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

Scope and Content

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.

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'.



Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

Jewish Central Information Office

Other Finding Aids

Description exists to this archive on the Wiener Library's online catalogue www.wienerlibrary.co.uk.

Archivist's Note

Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Custodial 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.

Location of Originals

Wiener Collection, Tel Aviv University, Israel.


L?thi, Urs, Der Mythos von der Weltverschw?ung , (SIG, Basel and Frankfurt, 1992).

Geographical Names