11 FEBRUARY 1938, Page 2

Dr. Niemiiller's Trial The trial of Dr. Niemoller in Berlin,

after more than seven months' imprisonment, shows German justice at its worst. The trial is being conducted by the Special Court which was created to deal particularly with offences against the State, and the strictest secrecy is being observed. The general public is being excluded from the court, and even the two representatives of the Confessional Church who were given places on the first day were refused admission on the second. Needless to say, no word regarding the proceedings appears in any German paper. These precautions are the more singular in that the charges against Dr. Niemoller are based, so far as can be discovered—though they have not been pub- licly formulated—on statements made by him from his pulpit in Dahlem for the whole world to hear. Why offences committed on the house-tops, if committed at all, should be handed over for trial to a secret tribunal no one but the head of the secret police in Germany is likely to understand. Conviction is no doubt probable, and it will do Dr. Niemoller in the eyes of the world and indeed of millions of his own countrymen, so far as knowledge of the affair reaches their ears, nothing but honour. The Church Assembly, meeting in London this week, did well to pay tribute to a brave man standing for a great principle—the principle of spiritual liberty. * * *