BONN (May. 19)
About 50 Jewish demonstrators attacked the Cologne offices of Kurt Lischka, the World War II Gestapo commander in Paris, this morning and then marched to a local court where nine French Jews are being tried for a similar attack on Lischka’s offices two years ago. The demonstrators, who arrived in Cologne aboard a bus bearing French license plates, carried French flags and signs declaring “Try SS Fuehrer Lischka, Not Anti-Nazi Frenchmen.”
Lischka, who was responsible for the deportation of 100,000 French Jews and Communists to Nazi concentration camps during the wartime occupation, was sentenced in absentia by a French court in 1950 to life imprisonment at hard labor.
The demonstrators smashed all of the windows in Lischka’s building. German police who arrived on the scene after the demonstration began did not intervene. Later, however, police evicted several dozen protestors, mostly French, who were chanting anti-German slogans inside the court-house.
The French Jews on trial for assault and damage to private property agreed voluntarily to appear in the German court. Only three were present when the trial opened today. The other six, all students, were unable to attend because of end-of-term examinations in Paris. The presiding judge refused to order a separate trial for them and warned that if they didn’t show up they would automatically be found guilty.
The three defendants present are Rabbi Daniel Farhi; Elizabeth Heidenberg, 24, a student; and Mrs. Hanna Drach, a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp. All have pleaded guilty to the charges. They maintain they were entitled to take action because the West German authorities have failed to prosecute Lischka, a known war criminal. Farhi and Heidenberg are members of the executive committee of the International League Against Anti-Semitism and Racism.