Documents from the Bundes Archive

English translation(Only some of the German files are translated into English.)

(Translation by Uwe Gabel)

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4  2 & 8

Criminal case against Benno Israel Neuburger former real estate agent and born on March 4, 1871. Accused of high treason by the Senior Reich Prosecutor of the “People’s Court”. The date of trial is set for 9am on July 20, 1942. He was arrested by the Secret Police on March 14, 1942 for allegedly sending out 14 postcards with defamatory slogans against Hitler and the NAZI regime.

The accused used to live at the following address until March 15, 1942 Troger Strasse 44/II Rg. in Munich but is now living at Knorr Strasse 148 in Munich. He is being kept at the Police Prison of the State Police in Munich. 

 Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4  13 & 14  

12-19 and 24.

Personal information:

I’m stating hereby that my personal data is correct. I was born as the fifth child of Max and Jette Neuburger(her maiden name is Levinger) both Realtors. From 1877 – 1882 I went to elementary school and after that I studied for 2 years at a middle school before attending a business school in Munich for 3 years.

When I was 14 I started an apprenticeship at a Jewish draper’s shop owned by Elias Cohn Königsberger in Munich. I finished the apprenticeship in 1887 but stayed employed there as a shop assistant till 1902. From there on I participated in my dad’s Realtor’s business. In 1907 I married Anna Einstein also a Jew. My son Fritz was born in 1908 and my daughter Hanni in 1909.

Hanni emigrated in 1937 and Fritz in 1938 to Long Island in the US. My mother died in 1907 in Munich. After the death of my father in 1915 I took over his Realtor business till 1923. From my dad I inherited about 60,000 Reichsmark. The money including the 100,000 Reichsmark I owned was mostly eroded by inflation though.

Since 1923 I did not purchase any new property but sold the remainder one by one. As of today I’m still a 15 percent partner of the properties of the heirs of Lina Leving, Unterbiberg.

For those properties the company Landsdorfer at Ritter von Epp-Platz 9 in Munich acts as a trustee. Now my cash assets consist of 7,000 Reichsmark whereby my wife brought into the marriage about 12,000 Reichsmark.

I like to remark since we are married under a joint ownership system that my wife is entitled to 6,000 Reichsmark.

Statement to the accusation of high treason:

I’ve never belonged to a political party neither before or after the takeover by the national socialists. Nevertheless I did sympathize with the Liberal Party which I probably voted for in the elections. Despite being a member of the Jewish community I had never been associated with any other club or political union.

My hate against the Führer was caused by the implied measures against the Jews by the state from 1933 up till today. Especially the last speeches by the Führer where he pronounced the extinction of Judaism made me an enemy of Hitler.

I decided to fight the Führer by circulating defamatory publications since I thought that an open fight against Hitler was futile. Therefore I anonymously put several postcards with defamatory contents in public mailboxes in Munich.

Most of those I put in the mailbox at Troger street number 32 since this was the closest to my apartment. I can’t remember the quantity or content of those postcards but the ones which had been presented to me I did write myself. In fact I authored them on my desk in my bedroom at my former apartment at Troger street 44.

Those postcards have been solely written by myself without any knowledge or partaking of my wife or any other person. I never informed or shared with anyone what I’ve been doing. Why exactly I wrote these postcards I do not remember. 

Nevertheless my motivations for this are going back to the evacuation of my fellow people especially my relatives and acquaintances which were partly seriously sick.

I’m still of the opinion that moving sick people into Jewish collection camps of the occupied eastern territories is murder. To make an end to this I saw it as my duty to inform the general public of these atrocities against my people.

Hitler is a murderer for wanting to eradicate Judaism. Naming Hitler a murderer, a bastard, a horror person, a tyrant, an idiot etc. derive from my Jewish mindset towards the cruelties of Hitler.

I declared Hitler an idiot because he thinks the Jews lost their mind, I declared him a thief because he steals my fellow people’s money, I declared him a criminal because he unjustly bullies Jews to make their lives miserable and I declared him a bastard because he treats us far worse than animals. 

In conclusion I’d like to remark that I haven’t produced any other defamatory writings besides the above mentioned. I admit that I’ve been stupid to have written them since my hate for Hitler drove me to it. Hereby I’m stating that the above is true and correct and has been confessed by my free will without any force or pressure. 

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 26

Criminal proceedings: 

The charge is that the defendant circulated defamatory postcards against Hitler from September 9th, 1941 through February 28th, 1942. The objective was to change the constitution of the Reich by forcibly manipulating the public in order to dismiss the national socialist government.

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 30

It has been decided by the senior Reich prosecutor to try the defendant before the second senate of the People’s Court, to keep him in custody and to supply him with a defense counsel.

Bundes Archive Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 39-42

Munich, May 19, 1942

Dearest Anna,

I hope you’re well. The same goes for me so far. I’m terribly sorry that I cause you so many worries. Hoping for the best. In the last few years I troubled myself to get the money from the sold properties and other things which weren’t really my business.

As of now I have a hard time to keep my thoughts straight and I’m just forgetting everything. But please dear Anna be reassured and wait how the trial proceeds. Don’t worry too much! I trust that it will all be better soon and that the court has mercy. 

Be greeted and hugged dearly my lovely Anna!

P.S. Please let me know how are you doing and be calm. I’m thinking of you and I continue to hold you within my heart. 

Bundes Archive Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4  49-50.

The date of trial is set for 9am on July 20, 1942. The accused is to be transferred to the prison Berlin Alt-Moabit. It is to be ensured that the prisoner will arrive there at least one week before trial. The Chief of Police is required to provide the prisoner with proper food. 

Bundes Archive Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 51.

The Secret police is to call as witness at the trial the Criminal Police Officer Hermann Eckfellner who is to answer questions regarding personal information and whereabouts of the defendant as well as all facts regarding the investigation. 

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 65. 

The following is a legal letter to the investigating prosecutor written by Felix Israel Koenigsberger, Legal adviser only for Jews, Munich the 30th of June, 1942. 

The wife of Benno Neuburger asked me to take on this case to clarify the circumstances of the arrest and the resulting prosecution of the defendant. 

Her 72 year old husband is in custody in Stadelheim. The reason of the arrest is so far unknown. There are cases in which the crime has been determined as not too grave so that the authorities arranged that the accused before or after the sentence be transported to the East instead of going to prison.

In the present case it concerns an elderly married couple where it is likely that the wife will be in the near future be transported to the East so that she most likely wouldn’t see her husband again if he were to stay in prison in Germany. 

I do not know if the crime of the accused is of such gravity that it is necessary to follow the law all the way through. But I hope to have given concern to the high age and a crime-free life of the defendant that it may be possible to grant him a transport instead of prison time. 

I request to submit my concerns to the court. Signed by the legal adviser Koenigsberger. 

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 69. 

Dr. Heinz Bergmann, Lawyer and attesting notary, Berlin, July the 13th of 1942

The following is a legal letter from Dr. Heinz Bergmann to the People’s Court (Volksgerichtshof) in Berlin at Bellevue street 15.

Concerning the criminal case against Benno Neuburger. 

Regarding the court date on July 20, 1942 I like to request that instead of myself the public defender Dr. Ernst Decke-Cornill is to be assigned to this case. As soon as the new defender is officially assigned I will send to him directly all the documents. 

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 76-77 

The Public proceedings of the Second senate of the Nazi People’s Court (Volksgerichtshof) has begun today on July 20th of 1942. At the trial firstly the witness Eckfellner (33 years old) had been officially sworn in to say nothing but the truth regarding the defendant and also is asked to stay put for the remainder of the trial. 

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 83. 

The verdict. In the name of the German people. The defendant is hereby sentenced to death for the preparation of high treason. 

The present judges at the trial were:

Vice Chairman of the Volksgerichtshof Engert

Court of appeal judge Granzow

Gau office leader Kapeller

Kreisleiter Plankensteiner

State prosecutor Dr. Meier representing the senior Reich prosecutor

Justice secretary Wöhlke as registrar of the head office.

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 91-95. 

From the court observed reasons for the actions and attitude of the defendant against the Hitler regime:

The accused visited the elementary and middle school and finished a business apprenticeship after that. His father was a Realtor for agricultural properties. The defendant later worked at his father’s business and took it over after his dad past away.

In the year of 1915 his assets amounted to about 160,000 Reichsmark which he mostly lost during the local currency depreciation. Now he only owns a small rest of his fortune. The accused is a thoroughbred Jew. His two children emigrated a few years ago to America. His son had supported him since. He never belonged to a political party but he sympathized with a liberal point of view.

So far he’s never gotten into any conflict with the law. His hate against National Socialism stems from a conviction that Judaism has been widely and necessarily restricted within Germany’s borders. Therefore he felt driven to express his feelings in upmost shameful attacks against the Führer.

During September 1941 and February 1942 he mailed fourteen postcards which he contrived with disgraceful and wretched slogans against the Führer. The contents of these has been documented earlier. But I like to add the contents of postcard number 9 which declare that there are about 10,000,000 Jews living in Europe from which half of them are in danger of eradication.

The postcards were confiscated at the post office which then passed them on to the Secret Police. The originator was discovered through a company seal on one of the postcards. Neuburger had overlooked this fact and therefore gave himself over to a criminal prosecution. The defendant admits the facts.

He saw the reasons for his doing in a resentment of the fight against Judaism through the National Socialism. He also mentions that his children lost their employment and had emigrated therefore. Having lost his apartment made things worse for him.

He said that he never intended to commit high treason but that he only fantasized about these things. In fact that he was out of his mind. The defendant claims in other words that he can’t be accountable for his actions.

His lawyer calls on article 51 of the penal code (Strafgesetzbuch) which is not admissible though. The court denies the defendant the possibility that he may be declared mentally ill even temporarily. The witness who was part of the pre-investigations of the accused denies that Neuburger showed any signs of mental instability during the investigation.

He further states that Neuburger had been fully in possession of his mental faculties during the whole time. 

The court notes that by dropping the postcards into the mailboxes the defendant opened up the fight against Hitler and his leadership. His ultimate goal had been all along the change of NAZI policies regarding Jews.

Knowing quite well that he couldn’t reach his goal through legal means. Our enemies have only one instrument left and that is violence. They want to disturb the public’s trust in our government by arousing discontentment in all segments of the population.

All this was meant to get rid of National Socialism especially the removal of the Führer himself which can be documented by viewing the postcard number 6. Herein is the thought mentioned that a new God will soon replace Hitler.

The criminal act therefore consists of anti-state activities with the goal of changing the constitution. This is regarded as preparation of treason. The defendant had chosen to manipulate civil, police and military personnel by distributing propaganda.

A just punishment can therefore only be death to ensure the safety of the Reich. The deprivation of the defendants’ rights as a citizen is out of the question since Neuburger does not enjoy the full rights as a citizen because of his heritage. Furthermore the participation of Jews in public life is already limited or restricted and not lawful when it comes to business operations.

The costs of the trial are to be fully paid by the defendant. Signed by Court of appeal judge Granzow. 

98-99.   Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 98-99 (pg. 442)

Last will and testament: Berlin-Plötzensee on September 17, 1942

I, Benno Israel Neuburger, wish and decree and ask to grant me that my body will be allowed to lay to rest by the Jewish community in Berlin. Even though I’m a member of the funeral expense fund “Plonie” in Munich I direct that the expenses for this will be drawn from my account number 65331 at the Dresdner Bank in Munich.

Further I request that an inexpensive grave stone or a memorial slab will be purchased for the burial place. I wish and request to be buried by the Jewish Community in Berlin in the presence of a rabbi. All those costs should also be drawn from the above mentioned bank account.

I further ask that the cultural municipality in Munich and of course my wife be notified. I decree that my last wishes be fully granted. Signed by Benno Israel Neuburger. Also I ask that my watch and all my other possessions may be send to the cultural municipality in Munich. 


This is a summary from a formal letter from Isar Lebensversicherung-Aktiengesellschaft (a life insurance company) on October 12th, 1942 to the Senior Reich Prosecutor of “People’s Court”.

Neuburger is supposed to have a life insurance policy with “der deutsche Versicherungsbestand des Phönix” but it has been since taken over by the before mentioned company. For that reason they have no record of Neuburger having a life insurance policy but they will check again once they receive more information like a policy number from the court. Signed with “Heil Hitler” and an unreadable signature. 

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 103

Court Fees:

Death sentence amounts to 300 Reichsmark.

Testimony of witness amounts to 52.25 Reichsmark.

Postage amounts to 54 Pfennig.

Total: 352.79 Reichsmark.

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 124-125

Court evidence:

  1. a) Testimony of the accused
  2. b) Testimony of the witness(Hermann Eckfellner, Criminal Police Officer who questioned the defendant)
  3. Criminal record (which there is none!)
  4. d) Fourteen postcards


Formal letter from senior Reich prosecutor of People’s Court on September 24th, 1942 to the Director of the prison Berlin-Plötzensee.

With reference to your letter I inform you that Neuburgers possessions will be initially used to pay the court fees.


The immediate reply of the above mentioned letter states that no monetary or other possessions have been stored or are available for such a request. 

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 162

Munich, September 29th, 1942

Formal letter from Dresdner Bank in Munich to senior Reich prosecutor of People’s Court in Berlin.

In reference to your request from September 24th, 1942 we like to let you know that the account number 65331 of Benno Israel Neuburger has at this time a balance of 7,700.11 Reichsmark.

Signed with Heil Hitler and an unreadable signature. 

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 173-177

Appeal for clemency.

Formal letter of lawyer to Secret Police for the attention of Sturmbannführer Pommerening or his representative and the President of the Second Senate of the People’s Court. Immediate response requested. In reference to the death sentence of Benno Israel Neuburger and the lifelong loss of his full rights as a citizen. 

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to examine the written opinions of the Court but I like to make an urgent appeal to the authorities to grant mercy and clemency to the defendant. 

Furthermore I request that three photos of the defendant in civilian clothing be taken. 

In case the sentence is carried out I request that his corpse be laid to rest in the Jewish tradition. 


Formal letter from Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret Police) in Munich to Oberreichsanwalt beim Volksgerichtshof(Senior Reich Prosecutor of People’s Court) in Berlin. Munich, July 27th, 1942.

As requested I’m sending three photos of Neuburger as an attachment.

In reference to other questions I will inform you directly through the Reich Security Main Office. 

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 182-184. 

Formal letter from Vorstand der Untersuchungsanstalt (Prison Director) Alt-Moabit in Berlin to Senior Reich Prosecutor of People’s Court. Berlin, July 29th, 1942.

The salesman Benno Israel Neuburger, 71 years old, married, not been convicted or found guilty of any criminal offence is sentenced to death for preparing a high treason.

Neuburger was kept here only for a short period of time from July 8th to July 21th, 1942. During this time he behaved according to the house rules and also worked satisfactorily but without any extra effort. Neuburger is a stubborn Jew who has no regrets whatsoever for his crimes.

In a bold and brazen way he said: “The state has harassed me in a most offensive way for nearly ten years therefore I had to expect a death sentence”. No particular circumstances would encourage any measures of clemency.

Signed by Oberregierungsrat (Senior Executive Officer).

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 194

Berlin, September 3rd, 1942. 

Formal letter from the Reich Commissioner of Justice to the Senior Reich Prosecutor of People’s Court. Urgent and Secret.


One folder

Two notebooks

One enactment of a law from September 3rd, 1942

One attested copy of the enactment

One Press release

One other document

In the criminal proceedings against Neuburger who was sentenced to death by the Volksgerichtshof in Berlin on July 20th, 1942 I deliver as an attested final copy the enactment from September 3rd, 1942 with a request to urgently execute the judgement.

The proceedings of the execution are to be laid in the hands of the executioner Hehr. The corpse is to be send to the Anatomical Institute of the university in Berlin according to Article 39 of the Reich Constitution of February 19th, 1939. 

On behalf signed by Dr. Crohne. 

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 197 

Certified copy.

Statement of the Reich Commissioner of Justice Dr. Thierack.

I concluded with the approval of the Führer not to grant pardons but to give free rein to the course of justice. Berlin, September 3rd, 1942. Also supported by the State Secretary Behrendt on September 7th, 1942.

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 198. 

Press release.

Benno Israel Neuburger has been executed on Sep 18th, 1942. The convicted offender had been found guilty of severe disparagements against the Führer and committed high treason against the German Reich. 

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 200-202

Execution instructions to the director at the prison Plötzensee in Berlin from Senior Reich Prosecutor of People’s Court on September 9th, 1942:

Execution supervisor: Felix Wittmann. Judicial employee: Karpe.

Notification of the execution to the prisoner at 8pm on September 17th, 1942.

Execution date and time: At 4:48am on September 18th, 1942.

The clerk is responsible for relaying the above mentioned instructions to the Execution supervisor as soon as possible.

The lawyer of the convicted prisoner has permission to be present when the prisoner is told about the time and date of the execution. Also the execution supervisor is to be available by phone from 8pm on September 17th till the end of the execution. 

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 203-205. 

Formal letter to the director of the Anatomical and Biological Institute of the university of Berlin.

