Talk:Herschel Grynszpan/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Hi. I found it. Goebbels Diaries, April 5, 1942 (I always knew there was a reason I kept them at home):

I am having lots of work preparing the Grynzpan trial. The Ministry of Justice has deemed it proper to furnish the defendant, the Jew Grynszpan, the argument of Article 175 (German laws against homosexuality). Grynspan until now has always claimed, andrightly so, that he had not even known the Counsellor of the Legation whom he shot. Now there is in existence some sort of anonymous letter by a Jewish refugee, which leaves open the likelihood of homosexual intercourse between Grysnpan and vom Rath. It is an absurd, typically Jewish claim. The Ministry of Justice, however, did not hesitate to incorporate thois claim in the indictment and to send the indictment to the defendant.
This shows again how foolishly our legal experts have acted in this case, and how shortsighted it is to entrust any political matter whatever to the jurists.

From some percursory scanning of the Diary, that is all I found. By the way (for Dr Adam Carr), I do not know any Polish, but there are some people here who do--though I haven't seen them around for a while. Danny 11:11, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Regarding Goebbels' diary entries. Left out was Goebbels' comment to the effect that an innocent man's reputation had been sullied. It may have been the only true thing Goebbels ever said. ````oldcitycat: March 5,2006

Regarding the Goebbels quoted here: "This shows again how foolishly our legal experts have acted in this case, and how shortsighted it is to entrust any political matter whatever to the jurists." --Sounds applicable to present-day events. oldcitycat 23:49, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Great article! Some questions:

  • He studied Hebrew at a yeshiva in Frankfurt-am-Main
    • Usually one studies more than just Hebrew at a yeshiva, doesn't one?
I would just say "He studied at a yeshiva."Danny 11:40, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)
    • On the other hand, there were Hebrew classes organized by the Zionist organizations for people hoping to go to Palestine. Maybe that's what he was doing, but would it have been at a yeshiva? I have an image of the yeshivas not much cooperating with the Zionists but probably there were exceptions. --zero 12:33, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)
  • He applied to emigrate to Palestine but was rejected.
    • Rejected by whom?
I will try and check when I get to work.Danny 11:40, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)

--zero 11:37, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)

The source text (Roizen) says he wanted to emigrate to Palestine so he studied Hebrew at the yeshiva of Dr Jacob Hoffman in Frankfurt, so that is what I wrote. I would imagine by 1934 the available opportunities for either teaching or learning Hebrew in Germany were limited, so maybe the Zionists and yeshivas had sunk their differences by then. You guys are the experts, but I would suggest leaving it as it was until you have better information. I will defer to your judgement (gasp). Adam 12:49, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Zero is right, though. Despite Leo Baeck's efforts, there were still differences between various segments of Judaism in Germany at that time. Attending a yeshiva would assume a basic reading knowledge of biblical and mishnaic Hebrew. I will look into the kind of school Hoffman had in Frankfurt. It may have been a Jewish high school, which would make more sense, but then I would not call it a yeshiva per se. Danny
Got it. Rabbi Jacob Hoffman not only ran a yeshiva but was a Zionist. See --zero 13:37, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I presumed it to mean he was rejected by the Zionist groups that organised emigration to Palestine. I assume there were a limited number of visas (both exit and entry) so they couldn't take everyone. Presumably they wanted fit adults and poor Hersch was only 13 at that point. Adam

I used to know the details of how this worked but my memory is fading (too much booze). The British mandate government gave "labor" immigration certificates to the Jewish Agency which (reluctantly) handed over some of them to other Zionist bodies. (There were also "capitalist" certificates for rich people but I guess our guy wasn't one of those.) Then the Zionist organizations would select people to give the certificates to. Given the association of the various organizations with political parties, it appears that there was some attempt by each organization to choose immigrants likely to support their party in Palestine. Knowing which organization H.G. applied to might shed light on his politics. However, this is a long shot and probably not worth spending a lot of time on. --zero 14:38, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)

To: Danny, Adam, Zero I wonder whether some of this interest in Grynszpan's religious background and connections with various Jewish groups is important. There's no evidence that Grynszpan was a Hebrew scholar. He probably studied Hebrew for his Bar Mitzvah and that would have been that had noone been looking for a place to put the brat. The Yeshivas were not like Catholic seminaries or the like. They were simply Jewish religious schools, with some being used by ultra-orthodox sects to spread particular religious ideologies. Grynszpan's little 'note' to his parents used the sentence: "Ich kann nicht anders" (I cannot do otherwise.) which makes him sound like some kind of ghost of Martin Luther. That does go with Kristallnacht. Have any rabbis made anything of that? There were an assortment of Zionist groups and these too differed ideologically. It's too bad there was a Third Reich. It's too bad the British kept Jews out of Palestine when they needed to go there. It's too name it. Grynszpan would probably have been a problem to his family and others even if there had been no Third Reich. At any rate when it comes to Palestine, Grynszpan certainly got a lot more legal assistance and sympathy than did the truly heroic Shlomo ben Yosef, 26, who was hanged by the British in June of 1938.oldcitycat 22:52, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

