Last night’s session of the Twenty-third World Peace Congress of International Peace Societies, which was at first totally ignored by the German Government, caused great excitement here. Bombs spreading gases of evil odor were thrown into the hall where the Congress is being held, and many thousands of Hakenkreutzler and Republicans marched in the streets of Berlin, the former in protest and the latter in defense of the Congress.
The excitement centered around Professor Victor Basch of the Sorbonne, noted French pacifist and well-known Zionist, who was to address the Congress last night. Profesor Basch, however, before coming to the Congress was notified by Von Zitzewitz, Chief of Police of Potsdam, that the meeting was prohibited by the police on the ground that they are unable to guarantee his safety. Von Zitzewitz threatened Professor Basch with arrest if he attamps to enter the town. In reply, Professor Basch stated that he would not mind being jailed in a similar manner to the great Fren
chman, Voltaire, who was imprisoned in Berlin during the time of Frederick the Great, in 1752.
Feeling ran so high that the Prussian Minister of Interior, Herr Severing, found it necessary to send a special police despatch to the Congress and to personally supervise the enforcement of order.
Members of the anti-Semitic Hakenkreutzler Society, in the meantime, captured Professor Basch’s automobile, aiming thus to prevent him from addressing the Congress. This led to fights between the Hakenkreutzler and the German Republicans Many were arrested by the police.
Professor Basch, however, succeeded in reaching the Congress and delivering his address on International Peace, despite the bad odor caused by the gas bombs.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.