Dimitrov vs. Göbbels


To Dr. Paul Teichert1)


September 6, 1933

Dear Doctor:

I have gratefully received your letter of September 2 and am very glad to learn that you too are a fighter by nature.

But the question is not who of us can better judge how to conduct the defence and, still less, in a state of exceedingly overstrained nerves; the question is that I attach great importance to the possibility for a compatriot of mine to take part, directly or indirectly, in my defence, a man who knows me personally as well as my political activity and who is, therefore, 100 per cent convinced in my innocence. This is something that goes without saying. As you have always stated that you have the intention of conducting my defence absolutely seriously and do not feel bound by anything in this respect, you should not object to that either; on the contrary, you should only welcome such a joint participation in my defence.

The Supreme Court has conceded to Mr. Dechev a certain indirect participation in my defence (through your intermediary). But it is clear that unless he is given a chance to acquaint himself with the concrete reasoning of the accusations brought against me in the indictment, he will not be able to contribute anything positive to my defence. But it is precisely information on the concrete reasoning in the indictment (and not the names of witnesses and other 'secrets' of the indictment) that he, as he writes to me, has not beer. able to obtain from you.

I find this fact, you will excuse me, worthy of regret and even contrary to the sense of the decision of the Supreme Court.

As I cannot dispense with the participation of a Bulgarian lawyer in my defence, I again addressed myself to the Court with the request to allow the Bulgarian lawyer, Mr. Peter Grigorov, who is at this moment in Switzerland and who speaks German, to take part in my defence along with you.

I ask you as my German defence consent to give your consent required by the law.

Respectfully yours,
G. Ditmitrov

P. S. Although I am not a jurist, I think that the appointed defence counsel is not obliged to abide by the instructions of the defendant. And, of course, I have never had such an intention. But, on the other hand, the official defence counsel is not a boss of the defendant and cannot act according to the so-called Führerprinzip in the given case. Mutual understanding between defence counsel and defendant is absolutely necessary in this instance. Otherwise, the defendant can safely refuse the benefit of such a defence and prefer to defend himself alone, though quite inadequately.


1) Lawyer, Leipzig