The article says that it is sad that his parents and siblings didn't die. Ok, it doesn't exactly say that, but to me it feels too close for comfort. --zero 15:00, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I meant to say that it was sadly ironic that they sent him for safety to Paris, but they survived and he did not. I will rewrite the sentence. Adam

His uncle in Paris died. The others survived although his sister apparently died in Russia later on. Herschel probably survived too. (No matter what is said..) He was a survivor type. One account says he was an auto mechanic after the war. It goes to show that even a car can be unlucky. ````oldcitycat, 5 March 2006

I don't think "Le Boeuf sur le Toit" was exactly a gay bar. It was frequented by avant-garde artists. Of course some were gay Jean Cocteau was one of the most famous clients.
Ericd 17:23, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)

Problems editing the article

I wanted to edit the death date category; when I opened the edit page it only presented me with about half of the article. The rest didn't show up; corrupt file? The rest of the edits I have done today have been no problem.--FeanorStar7 15:26, 25 February 2006 (UTC)


In the article:" Grynszpan is the primary character in the oratorio by Michael Tippett, A Child Of Our Time, which Tippett began in 1939." Interesting how many gay men have found Grynszpan appealing. Has anyone analyzed this..reaction? (I'm new to Wikipedia so I'm not sure what 'discussion' means.) ````oldcitycat 5 March 2006 (I have had problems placing these new comments here!)

My main interest here is to instigate serious questioning of Doescher's conclusions. Examples of rumors spread in the Paris gay community appeared in books and articles written before Doescher's revised edition of his book on Kristallnacht. Rumors are not equivalent to evidence. In general it strikes me that any newly released documents that were used by Doescher should be made available ON THE INTERNET so that they can be examined by the general public. I would like to know whether anyone here agrees. ````oldcitycat (March 5, 2006)

Please register as a user if you want people to respond to your comments. Which conclusions by Doescher are you refering to? Adam 01:08, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Sorry it is taking me a long time to catch on to this. Until recently I just read articles without trying to edit them or make comments. I am referring to Doescher's acceptance of the view that Herschel Grynszpan and Ernst vom Rath had a financial arrangement beginning during the late summer of 1938 and that Grynszpan's real motive was the failure of vom Rath to do something about Grynszpan's parents and Grynszpan's illegal status in France. oldcitycat's scenario: Vom Rath was homosexual but discreet about it. Grynszpan was not a rent boy or anything like that. If he had been he would have had plenty of money to send to his parents and siblings and plenty of money to spend on himself in Paris. (He looked..right.)The French spread the rumors in the gay community of Paris for several reasons that I don't want to go into at this time. Andy Marino was on the right track about vom Rath being a spy for the French. (which appears to be an unpopular view) A week or so before the shooting someone (agent provocateur..?) told Grynszpan that vom Rath would do something for him if he pretended to be smitten with him.He followed vom Rath around until the latter noticed it. Vom Rath was under Nazi surveillance during this same period.(Hence evidence of a sort that would-be killer and victim knew each other slightly.Grynszpan was looking for someone easy to kill..and he found someone. Grynszpan's motives and reactions were as mixed up as Grynszpan's tiny mind.In other words this is a complicated murder case and has not been treated as such. User:Oldcitycat March 7, 2006.

  • That's all very interesting, but things can only be said at Wikipedia if they have independent and verifiable sources. So this scenario can only go in the article if it comes from a published source.

  • Now that you have registered, you can and should sign your contributions and comments with four tildes (~~~~), so that your name and the date appear automatically. Adam 11:12, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

" I was interested in placing this in the discussion not in the article. There is a problem, however, with this matter of sources when it comes to many articles involving relatively recent history. In the case of the article on Herschel Grynszpan, mention of Doescher occurs..but how accessible are those recently released documents upon which Doescher has based his conclusions? oldcitycat 22:01, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

So theories about why Grynszpan shot vom Rath can only be aired here if they have been published in a verifiable source such as a book, newspaper or history journal. Quoting Doescher is

There is indeed frequently a problem with sources for articles dealing with recent history (though not usually with events as long ago as World War II). But Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia and every statement of fact must be verifiable by reference to a source. So theories about why Grynszpan shot vom Rath can only be aired here if they have been published in a verifiable source such as a book, newspaper or history journal. Quoting Doescher is fine, and citing his references to documents is fine. Adam 00:24, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

"That's all very interesting, but things can only be said at Wikipedia if they have independent and verifiable sources. So this scenario can only go in the article if it comes from a published source." Not a good criterion. Mein Kampf is a published source. oldcitycat 04:44, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

