Though the name of Colonel William Donovan, Republican candidate for Governor of New York in the last election, is prominently featured on the letterhead of the organization known as the Friends of Germany, of which Edwin C. Emerson is chairman of the executive committee, Mr. Donovan has written to Bernard G. Richards, chairman of the Jewish Council of Greater New York, stating that he is not a member, it was learned yesterday. The organization seeks to organize sentiment in favor of Germany.
The letterhead lists Colonel Donovan as one of the honorary members. Colonel Donovan wrote to Mr. Richards: “The fact is I have not joined the organization to which you refer.”
Last week several prominent persons in New York received a letter from Emerson, in which was enclosed an application blank. He asked that the persons receiving the letters join his organization, which has its headquarters in his office at 17 Battery Place.
“By reason of your known friendliness toward Germans your name has been proposed as that of a good friend of Germany and therefore a likely member of our society. So we send you the enclosed application blank to be mailed to us with your correct address,” the letter stated in part.
Mr. Richards wrote to Colonel Donovan and to several other persons whose names are listed on the Friends of Germany’s letterhead, asking them whether they were affiliated in any way with Emerson. So far only Colonel Donovan has responded. Other men listed on the letterhead as honorary members of the organization include: Poultney Bigelow, Malden, N. Y.; Professor Robert Morss Lovett, Chicago; the Hon. George B. McLellan, Washington, D. C.; General Herman A. Metz, New York City, and Mr. Jeremiah A. O’Leary, New York City.
The Friends of Germany is a different organization from the Friends of New Germany, the latter being anti-Semitic in character and the organization through which the local Nazi groups work. Emerson however, has been charged at various times with being anti-Semitic following articles which he wrote in the Amerika’s Deutsche Post, Nazi organ in New York.
Though he once made the statement that “half of the Friends of Germany’s members were teachers of the German language in New York City high schools,” officials at Board of Education headquarters said they have never heard of Emerson or his organization.
Howard A. Shiebler, secretary to the superintendent of schools, told the Jewish Daily Bulletin: “I know of many organizations to which New York high school teachers belong, but the ‘Friends of Germany’ is a new name to me. I am sure that no teachers of German, whether Jewish or Gentile, in the New York school system belongs to Mr. Emerson’s group.”
Jacob Greenberg, an official in the foreign language department of the Board of Education said: “So far as I know, no teacher in the New York school system has ever belonged to the Friends of Germany.”
Reports from Newark on June 20 stated that Mr. Emerson on that day addressed members of the local branch of the Friends of New Germany. “Jewish boycotting of German goods is not and never will be effective,” he stated. “The great German nation should be conceded the right to fashion its fate according to its own ideas. No man possessed of the least knowledge of the Hitler movement can speak of it as one lustful war. Hitler’s aims are, above all, German life and German culture.”
When the Friends of New Germany had its headquarters at 309 East 92nd Street, Mr. Emerson, who denied any affiliation with this group, was said, however, to have been instrumental in getting new members to join it. Information about the New Germany is freely dispensed and copies of the latest German publications are sold in Mr. Emerson’s office in the Whitehall Building, where the German Consulate is also situated.
Writing in the Deutscher Beobachter, supplement of the Amerika’s Deutsche Post, Emerson said, describing the May Day parade here: “Early in the day the Jewish Communists and Socialists came straggling from the ghettos of New York’s East Side. They tramped in separate hordes, thousands â€” small swarthy men with thick lips and kinkly hair.”
Emerson is correspondent for several German Nationalist newspapers, which are now Nazi-controlled, and at his office these papers and other anti-Semitic literature can still be obtained by the public.
Harry W. Garring, Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan here, after addressing a conference of delegates from German-American societies, on the aims of the Klan, was the subject of a warning editorial in the New York Staats-Zeitung, wherein German-Americans were warned against the purposes of the Klan. Whereupon Mr. Garring answered to the effect that he was not attempting to capitalize in America the race-hatred being promulgated in Germany.
The conference, he told the Staats-Zeitung, “was for the sole purpose of bringing to the attention of German-Americans the fact that they should unite and band themselves as one for the protection of the rights handed down by their forefathers and mothers, and against the persecution that has been brought upon them as a descendant of Germany.”