The corpse will be used for scientific and educational means at the Anatomical and Biological Institute of the University Berlin. The release of the body or providing any kind of information to the relatives is strictly prohibited.

Enclosed find an admission card for transporting the corpse to your institute. The arrangements are to be conducted in conditions of strict secrecy. Confirm the receipt of this letter immediately either by mail or by phone. 


The executioner is instructed to execute the convicted prisoner on the guillotine. 


Secret. Berlin, September 14th, 1942. 

Regarding the execution of the death sentence of Benno Israel Neuburger on Friday, September 18th, 1942 at 4:48am at the Prison of Berlin- Plötzensee. 

Regarding decisions concerning any applications of the prisoner I request the following persons to be available from 8pm Thursday, September 17th through 4:48am Friday, September 18th, 1942. Vice President Engert, Court commissioner Gransow, full colonel and Head of Department Singer

  1. As a civil law notary I ask the Judicial inspector Voglgsang to be present on the premises at People’s Court during that time as well. 

Signed by Dr. Freisler and attested by Hallwig as Superintendent.

  1. Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4 212. (pg. 440)

Berlin, September 17th, 1942.

Formal report to the Senior Reich Prosecutor of People’s Court.

Witnessed by:

Senior State Counsel Wittmann as Head of Execution 

Judicial clerk Karpe as representative of the court 

The designated civil servants of the advocate of the People’s Court went to the prison Plötzensee in Berlin today. At 8:18pm they went in the company of the representative and administrative assistant of the prison Schmidt and the prison physician Dr. Schmidt to see the prisoner Benno Israel Neuburger in his cell.

The Head of execution after verifying the identity of the prisoner explained to him that he is here on behalf of the Senior Reich Prosecutor of the People’s Court. After that he continued to read slowly and clearly to the prisoner the significant part of the judgement against him.

Furthermore he let him know that his appeal is denied by the Reich Minister of Justice in conjunction with Hitler. Finally he disclosed to the prisoner the day and time of his execution and advised him to prepare for it and that he could voice any special last requests to the prison guards. At 8:20pm the representatives left the prisoner.

Lastly I like to remark that the prisoner stayed calm during this visit. 

Signed by the Senior State Counsel Wittmann and the Judicial clerk Karpe. 

Bundes Archive BA Auftr. Nr. 864 NJ-2999 Bd. 1-4  213-214. 

Berlin, September 18th, 1942. Report of the Senior Reich Prosecutor of the People’s Court.

Witnessed by Senior State Counsel Wittmann as Head of Execution, the administrative inspector Schmidt and Judicial Clerk Karpe as representative of the court. The designated civil servants of the advocate of the People’s Court went to the prison Plötzensee in Berlin in order to conduct the execution of Benno Israel Neuburger.

The executioner Hehr from Hanover stated that he and his helpers are ready to proceed with the execution. In the front part the execution room which was brightly lit by electrical light stood a black cloth-covered table with a crucifix and two lit candles on it.

The rear part of the room contained the guillotine which was hidden by a black curtain. 

The representatives stood behind the table whereas the executioner and his helpers placed themselves in front of the black curtain. The Head of execution then ordered to have the prisoner led into the room. At 4:48am the prisoner arrived with his hands tied to his back. The door was closed.

Again the identity of the prisoner was verified by the Head of execution. Whereupon the Head of execution told the executioner to proceed with the execution. Immediately the curtain was pulled and the three assistants traded places with the prison guards.

The prisoner remained silent and stayed calm. He was led without resistance to the guillotine and was laid down bare chested. The executioner then used the guillotine to cut off the prisoner’s head and proclaimed that the judgement had been fulfilled.

From the time the prisoner was brought into the room and had been put into the hands of the executioner’s assistants had taken 18 seconds and another 9 seconds till the head was cut off. 

Signed by Senior State Counsel Wittmann and Judicial Clerk Karpe. 


Berlin, September 18th, 1942

The execution was carried out by the executioner Hehr from Hanover and his assistants Albrecht, Roselieb and Köster. 


Berlin, September 16th, 1942. 


Formal letter from Wübken, lawyer and notary to court commissioner Stark. 

In the criminal proceedings against Neuburger I have received the letter of September 11, 1942. At your request I have destroyed the enclosed card (permission slip to be present at the execution). Heil Hitler! Signed Wübken, lawyer.


Documents from the Bundes Archive The arrest, interrogation, imprisonment, trial and execution of Benno Neuburger

German originals

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