There has been an interesting debate over whether Gynszpan and vom Rath knew one another, and if they had been involved with one another prior to the murder. Having read almost all of the available published material on the Grynszpan case, I would tend to believe Roizen's claim that this was largely a defense strategy concocted by HG's defense attorney (who was one of the most famous in Europe at his time). The evidence cited by Doescher is rather weak, consisting of nothing more than the gossip of a Parisian author who knew neither of the involved parties. What we do know about HG is that he was an orthodox jew, a former yeshiva student, and that despite although he displayed a rebellious streak common among teenagers, he did not exhibit other tendencies indicating a departure from his familial tradition. HG was known to socialize mostly with other jewish immigrants at several locations, including a gymnasium and cafe. There is no evidence that he made money working as a male prostitute. However, it is very interesting that the show trial the Nazis had planned against HG once they had him in custody never came to fruition. Did they believe he would be able to carry on the defense his lawyer in Paris had designed? This would have been a public relations nightmare for the Reich, but need they have allowed him to testify? An interesting and mysterious case...BTW, an excellent thesis could be constructed by studying the court transcripts of the HG case which still exist in Paris...Mikewelch7 04:37, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

  • There was a court hearing in Paris? Other than a brief arraignment, I was under the impression that he was not brought to court in France - that's what the article implies.
  • The clear implication of the Goebbels Diary extract is that the idea of trying HG in Germany was abandoned because of the danger that the defence would raise the "gay" issue. (Although why the Nazis would have bothered by 1942 putting a Jew on public trial for anything is a bit of a puzzle). Adam 04:55, 7 March 2006 (UTC)
I should be more accurate in my description. While the case never came to trial (due to the German invasion) there exists documentation compiled prior to the case detailing the police investigation of HG's time in Paris, and the events leading up to vom Rath's murder.Mikewelch7 07:44, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Ok. So did the French authorities investigate whether there was a homosexual connection btween HG and vom Rath? If they did so, and concluded that there was no such connection, that should be in the article, since it reinforces the view that the "gay" defence was an invention by HG's lawyers (and a very clever one, too). Adam 07:48, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

To my awareness, the investigation material contains no information linking GH to EvR. However, it does contain the testimony of the secretary at the German embassy on the Rue de Lille, who claims that HG asked to speak with an official. He did not ask to see EvR, and was only brought into his office as the ambassador had left moments earlier (as fate would have it, HG and the ambassador had crossed paths briefly at the gate to the embassy). So, it is very telling that HG did not request any embassy official by name. If there had been a link between the two, the encounter would not have happened in such a random way.Mikewelch7 19:39, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

You mention:" fate would have it, HG and the ambassador had crossed paths briefly at the gate to the embassy.." However, you might want to consider that all at the embassy lied..were ordered to lie. Herr vom Rath had rushed to the embassy. He should have rushed out of Europe instead.oldcitycat 05:04, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

I've done a bit of additional research to refresh my memory, and have made an addition to the main page. I've referenced an article from a scholarly journal that indicates the source of the alledged homosexual link between HG and EvR as HG's defense attorney. This whole case must be understood as having international ramifications. After the events of Kristallnacht, there was far more at stake than HG's life: the fate of European Jewry was in considerable question. HG's defense attorney was paid for by an international coalition of concerned persons, most particularly the Jewish community in the United States. HG's lawyer fled Paris during the war, and survived. He was interviewed after (see the quote I've added to the main article), and indicated that the link between HG and EvR was formulated to both 1) lessen HG's sentence, and 2) protect Europe's Jews by defusing the Nazi propaganda that sought to position the murder as an act of terrorism by Jews against the Reich. The article further explains that HG wanted to stick to his original story, that of the oppressed person given no other option aside from his desparate act.Mikewelch7 21:22, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Correspondence with Harlan Greene - Author of "The German Officer's Boy"

'Dear Mr. Greene,

I read your book "The German Officer's Boy" with great interest. I've been very interested in Holocaust history and the story of Herschel Grynszpan for many years. On a business trip to Paris last year, I had the opportunity to visit his places of residence and habitation, and recreated his path on the fateful day in 1938.

I've also been engaged in somewhat of a debate among interested parties at the site Wikipedia on Herschel's life and times. See:

The debate is largely over the alleged homosexual link between Grynszpan and vom Rath. It has been widely accepted that the rumors of the link originate from the defense attorney, Vincent de Moro-Giafferi, and were simply an attempt to defuse the trial from the political show piece the Nazis intended. To quote Michael Marrus:

"...the origin of the story of homosexuality was the defendant's French attorney, Maitre Moro-Giafferi. He claimed in 1947 that he simply invented the story as a possible line of defense, one that would put the affair in an entirely new light. In fact, however, rumors about vom Rath's homosexuality were in the air in Paris immediately after the assassination. Whatever the origins of the story, its utility was obvious: the murder could be presented not as a political act but as a cause passionelle - a lover's quarrel, in which the German diplomat could be judged incidentally as having seduced a minor. Moro-Giafferi shared the fears of the Grynszpan committee at the time of Kristallnacht that a political trial would be a catastrophe for the Jews of Germany and elsewhere. By adopting this legal strategy, they hope to defuse the affair and also reduce the penalty drastically, possible even prompting a suspended sentence. (Marrus, 1988).

This, coupled with the fact that the secretary at the German embassy reported to French police that Grynszpan did not request Ernst vom Rath by name, lead many to conclude that there was no link between the two figures prior to the murder.

