With interest paralleling that aroused by the Reichstag fire proceedings, a jammed “courtroom” is expected tomorrow evening when Hitler and his regime will go on trial in “The Case of Civilization Against Hitlerism,” an elaborate presentation of the record of Nazi laws and acts, to be staged under the auspices of the American Jewish Congress in cooperation with the American Federation of Labor and other groups.
Notables from every walk of life are to appear as witnesses. Bainbridge Colby, former Secretary of State and recognized as one of the greatest friends of pre-Nazi Germany, will preside, and Samuel Seabury will prosecute the case on behalf of the plaintiff, “Public Opinion at Large.”
Dr. Hans Luther, German Ambassador, who has been invited to appear in defense of Hitlerism at the monster trial, has to date remained silent, and if no acceptance to the invitation of the American Jewish Congress is received, it is likely that volunteer defenders will have an opportunity to state Hitler’s case.
FAIR TRIAL PROMISED
A fair trial has been promised by the sponsors. It has been intimated that Hitler may appear by proxy, in which case whoever assumes the part is to be treated with courtesy.
When the High Court of Humanity convenes Former Governor Alfred E. Smith and Senator Millard E. Tydings, of Maryland, will take the stand as witnesses for American public opinion. So will Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia, Bernard S. Deutsch and Dr. John Haynes Holmes. Other witnesses are to be:
Roger Baldwin, for civil liberties; Dr. Lewellys F. Barker, for the physicians; Dr. Arthur J. Brown, for the Protestant churches; Abraham Cahan, for Socialists; Chancellor Harry Woodburn Chase, for the academic world; William Green, for labor; Arthur Garfield Hays, an eye-witness; Stanley High, for the writers; Gustavus Kirby, for the world of sports; Edward J. Neary, for the American Legion; Professor Raymond Moley, for the liberals; Dr. Samuel Margoshes, an eye-witness; Professor Seth Wakeman, for academic freedom; Dr. Stephen S. Wise, for the Jews, and Michael Williams, for the Catholics.
Interest in the trial is heightened by the fact that it comes two days after the anniversary of Hitler’s accession to power in Germany. Attention is focused upon the situation in German academic circles as well as the status of journalistic and literary professions.
In addition to the American Federation of Labor, among the groups cooperating in the trial are Actors Equity, American Civil Liberties Union, and the Women’s League for International Peace and Freedom.
Some two hundred uniformed members of the Jewish War Veterans of the United States will assemble at the organization’s headquarters, 276 Fifth avenue, tomorrow at 6:30 p. m., for a march to Madison Square Garden where they will act as guard of honor during the proceedings. The veterans will be commanded by Captain Edgar H. Burman, national commander of the J. W. V. of U. S.
Protesting in a front page editorial against staging of “The Case of Civilization Against Hitlerism,” the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung declared the demonstration an ill-timed expression of resentment against a friendly nation.
The editorial entitled “For Truth and Justice,” in translation follows:
“Civilization and Hitlerism”–this Wednesday in Madison Square Garden, publicly, before a New York forum, the laws and deeds of the Hitler regime will be reported and judged.
The laws and deeds of the statutory regime of the German Reich; the laws and deeds of the lawful administration of government of a friendly power.
English language American newspapers speak of this report or trial as a “mock trial.”
The newspapers of the Staats-Herold Corporation are American newspapers in the German language; they have been trail blazers, developers, cementers and preservers of friendly relations between America and Germany and we have set our hearts on the proposition of neighborliness between both nations.
As an American newspaper in the German language, we must take a stand on this needless mock trial to defend and protect our rights and freedom, inasmuch as we are responsible to our readers, our honor, and to our American ideals.
As we have fought against all race and class hate, as we have fought against mixing religion–any religion–with politics, as we have interceded against any impairment or presumption on our rights and freedom, so have we assumed the right to disapprove the actions of the Hitler regime against German citizens of Jewish belief from the beginning.
As we condemn the principles which endanger peace in this relationship toward a friendly nation, so do we protest against this mock trial, which can not be condoned by anyone, certainly not by our American people, not by the well meaning judges and representatives of this affair, and not by those with blood relations or friends in the old homeland.
We disapprove of the principle of this mock trial, because it can not bring peace and better understanding, because on the contrary it will only heighten the present strain, which inspires enmity–and it leads us directly into danger, the prevention of which becomes the obligation of our city, its officials, and its citizens.
If our stand in all these problems be recognized as honorable and just and it must be by every honorable and right thinking man, then we see ourselves forced to present a new definition of our position by this very action which consciously or unconsciously arouses dissension and injury.
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.