Dimitrov vs. Göbbels


To Mr. Bünger1)


August 28, 1933

Since April 4 my, hands have been manacled day and night. My repeated requests for the repeal of this measure have been of no avail.

On July 26 I once again asked the investigating magistrate at the Supreme Court, if it was impossible to have rny manacles completely removed, to keep me manacled only at night, as is usually the practice with prisoners sentenced to death. To this I received the reply: 'As to the manacles, there can be no change for the time being.'

On August 18, I turned to my counsel who was appointed by, the court, Dr. Teichert, and asked him to take the necessary steps for the removal of the manacles.

As I have received no reply so far and the manacling which is both noxious to my health and terribly painful still continues, I decided to address myself to you to obtain a legal solution to that question.

In the Code of Criminal Procedure (§116) I read the following:

'A prisoner can be manacled while in prison only, in cases -when, owing to particular danger from his person, this proves to he necessary for the safely of others, or if he has made or prepared an attempt at suicide or escape. During the trial the manacles must be removed.'

Hence, it follows that the use of manacles with regard to myself has no legal ground or justification.

G. Dimitrov


1) President of the 4th Penal Department of the Supreme Court