In the review of your book in the web publication Forward, I found the following comment very interesting:

"During the course of researching and writing the novel, Greene discovered many works that openly affirmed Grynszpan's declaration that he was gay and that he and Vom Rath were in a relationship."

If this article has accurately portrayed your research, could you please provide some sources for these comments? We'd like to properly represent Grynzspan's life at the Wikipedia site.

Sure -- I'll look it up again --- I only found the material in secondary sources, quoting others -- and it may take me a while to find where I did discover it -- but apparently the likes of Andre Gide wrote in his diary about vom Rath being gay -- and using rent boys... I tried to put all the possibilities re how the "gay thing" could have got started in my book. I think I know which source it was and will look up.
I did get the sense that historians were embarrassed about "the gay thing" and tried to explain it away.
If I don't reply, do goose me, I just get busy.
Harlan Mikewelch7 16:13, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
The entry is remarkable -- did you write it?
It seems to sum up all I know -- I did try to get a copy of the Doscher -- and there were references to the sexual nature of their relationship in a news article about Doscher's book in the Guardian. I think it is Schwab who noted that vom Rath had a gay brother -- who was court martialed for fraternizing with another soldier.
I had to compress time so much in my book that I had to cut alot of the boy's actions -- and I'm not sure how likeable he in fact was -- so that made it difficult, too. As I said, I tried to account for every possible historical rumor that emerged -- letting them be gay -- letting Moro come up with the idea, etc. Going through my files yesterday, I stumbled across about a dozen rejection letters from major New York publishers, many of whom said they thought the book was good, but there was no market for it.
That's how it ended up at a University Press. I t has just been nominated for a Lambda Literary award -- and there is some dramatic interest in it, but it's all talk and the world is full of of talk.
Not knowing German, and not being able to travel, but still being intrigued with Herschel, I had to take the fictional way out.
Good luck with your good work.
Harlan Mikewelch7 16:05, 14 March 2006

(UTC) To Mikewelch7: I have no idea whether Harlan Greene is reading anything I have put in here so I'll put my comments to him together and see if that gets any response. oldcitycat 14:53, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

FROM OLDCITYCAT TO HARLAN GREENE: You say "Going through my files yesterday, I stumbled across about a dozen rejection letters from major New York publishers, many of whom said they thought the book was good, but there was no market for it." I don't think that this would have been the case had you changed names and claimed total fiction. They were probably worried about vom Rath family litigation. 00:04, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Can you indicate where you got the misinformation on :(1)Ernst vom Rath's interests and abilities (or maybe lack of them would be a better description)(2)on his mother's lack of motherliness (3)on his father and his brothers (4) on his low status at the German embassy..(including Mrs. Koester not inviting him to fancy dinners or whatever: There was no Mrs. Koester there.).(5)on his sexual activities in Calcutta. You did make some good guesses: e.g.He was an opera enthusiast.oldcitycatoldcitycat 00:46, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

In your note to MikeWelch7 you mention:"I think it is Schwab who noted that vom Rath had a gay brother -- who was court martialed for fraternizing with another soldier. " It's important to keep in mind that there is no reason to believe the youngest brother engaged in any such activities while on the eastern front (or anywhere else). The motives for the accusation would have been at the very least to keep the father in line. The brother died there and there were even 'legal problems' involving this to be forced upon the vom Rath family. BTW Hitler was quite angry about attending the funeral( correction: burial service only. He wasn't at the funeral) of Ernst vom Rath once he heard about Herschel's statement about the homosexual relationship. oldcitycat 03:29, 15 March 2006 (UTC) 00:04, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

OTHER DISCUSSION: Mr. Greene wrote here: "but apparently the likes of Andre Gide wrote in his diary about vom Rath being gay -- and using rent boys..." It is a great pity that the agent provocateur who pushed Grynszpan in Ernst vom Rath's direction in late October-early November of 1938 did not instead push him in Gide's direction. Gide and Grynszpan would certainly have deserved one another. Both such expert liars. oldcitycat 07:56, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Regarding whether Moro-Giafferi provided the gay affair angle: I think it might be a good idea to look at statements by Grynszpan's first attorneys. I think one of them (Henri Torrès) mentions this being brought up before Moro-Giafferi was hired. I'll check on it. oldcitycat 07:26, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

From Time Magazine, December 5th, 1938
With over $30,000 collected by Dorothy Thompson at his disposal, 17-year-old Herschel Grynszpan, already an object of world sympathy, last week found his Paris jail cell a mecca for top-flight criminal lawyers. The Corsican showman of the Paris bar, Maitre Vincent de Moro-Giafferri, boomed: "I have agreed to defend this youth on international and humane grounds!" The no less great Maitre Henry Torres and six other Maitres joined up to make a defense team of eight.
According to this article, Henry Torres was part of the defense team founded to defend HG after the Journalists´ Defense Fund stepped in. (MikeWelch7 writing from an Internet cafe in Buenos Aires, unable to find the tilda key...)

