Philadelphia (Jul. 28)
Staff Correspondent, Jewish Daily Bulletin
"We are the American Fascisti and we are death on Communism which is led by Russian and Polish Jews in the United States and all over the world," said ‘Commander-in-Chief’ Art J. Smith, of the Khaki Shirts of America, in a special interview granted a representative of the Jewish Daily Bulletin at the national headquarters of the organization which is located at 4420 North Broad Street, Philadelphia.
"All the German Nazis in the United States and all the Italian Fascists are members of my organization and we work in the closest contact with them," continued the would-be American dictator who is hailed by his followers as a combination of Mussolini and Hitler and who accepts the praise as being no more than his just due.
"I have a personal letter from Hitler in which he praises our movement and informs me that he suffered so much from the persecution of the Communistic Jews that he was compelled to take the strongest measures against the Jews in order to save Germany. ‘General’ Smith refused to show the letter which was secret but said that the Hitlerites were shipping millions of pieces of anti-Jewish propaganda into the United States by way of Philadelphia which his organization was helping to distribute.
A NAZI NEWSPAPER
"We have none here at the present moment, said the ‘General’ but if you come around next week, we will have plenty. In the meanwhile take this," and he handed the reporter a copy of the "Deutsche Abwehr" (German Defender), a two-page newspaper published in New York by the German Legion, Inc. and printed in German and English, which urged German Americans to defend themselves and Germany against the audacious slanders of the Communistic Jews both here and in Germany.
"We have ten million members in the United States, and we intend to take over the government of this country very soon, then we will deal with the Communist menace which is directed almost entirely by Russian and Polish Jews," said the embryo Hitler, "and if the Jews of America, I mean the real American Jews, not the Communistic Jews don’t flock into our organization. why it will be just too bad for them when I get into power, they will have to suffer the consequences."
"But don’t get me wrong," said the ‘General’, "we have nothing against the Jews as such. Why we have over 600,000 Jews in our organization, in Brooklyn alone we have 100,000 Jews organized in regiments and divisions and many Jewish regiments in St. Louis, with over 2,000 Jewish officers ranking to my second-in-command, Lieutenant General Samuel Z. Wein, who is a Jew. And they are all perfectly willing to die for me any time I give the word." Needless to say, the ‘General’ refused to furnish any detail about the ‘Jewish Army’ under his command. "You understand it’s all secret, we don’t want the Communists to get this information," he said.
WATCH ME GIVE HIM HELL
"You know," said ‘General’ Smith, "Sam Wein is my fighting Jew, in fact he is in charge of selling our members all their equipment. Sam sells our men their khaki shirts and their caps and uniforms and he buys all the stuff from Jewish firms so how can we be accused of being anti-Jewish. Sam would do anything for me, follows me around like a dog. Here he comes now, just watch me give him hell."
After the ‘General’ had duly carried out his threat, the Bulletin representative was allowed to talk to the ‘fighting Jew.’
‘General’ Wein, better known in Philadelphia as Salesman Sam, turned out to be a tall, thin individual clad in the full uniform of a Lieutenant General in the Khaki Shirts, Sam Browne belt, high, shiny boots, and all the insignia appropriate to his rank. "Tell him we ain’t against the Jews," said his commander and Sam proceeded to tell all.
"Why I was born in the East Side of New York and sold clothing there all the way from lower Broadway up to the Bronx, I was active in many Jewish organizations. I was associated with Mr. Aaron Sapiro in the case against Henry Ford and I am a close friend of Judge Gustave Hartman. Of course we are not anti-Jewish. We have 600,000 Jews in outfit, haven’t we, commander?" turning to Smith.
"Oh I don’t know," said the senior ‘General,’ "couldn’t tell you offhand, have to consult my files." Wein refused however to discuss the Jewish Communist menace in the United States, but waxed voluble when asked about the sale of clothing to the members of the Khaki Shirts, giving details about his purchases of shirts and caps from Jewish firms in Reading, Pa., and New York, and saying that the organization was making no profit on the sales to the members.
WEIN IS LAUGHED OFF
Later the Jewish Daily Bulletin learned from Judge Hartman that he had never known any such individual as Samuel Z. Wein and Mr. Sapiro laughed when told of ‘his close friend and associate’. "You may say for me," said Mr. Shapiro, that I never heard of Wein in all my life. And as for being associated with me in the Ford case, why it is ridiculous."
