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Wiener Library

von Freyenwald, Hans Jonak (b 1878): papers regarding the Bern trial of the'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'


Reference code(s): GB 1556 WL 543a

Held at: Wiener Library

Title: von Freyenwald, Hans Jonak (b 1878): papers regarding the Bern trial of the'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'

Date(s): 1937

Level of description: collection

Extent: 3 files

Name of creator(s): Law firm: Roth, Ruef & Joss, Bern, Switzerland


Administrative/Biographical history:

This collection of correspondence and papers relates to the infamous Bern trial of the distributors of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion', in particular to the appeal, which took place between 27 October and 1 November 1937, in which the original verdict, convicting the distributors of falsification and plagiarism, was overturned on a legal technicality, although the appellants were not compensated.

The material was originally housed in a folder entitled 'Protokolle Prozess Bern Appellation' (front cover); 'Bern Protokolle Prozess II Instanz' (spine). Their custodial history prior to deposit is unknown. At some point they came into the possession of Hans Jonak von Freyenwald, and were subsequently referred to as the 'Freyenwald Collection at the Wiener Library'.

Jonak von Freyenwald, born 1878 in Vienna; held various civil service posts until retirement in 1922. He worked for the Anti-semitic organisation Weltdienst between 1934 and 1940 in Erfurt, then Frankfurt. Between 1934 and 1937 he worked as an academic assistant for the Swiss defendants and their lawyers in the Bern trial of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion'.


Scope and content/abstract:

Correspondence and papers relates to the Bern trial of the distributors of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion', 1937; notably correspondence and papers relating to witnesses and testimony; account of the trial proceedings and the origins of the 'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' by one of the appellants' lawyers; draft summation of the case for the appellants at the appeal court, Bern, with detailed contents and bibliography.


Language/scripts of material: German

System of arrangement:


Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

The material emanates from the offices of the appellants legal team - many of the papers bear the stamp of the law firm Roth, Ruef & Joss, Bern, Bahnhofplatz 6.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Jewish Central Information Office


Existence and location of originals:

Wiener Collection, Tel Aviv University, Israel.

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

Publication note:

Lüthi, Urs, Der Mythos von der Weltverschwöung, (SIG, Basel and Frankfurt, 1992).



Archivist's note: Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: October 2007

Antisemitism | Racial discrimination
Jews | Religious groups
Legal procedure | Administration of justice
Propaganda | Persuasion | Communication process
Third Reich | Nazism | Totalitarianism | Political doctrines

Personal names
von Freyenwald | Hans Jonak | b 1878

Corporate names
Weltdienst organisation

Switzerland | Western Europe | Europe