Yes, I see that now. Somehow I had the impression that Torrès was on the scene earlier.I had some messy notes from Torrès's own book and one by his daughter, Tereska, but they seem to have disappeared. I must say that Herschel Grynszpan was never without a lawyer in France. It must be that his relatives were helped almost immediately after the shooting. A good source on the sequence of Grynszpan's lawyers is: "Kristallnacht" by Anthony READ and David FISHER (copyright 1989) English and American editions. There is a lot of information in the Epilogue chapter. Their view of Grynszpan is also quite a bit less adoring than the usual. In the Thalmann and Feinermann "Crystal Night" (1974 English translation from the 1972 French original), there is (Also in an epilogue chapter)mention of Grynszpan getting nervous in 1940..dissatisfied with Moro-Giafferi (not enough attention..being paid) and asking for Torrès instead. There was also the civil suit brought against Grynszpan by the vom Rath family. ````

Gutterer / Soltikow Link?

Found an interesting item referenced in the collection of the Wiener Library in London:
991/3 Copy letter from Staatsekretär Leopold Gutterer to Graf Michael Soltikow saying that the relationship between Grynspan and vonn Rath was homosexual and therefore not a political matter. (29 Sep 1953) copy nd German

Anyone familiar with this letter? Could it be the same as below? Could someone with German translate in approximate this letter?

In der Nummer 2 (37) vom April - Juin 1964 brachten Sie einen Bericht des Herrn Lucien Steinberg über den Fall Herschel Grünspan.
Dankbar wäre ich Ihnen, wenn Sie mir ein Exemplar Ihrer Zeitschrift -nämlich diese Nummer über Grünspan zusenden wollten.
Schon jetzt möchte ich bemerken, dass Ihr Artikel, der ja auch (wenn auch ohne Namensnennung) mich erwähnt, leider in vielfacher Hinsicht den Tatsachen und den aufgefundenen Urkunden nicht entspricht.
In 12 Jahren habe ich nicht weniger als 16 dicke Aktenbände angesammelt und aus Archiven aus ganz Europa amtliche Urkunden über den historischen Fall der tödlichen Verwundung des dritten Sekretärs in der deutschen Botschaft Paris, durch Herschel Grünspan vom 7.11.1938, zusammengetragen, eine Bluttat, die für Hitler und Dr. Goebbels der willkommene Vorwand zu der berüchtigten sogenannten "Reichskristallnacht" wurde.
Es war meine Absicht, als Publizist, der Völkerverhetzung entgegenzutreten und die Öffentlichkeit über die Verteidigung des Grünspan zu unterrichten: Grünspan hat sowohl in Paris, als auch später in Berlin stets betont, dass er keineswegs -wie Dr. Goebbels und wie sein ständiger Bevollmächtigter im Falle Grünspan/vom Rath behauptete,- "vom Weltjudentum als politischer Mörder gedungen sei, angeblich um den ihn gänzlich unbekannten Ernst vom Rath zu ermorden, mit dem angeblichen Ziel, dadurch "die ersten Schüsse des zweiten Weltkrieges abzugeben und mit dem Auftrage des Weltjudentums wissentlich und willentlich mit dieser Bluttat den zweiten Weltkrieg zu entfesseln.
Ich bin im Besitz der Anklageschrift des berüchtigten Ober-Reichsanwalts Ernst Lautz gegen Herschel Grünspan vom 16.10.1941 -AZ: 8J.393/41g- worin der Oberreichsanwalt Ernst Lautz auf Seite 19 oben schreibt; dass Grünspan sich damit verteidigt habe,
"Ernst vom Rath längst gekannt zu haben und von ihm mehrfach homosexuell missbraucht worden zu sein."
In einer, auf Urkunden gestützten Studie und Synopsis habe ich gegenübergestellt, die Lesart des Dr. Goebbels und die Lesart des Grünspan.
Es ist nachgewiesene Tatsache, dass die Nazis den Grünspan-Prozess als Schau-Und Monstre-Prozess vom 11.Mai bis 16.Mai 1942 über die Bühne gehen lassen wollten, wobei sie das Weltjudentum auf die Anklagebank setzen wollten, mit dem Vorwand, den Weltkrieg absichtlich entfesselt zu haben, wobei das Weltjudentum auf der Anklagebank durch Herschel Grünspan vertreten werden sollte.
Es ist weiterhin historische Tatsache, dass der Reichsminister Just durch seinen Stellvertreter, Staatssekretär Schlegelberger, Dr. Goebbels dringend davor gewarnte, diesen Schauprozess vor der Weltöffentlichkeit stattfinden zu lassen, weil Grünspan entschlossen sei, das homosexuelle Tatmotiv vor Rundfunk und Presse zu seiner Verteidigung vorzubringen.
Sowohl der Staatssekretär Leopold Gutterer vom Reichspropagandaministerium, als auch der Grünspan-Sachbearbeiter des Auswärtigen Amtes, der Gesandte, Dr. Krümmer, haben dringend davor gewarnt, diesen Schauprozess als Theaterprozess ablaufen zu lassen, und schliesslich hat sich auch Dr. Goebbels davon überzeugen lassen, dass der Prozess unmöglich stattfinden dürfe.
Der Prozess vom 11.-16.5.1942 wurde daher in der letzten Minute abgesetzt. Mein Streben war es, der Völkervergiftung durch Dr. Goebbels entgegenzuwirken.
Archives du centre de documentation
juive contemporaine

17, rue Geoffroy L'Asnier 75004 Paris

Who is this from? Soltikow was the 'journalist' sued by the vom Rath family for the article stating that the shooting of Ernst vom Rath had to do with the homosexual relationship. That libel suit went on until into the 1960's. The letter explains (one explanation) how it was that Goebbels decided to forget about the fancy trial of Grynszpan that was planned for 1942. Grynszpan admitted to having known Ernst vom Rath for a while and to having had (not so willing on Grynszpan's part)homosexual relations with him. (In the letter::"Ernst vom Rath längst gekannt zu haben und von ihm mehrfach homosexuell missbraucht worden zu sein.") It was considered by outsiders that Grynszpan had been coerced into making this..confession. Of course it might have saved Grynszpan in a Paris trial..but Herschel wanted to be a hero and he had found a German easy to almost kill..(hospitals are good for the rest..) Martin Bormann was the actual boss when it came to the preparations for that fancy trial planned for 1942. There's a lot involved here.oldcitycat 01:10, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Interesting translation - I had never heard Bormann as the lead for preparing the 'show trial.' The original of the letter is here: - the very URL of the website raises interesting questions...I've read descriptions of Leopold Gutterer that describe him as one of Goebbels' top lieutenants Mikewelch7 02:30, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Re: "Interesting translation". I'm sorry I thought I'd just provide the gist of it as I saw it. (I'm nothing wonderful as a translator!) There have been various attempts to explain this 'sudden willingness' of Grynszpan to confess to the relationship. Some give Grynszpan credit for using the strategy to prevent the trial..There certainly would have been many ways to prevent him from making such a confession. It is almost certainly the case that Bormann wanted the confession to be made for his own purposes. oldcitycat 03:41, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Bormann was the administrative boss. (cf. Helmut Heiber: Der Fall Gruenspan, Vierteljahrshefte fuer Zeitgeschichte, April 1957 pp. 134-72.)There is a lot of information in that one old article that is helpful for understanding certain peuliarities of the Third Reich creatures involved.) Von Soltikov's article(s?) asserting the homosexual relationship and motivation appeared in 1952 in a periodical (Wochenend)and seems impossible to find. Heiber mentions it along with the vom Rath litigation against Soltikov. Soltikow had a 'helper', a German-Jewish woman who had been a doctor at the Berlin clinic where Ernst vom Rath went for treatment in 1938. No doubt she needed money after the war and, unfortunately, noone was going to sue her and her medical associates for malpractice. oldcitycat 03:17, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

There are lots of pieces of information going back to 1938 along with lots of inconsistencies, contradictions, misprints.. A real jungle when it comes to research. So it isn't surprising that the overall view of this case is confused. One thing that puzzles me is why Harlan Greene had no interest in Andy Marino's thesis that Ernst vom Rath was a spy for the French. Mr. Greene could have written a novel completely to taste, using fake names and dates for the characters..He could even have had an ending to taste. Ernst vom Rath could then have been blond with blue eyes and Herschel could have been a gay hero without disturbing readers who know better. Has anyone there read the newest Herschel-adoring book by Andreas Friedrich Bareisz? oldcitycat 03:26, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Do you have a title on the new book? A Google search on author's name yields no hits. Had the opportunity to visit Paris on business April 2005. I took a walking tour with all of the addresses in Schwab's book. I found both of Herschel's residences near the Chateau D'eau region of Paris. I found the cafe he frequented with his friends - still a cafe, though with a different name. I found the hotel where he stayed the night before killing EvR - still a hotel, expensive yet seedy, just around the block from the live / work space his family occupied. I also found the store where he bought the gun - it's now a small walk-in phone card retail outlet. Then, took the same subway route he took that day to the Rue de Lille (right down the street from the Musee D'Ore). What I saw was two very different sides of Paris. HG's neighbohood is (and was, I suppose) a poor, run down immigrant community - then filled with Europe's fleeing Jews - now filled with Northern African immigrants - the same group, perhaps responsible for last year's riot. The Paris of EvR is an entirely different world - quite, clean and gentile. The two worlds these men occupied could not be further apart, though closely linked through the Paris metro. It's hard for me to imagine an easy scenario where the two could have met. I think too of the risks they would have taken. HG was a 'clandestine' - an illegal immigrant in France - his risks would have been very high. EvR was a member of a closely watched foreign delegation - imagine the results if he was caught consorting with an illegal alien - and a member of a race detested by his homeland. This story is so interesting - every time I think I have it solved, some new evidence surfaces - would love to unearth some new material in the case...Mikewelch7 03:53, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

