Guide to the Bern Trial on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion Collection
Undated, 1921-1936, bulk 1934-1935

AR 34

Processed by Kevin Schlottmann

Leo Baeck Institute

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 744-6400

Fax: (212) 988-1305

Email: http://www.lbi.org/ask

URL: http://www.lbi.org

© 2012 Leo Baeck Institute. All rights reserved.
Center for Jewish History, Publisher.
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Kevin Schlottmann in 2012. Description is in English.
July 17, 2013  Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Leo Baeck Institute
Title: Bern Trial on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion Collection
Former Title: Jews in Switzerland Collection
Dates:undated, 1921-1936
Dates:bulk 1934-1935
Abstract: This collection contains materials from and about the famous Bern trial on "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" of 1933-1935, when Swiss Jewish groups sued the Swiss Nazi party and successfully had the antisemetic Protocols declared a forgery.
Languages: This collection is in German, with two clippings in English.
Quantity: 0.25 linear feet (1 box)
Identification: AR 34
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute
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Historical Note

In 1933, the plaintiffs, the Schweizerischer Israelitischer Gemeindebund (Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities) and the Israelitische Kultusgemeinde Bern (Jewish Congregation Bern), sued the Swiss Nazi party (Bund Nationalsozialistischer Eidgenossen), a young man named Silvio Schnell, and several others for distributing an edition of the antisemetic hoax "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion." The trial hinged on whether the Protocols were real or a forgery, and in 1935, after extensive testimony, the judge found the defendants guilty and noted in his decision that he was convinced that the Protocols were a forgery.

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Scope and Content Note

Trial materials in this collection include the report of the court-appointed expert, Swiss writer Carl Albert Loosli; Silvio Schnell's 76-page complaint for false testimony against the plaintiff's October 1934 witnesses; brief summaries of the expert reports of Michael Guttmann, Loosli, and Arthur Baumgardt; and a transcript of the main 1934 court session, which consisted of three days of testimony (October 29-31, 1934) by witnesses Chaim Weizmann, Count A. M. du Chayla, Sergius Swatikoff, Wladimir Burtzeff, Boris Nikolajewsky, Henri Sliosberg, Mayer Ebner, Paul Miljukoff, Marcus Ehrenpreis, David Farbstein, Theodor Tobler, Max Bodenheimer, Eduard Welti, Franz Sieber, Hermann Dietrich, Otto Zoller, and Alfred Zander. Also found in this collection are some related publications and clippings, including a copy of the "Berner Bilderbuch," an illustrated summary of the trial written from an antisemetic point of view.

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Arrangement

The folders follow the order of item-level list in folder 1.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Related Material

The State Archives of the Canton of Berne holds the original case records (BB 15.1.1557a-e Nrn. 9386 ("Zionisten-Prozess"). The photo collection of Carl Jost, also found at the Berne State Archives, includes digitized photos from the trial (FN Jost).

Some case material has been privately digitized by the Swiss website FOSCUBE (in German).

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Separated Material

The following were removed to the LBI Library:

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Bern Trial on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion Collection; AR 34; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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Processing Information

This collection was formerly part of AR 34, Jews in Switzerland Collection. Materials relating to the Bern trial remain in AR 34, renamed the Bern Trial on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion Collection. Materials unrelated to the Bern trial were removed and placed in AR 11925, Jews in Switzerland Collection.

A mostly accurate typewritten item-level list (in German) is found in folder 1. Note that items 15-27 (issues of the Informationsblätter and the Jüdische Informations-Zentrale) were removed to the LBI Library. In addition, five clippings in folder 6 are not described on the typewritten list.

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Container List

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Follow the links to access the digitized materials.

 

Bern Trial on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion Collection, undated, 1921-1936, bulk 1934-1935

BoxFolderTitleDate
11Item-level list
  

In German

 
12Expert report of C. A. Loosli 1934 October 10
13Transcript of testimony 1934 October 29-31
14Schnell complaint 1935 May 7
15Expert report summaries 1934-1935
16Publications and clippings Undated, 1921-1936
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