Dimitrov vs. Göbbels


From the Verbatim Report of the Court October 31, 1933

Interrogation of witness Lebermann


Dimitrov: I wish to put a question.

President: You may now put questions.

Dimitrov: I should like to know who called this witness, as this is of interest to the trial? Is he not a witness of the prosecution?

President: I have already said: once, on October 13, this witness sent a note to the Director of the Prison, after which he was examined by the prosecutor. But I have already said this.

Dimitrov: I heard that.

President: Afterwards it was proposed to call him as witness.

Dimitrov: By whom?

President: By the Chief Prosecutor. But I wish to tell you right away that you indulge in criticisms which are quite useless. You cannot prevent the Chief Prosecutor, or the Court for that matter, from calling a witness when he has something to say.

Dimitrov: This is not my intention.

President: It would therefore be quite useless for you to draw any inferences along those lines.

Dimitrov: I do not intend to do that. But, Mr. President and your honours, I just wish to point out that today, with this witness, the circle of witnesses (the chief witnesses) of the representative of the Prosecution against us, the accused Communists, comes to a close. It started with deputies of the National Socialist Party to the Reichstag, with national socialist journalists, and ends with a thief.

Chief Prosecutor Dr. Werner: Is that a question?

President: All this has been noted down.

Dimitrov: The circle...

President (interrupting): Dimitrov! I have repeatedly told you that after the examination of the witnesses you can ask questions, but not indulge in partial pleading. There is still time for that. At present all that you are entitled to are questions. What questions do you want to put? But to the witnesses, and not to the Chief Prosecutor.

Dimitrov: One question to Dr. Parrisius' witness1).

President: No! What question do you want to put to the witness?

Dimitrov: I ask the following, Mr. President!

President: In other words, you have no questions?

Dimitrov: I have the following question.

President: Put your question at last.

Dimitrov: It has been established that on October 13 he wrote an application, after reading in the newspapers about the Reichstag fire trial. He said so himself. He is in prison, he is not at liberty. He has passed into the third category. He now has the hope of being freed on the basis of these lies here. I ask: who influenced him to make these base, shameful...

President (interrupting): Silence! Do not insult the witnesses... (To Lebermann) Has any one influenced you?

Lebermann: No one has influenced me.

President: The question has been answered.

Dimitrov: I congratulate you, Mr. Prosecutor, on having called this witness!


1) Witness Lebermann had been summoned on Parrisius' Proposal