern. After the abuse of himself and his family, and a boycott of his cafe, he was forced to sell his business and move to Frankfurt.

A. Kuegler, the jury court prosecutor; Schmidt Leichner, the defense attorney, and the plaintiff’s attorney, A. Besser, said after the verdicts that they were agreed the case was not one of organized anti-Semitism but rather one involving individual acts developing out of a small-town reaction to a stranger.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund