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U.S. Military Admits Guilt of Soldiers Who Assaulted 40 Displaced Jews in Munich

April 25, 1947
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Brig. Gen. Josiah Dalby, commander of the Munich area, admitted today that military police had acted badly Tuesday night when they assaulted a meeting of 40 members of the Agudas Israel, injuring 12, two seriously. Gen. Dalby said that the German woman who precipitated the riot was being held panding the filing of specific charges and that her companion, Corp. James Christian, would probably be court-martialed.

Military authorities concede that Christian and Helga Rietz, the woman involved, were “under alcoholic influence when the incident occurred.” Gen. Dalby denied, however, that there had been any excessive mistreatment of the DP’s, asserting that an Army physician who examined them found that the only two with serious injuries were Rabbi Moshe Blau, of Pad Reichenhall, and Eliezer Weinberger, of the Ulm Camp, whose legs were broken when they jumped from a window in the restaurant where the assault took place.

Dalby, who has promised to use the case for further indoctrination of troops as to relations with DP’s, yesterday called in a delegation headed by Rabbi Maftali Baruch, director of the Vaad Hatzala here, and expressed regret concerning the incident, explaining that it had occurred spontaneously and was the result of provocation and general misunderstanding.

Ludwig Braun, a German from whom two DP’s rent space for the kosher restaurant, backed the charges of the Agudah victims. He said that the soldier and his fraulein had been drunk and that the latter had beaten several of the DP’s. He also confirmed that all the Jews had been forced to line up against the walls with the hands in the air, and were struck with truncheons by the military police if they attempted to lower their arms.

Fischul Finkelstein, co-owner of the restaurant, who was not present during the violence, was subjected to a violent search when he returned after he had told a guard, in reply to a question, that he was Jewish. Gen. Dalby, however, vehemantly denied that such questioning was standard practice.

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