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The witchcraft trial in Moscow
Image 21
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Adler, Friedrich. The witchcraft trial in Moscow - Image 21. 1937. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. June 22, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/scpamp/item/5987/show/5971.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Adler, Friedrich. (1937). The witchcraft trial in Moscow - Image 21. Socialist and Communist Pamphlets. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/scpamp/item/5987/show/5971

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Adler, Friedrich, The witchcraft trial in Moscow - Image 21, 1937, Socialist and Communist Pamphlets, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed June 22, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/scpamp/item/5987/show/5971.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title The witchcraft trial in Moscow
Creator (LCNAF)
  • Adler, Friedrich
Publisher Pioneer Publishers
Date 1937
Description In regard to the trial of Zinoviev, Kamenev and others in August, 1936.
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Trials
Subject.Name (LCNAF)
  • Zinovyev, Grigory Y.
  • Kamenev, Lev B.
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Soviet Union
Genre (AAT)
  • pamphlets
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
Original Item Extent 32 pages; 20 cm
Original Item Location DK267.P25 1937
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b8304411~S11
Original Collection Socialist and Communist Pamphlets
Digital Collection Socialist and Communist Pamphlets
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/scpamp
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://libraries.uh.edu/branches/special-collections
Use and Reproduction In Copyright
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Image 21
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name uhlib_3530838_020.jpg
Transcript though by no means all,* will accept this view in normal cases. It becomes an absurdity, however, when there is a suspicion that the plea of guilty is fictitious. There have repeatedly been such false pleas of guilty during absolutely unobjectionable court proceedings, but they arose from mental aberrations in the defendant, or else their motive was one of self-sacrifice on the part of the defendant, who wished to shield the real culprit. These were individual exceptions—but in the case of the tribunals of the Inquisition they existed on the largest scale to the extent of being an error inherent in the system. In view of the opposition which Pritt encountered he has now found himself obliged to express an opinion on the real problems involved. In his last pamphlet he thus examines in great detail the possibilities which might suggest that "confessions may have been extorted by brutality, by threats or by promises." He refers to the many examples of such criminal procedure in other countries and asks, "but what iota of evidence is there that anything of the sort actually happened in this case?'" He says that "it seems plain to me, on a number of different grounds, that anything in the nature of forced confessions is intrinsically impossible." Pritt considers all these different grounds and shows with great forensic skill that the probabilities are against forced confessions. However much might need to be said with regard to this demonstration of Pritt's, we can nevertheless spare ourselves this discussion. For there is one point where there is no need to balance possibilities but where the matter rests on certainty. This point is the fact that a fictitious confession can be proved. It is surprising that Pritt, who deals fully with all kinds of more or less far-fetched indications, gives no consideration whatever to the possibilities of confessions which show themselves to be objectively fictitious. A SIGNIFICANT SUPPRESSION Yet it is clear that if the untruthfulness of even a single admission is shown, the whole artificial structure of probabilities with which Pritt operates, collapses. As we have already shown, there were the demonstrably false admissions in the Menshevik Trial of 1931 on the journey of Abramovitch to Russia, and in the last trial there was the demonstrably false admission as to what happened in the non-existent Hotel Bristol at Copenhagen. Pritt makes no mention whatever of these facts, but he writes a preface to an edition of the report of the court proceedings in which the British public is guarded against learning anything of the testimony which can easily be proved to be a false confession. In this report, the passage from Holtzman's confession with regard to the Hotel Bristol is simply—omitted. Anyone who wishes to convince him- *In the interesting study on the juridical bases of the Moscow Trial written by Egon Schwelb for the Kampf (Czechoslovakian edition, No. 10), it is convincingly shown that great jurists hold quite a different view from Pritt on thii matter. 19