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Between the Lines

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A sensational trial in connection with the notorious “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” opens Monday in Berne, Switzerland, and will attract world-wide attention.

The trial is the result of a libel suit lodged by the association of Jewish communities in Switzerland through its president, Dr. J. Dreyfus-Brodzky, against Dr. A. Zander, editor of the Swiss anti-Semitic publication, Eiserner Besen. It is also the result of a suit against the same anti-Semitic editor lodged by Dr. Marcus Cohn, president of the Zionist Federation of Switzerland.

The Eiserner Besen, which is the organ of the Nazis in Switzerland, acting apparently upon orders from Germany, picked up the issue of the “Protocols” and alleged that the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” are nothing else but a record of the first Zionist Congress held in Basle in 1897, at which it was allegedly decided that the Jews should rule the world.


Nothing can be done on these allegations when they are made in Nazi Germany. But in free Switzerland the Jewish leaders took prompt action against the Nazi publication where these statements appeared. They brought charges against Dr. Zander, firstly, to prevent him from repeating the same allegations in the future, and secondly—which is more important—to bring out to the world through a tribunal that the document is an absolute forgery.

The trial opening on Monday will, therefore, be as important to the Jews as the famous Beilis trial. The entire anti-Semitic theory built up by the Nazis about the existence of an alleged secret “Jewish international” hinges on the verdict which the court in Berne will now issue. Once the “Protocols” are termed falsifications by the court, the entire anti-Jewish philosophy of the Nazis loses its basis.


It was in 1921 that the London Times caused a sensation by revealing that the “Protocols” which the anti-Semites claim are a record of the first Zionist Congress are nothing but a copy of a book written in 1864—thirty years before the first Zionist Congress took place. Notwithstanding the fact that the discovery by the Times left no doubt that the “Protocols” are a falsification, anti-Semitic propaganda conducted in different countries after the war has been based chiefly upon this forged document.

This trial will again expose the falsification. It will prove that not only have these “Protocols” been copied from a book which appeared thirty years before the first Zionist gathering but that they are a poor secondhand translation from a pamphlet based on that book and published in 1905 by an unknown Russian under the pseudonym “Nilus,” for the purpose of strengthening the anti-Semitic arguments of the Czarist regime.

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