(To Mikewelch7):The Bareisz (Bareiss?) book is titled "Herschel Feibel Grynszpan"and is probably not translated into English yet. Sometimes Google really doesn't work the way it used to for me either. . It's described (even as its subtitle) as some kind of pyschological-social fiction. (There are German reader reviews on the Amazon German site.) I note your visits to places connected to Grynszpan with interest. Did the old Hotel Suez (near his uncle and aunt) have its name changed to Hotel Istanbul (which Harlan Greene uses in his book.)? Oddly enough there is (or was) a Hotel Suez in Paris located in the expensive St. Germain area which I found accidentally when I was in Paris for one week in May of 1996. I kept getting lost and that day when I turned around there was this..Hotel Suez. The highlight of my trip was seeing that the Clinique de l'Alma was still there. (unfortunately, my companions did not share my enthusiasm.)I was sorry to see that the Solferino bridge was gone. oldcitycat 20:00, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

(To oldcitycat): The hotel is no longer called the Suez. I believe it's part of a European brand chain, but can't recall the name. However, if you have access to the Schwab book and Google the address, you'll find a web placeholder for it. It's rated a 3-star (perhaps 2 1/2 star), mostly on the basis of its lift. It is on a main street in the neighborhood where Abraham's work / home space is. All of the locations Grynzspan frequented can be accessed on foot (with the exception, of course, of the German embassy). Seeing his former home was quite interesting - there is no placard to denote its historical relevance, and it looks soon to be condemned. Sitting in the cafe was a surreal experience - it's right in front of the metro stop Herschel took to travel to Rue de Lille. BTW - I extended the FOIA request to the CIA - although it didn't exist at that time (was called the OSS, I believe). I'll be very interested to see what information the U.S. government collected on this affair...Mikewelch7 04:38, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

I assume Mike is not gay. If he was he would know that they could have met in exactly the same way that French (or tourist) gay men today meet attractive Algerian boys - in bars, at saunas, in the Tuileries at night (such fun), etc. Adam 04:50, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

LOL! So, you're saying I should visit more interesting areas of Paris next time? To answer you assumption, I'll put it this way: I'm 33, male, single, and live in San Francisco...On a more serious note, I submitted Freedom of Information Act requests today with the U.S. State Department and FBI to obtain all information available on the EvR assassination and subsequent events. I'll post my findings at this site, and will determine if any new information comes from it that should be added to the main article. I've got to believe the FDR government was watching these events very carefully...Mikewelch7 07:15, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
To Mikewelch7: That's a great idea about those information requests. oldcitycat 20:00, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

I would never wish to stereotype single males in San Francisco in such a way! But I'm sure you see what I'm saying. They could easily have met through the gay scene which operated fairly openly in Paris at that time - and which, curiously, the Germans did nothing to suppress, despite the way the Nazis treated gay men in Germany. (The same was true in Amsterdam, I believe.) It does not seem to be disputed that vom Rath was gay, so it is quite plausible that he would make use of the services of an attractive young refugee boy in need of money or contacts. That doesn't prove that that's what happened, but it was a plausible scenario, which was why the lawyers chose it as HG's defence. Adam 07:53, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

(to Adam:) ".. an attractive young refugee boy in need of money or contacts." Considering that everyone but moi thinks Grynszpan was attractive, he would surely have made lots of money while he was in Paris.Enough to help his parents and siblings and more.According to one or some accounts, Grynszpan's friend Nathan Kaufman (who later is said to have come to the U.S.) was a rent boy (or whatever) no matter not gay. He doesn't seem to have had all sorts of money...must not have looked as appealing as Herschel the killeroldcitycat 20:17, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

Would anyone looking at these discussion comments like to tell me how it is that seemingly many in the gay community at large have found Doescher's theory of motivation for the shooting so acceptable? If they are familiar with the anti-gay "The Pink Swastika" (If not check it out) that this kind of motivation account and involves the idea that Nazi Germany was a gay creation. It also gave this account before Doescher did. Does Doescher agree with "The Pink Swastika" viewpoint? 20:26, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

I note that there is no Wikipedia entry for "The Pink Swastika" an anti-gay piece of gibberish which contains the same motive for Grynszpan shooting vom Rath as the overly respected latest Hans-Jürgen Döscher "Reichskristallnacht" edition. The full title for The Pink Swastika (which holds that homosexual men ran the Third Reich and were not its victims) is "The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party" by two right wing religionists named Scott Lively and Kevin Abrams. (One of its many editions is listed for 2002 with the publisher as Veritas Aeterna.) There are a number of websites involved and versions of this trash certainly came before Döscher's revision of his Reichskristallnacht book. I think those who have been so eager to accept Döscher's conclusions (based on questionable evidence) should take a good look at "The Pink Swastika".oldcitycat 07:19, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

NY Times Article on HG - Sykes Police Study / HG Interview

Does anyone have information points on the following NY Times article?