When Wein was through talking, he was dismissed by Smith and the ‘General’ continued his discourse on Communism and the Jews. "No one in this country save the Khaki Shirts realize how close we are to a revolution," he said.
"We have positive proof that the Communists, led by the Jews, are preparing for a bloody revolution this fall, in September, and the only ones that can prevent the bloody red massacres are the Khaki shirts. Do you know that the Communists are armed with 2,000,000 rifles and that they have headquarters for the coming revolution in nineteen different cities in the United States? We have proof that all the government bureaus, including the Department of Justice, are crowded with Communists.
"We can also prove that the international bankers are supporting the Jewish Communists in the United States with money and that the labor unions in this country are officered by Jew Communists. Why I’ll bet you don’t know that the most trusted agents of Stalin in this country are Jews.
"You tell him." he urged, and ‘General’ John W. Glover, chief of the intelligence service of the Khaki Shirts, proceeded to regale the properly horrified reporter with tales of Communists, all Jews of course, and their dastardly attempts to overthrow the American government, and the heroic efforts of the Khaki Shirts to stem the tide of disaster. "Well, we are ready for them," broke in Smith, "just let them try it. My men and I will soon put a stop to it. But the only way the United States can be saved from Communism is by the Khaki Shirts and my dictatorship."
An investigation made by the Jewish Daily Bulletin in Philadel phia shows that the Khaki Shirts is an outgrowth of the bonus march on Washington last year. Estimates of the membership vary from 600 to 5,000, no one seems to know definitely. Membership, according to Smith, is open to all American citizens who subscribe to the American Constitution and are not atheists. According to Smith the fact that so far they have attacked no one but Jewish individuals and organizations in Philadelphia is just a coincidence. "We can’t help it if all those whom we have attacked are Jews. It’s just their hard luck for being surer, subversive elements and against our government." Smith refused to say just how he proposes to seize the government. "We are going to do it through the constitution, that is all I can say."
Very little seems to be known of Smith himself and of the many "Generals" who surround him. Originally he was named Herbert N. Smith, born in Pennsylvania about 1897. The Art J. seems to have been an afterthought; of his later career very little that is definite is known.
THE SMITH SAGA
Smith himself claims to have served in eleven different armies including the English, American, Russian, Chinese, South American and others. He claimed to have so many decorations that it was impossible for him to wear them on one side of his uniform, necessitating the use of both sides to carry the weight of all his decorations. About the only phase of his activity that can be checked is his assertion that he served in the American Army and Marine Corps. Records of the War Department in Washington show that he served seven months in the American Army in 1918 and seven months in the Marine Corps at a later date. All the rest is based on Smith’s grandiloquent assertions.
Some time ago he sent a letter to President Roosevelt giving him one month to vacate the White House, and asserting that his organization had huge stores of arms with which to take over power. The Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Justice investigated the Khaki Shirts and while the report was never made public, it was learned on reliable authority that the report termed the organization a "one man racket."
Every member of the organization pays two dollars a year which goes to Smith without any accounting being made to any one. They also pay for their equipment and uniform and, according to the Philadelphia newspapers, there is a handsome profit on the various items.
The Khaki Shirts wear handsome uniforms and at the frequent meetings held at the headquarters, Smith appears on a balcony of the old abandoned hospital used as headquarters and is saluted with upraised arms by his followers. He makes speeches telling them what he is going to do when he becomes dictator of America.
CARRY RIDING CROPS
Up to a short time ago his men carried three foot sawed-off billiard cues loaded with lead, but now they carry riding crops which Smith says are more becoming. In the short time they have been in existence the Khaki Shirts have been involved in several riots in which men have been stabbed. In a recent affair in Long Island, a City College student was killed and two men were stabbed.
The Philadelphia newspapers have "kidded" the would-be American Hitler unmercifully and called him Art J. (two dollar a head) Smith’ and ‘shirt salesman’. They have ridiculed his claims and his pretensions and have treated him as a joke. They quoted him as claiming 6,000,000 adherents one week, 9,000,000 the next and last week he announced that he now commanded 10,000,000. However, observers are agreed that although the Khaki Shirts are a joke at the present time, it is conceivable that it may become a real menace if some really clever individual should secure control of the organization.