AMERICAN COMPLETES POLICE STUDY ABROAD; Edward Sykes of New York Talks With Grynszpan in Prison
PARIS, April 24.--Edward Sykes, a New York banker, Honorary Deputy Police Commissioner of New York City, special Deputy Police Commissioner of New York State and a member of many other police bodies, will sail for New York on the Queen Mary May 3 after study

I recall reading it using a microfilm machine a really long time ago (ca. 1978). I think Sykes reported that Grynszpan was being treated well. (Fresnes..juvenile prison) There really was a lot of interest in Grynszpan. Dorothy Thompson, Quentin Reynolds and others had made him into a kind of folk hero. The boy who fought back. oldcitycat 05:12, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

A murder case in NYC in 1939 could also have caused the Germans some anxiety no matter I don't see any mention of this. The German consulate secretary Walter Engelberg was found murdered (head punched in) in his home in Brooklyn. At first there was apparently talk of politics involved but soon enough seemingly as a result of certain books found in his home, the police were thinking otherwise. A boxer was eventually sentenced to seven years for killing Engelberg. The excuse was that Engelberg had made advances. (If females killed every guy who made advances..there might be very few guys.) An interesting case. it is possible that the NY gay community helped the police.

BTW In Paris in the summer of 1938 Rudolf Klement, secretary setting up the 4th International , disappeared. A headless, legless torso turned up in the Seine and was identified as Klement because of some scars on the arms. Klement had served as Trotsky's secretary and he was,according to one website article which appears to have disappeared now, gay. (A short political article is still to be found easily.)He was living with a Lithuanian man who had also disappeared. This case was never really solved, as far as I can tell. Apparently because Ramon Mercader was also in Paris at this time, he was assumed by some to be the killer. Klement seems to have been an interesting fellow, quite a linguist. He was German, and was thirty or thirty-one years old. Trotsky wrote an article praising Grynszpan but he doesn't seem to have mourned Klement much. Bad years for gay German secretaries. oldcitycat 05:32, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Oldcitycat's reminiscences on European history are all very interesting, and obviously she is quite well informed about all this stuff, but I still have no idea what her point is, in terms of what she thinks the article should say or not say, compared with what it says now. Could we get a concise summary of Oldcitycat's views on this? Adam 06:02, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

I have a lot of ..points. I think the discussion part here is more important than the article. It is obvious that because of the 'gay angle' the Grynszpan Case has not been explored well. Relevant documents have been released but are not easily accessed. It should also not be necessary for people interested in the case to know German or to take trips to Paris to get relevant information. And there certainly are a lot of people interested in Grynszpan if not in the case as a whole.Obviously I'm interested in Ernst vom Rath, not Grynszpan. oldcitycat 13:10, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

The purpose of this discussion is to improve the article, not conduct a seminar on European history. Adam 23:18, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

My opinion is that the articles are being narrowed too much for use in an internet encyclopedia. oldcitycat 02:22, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

Related Interest: Vincent de Moro-Giafferi Entry Created

To those interested, take a look at his newly created entry, and provide any additional information you deem relevant. Thank you. Mikewelch7 23:33, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Certainly a helpful entry. oldcitycat 02:31, 16 March 2006 (UTC)

To Mikewelch7:Oddly noone mentioned that the different language Wikipedias are separate from each other. There is a different Herschel Grynszpan Wikified article on the German wikipedia. The Bareisz book is also mentioned there. It's strange that the German ones aren't given in google searches. oldcitycat 05:34, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

There is also a different Herschel entry for the Netherlands Wikipedia. There are overlaps and..contrary statements as well. Have you ever used the worldlingo free online translator for articles? Maybe only very short things are free. I'm surprised that Wikipedia doesn't have a translator as far as I can tell. oldcitycat 05:49, 17 March 2006 (UTC)


I have now found Schwab's book (on a street stall in the Bebelplatz in Berlin!) and will rewrite this article when I get time. Adam 23:42, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Violent Justice

In their Book,

  • Imonti, F and M - Violent Justice Prometheus Books, New York 1994 ISBN: 0879759259 p.291

They write: "Next, near the end of the war, Grynszpan appeared before a tribunal in Hanover. He was sentenced to be executed on May 8, 1945. On may 7, Germany surrended." Can anyone else find details of this tribunal? Mike33 10:26, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

This doesn't sound very likely. Hannover fell to the US Army on 10 April. Adam 10:34, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

ok, very unlikely then. How about Nazi apologist David Irving:

  • Irving, D - Goebbels - Mastermind of the Third Reich Parforce Ltd, London 1996 p700

The Grynszpan case was put on ice. indeed, he survived the war—Gutterer was told he had sat at the back of a Hamburg court-room in the fifties when he himself was on trial—one of the ultimate ironies of the Final Solution which his pistol shots in 1938 had helped to unleash. Mike33 11:20, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Go and read Deborah Lipstadt and then you won't believe anything Irving says ever again. Adam 12:01, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Assessment comment

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Herschel Grynszpan/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

This is a really trashy article filled with outrageous inaccuracies (including..alleged quotes) and with insufficient bibliography.Martin Bormann would find it thrilling.oldcitycat (talk) 04:48, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 04:48, 28 November 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 14:57, 1 May 2016 (UTC)