Washington, D. C. (Oct. 10)
The Bureau of Immigration of the United States Department of Labor is awaiting the filing of a complaint before beginning an investigation of the charge that “about 300 persons have recently entered the United States as employes or servants of German consulates to disseminate propaganda for the Nazi government of Germany.”
Congressman Samuel Dickstein, chairman of the Committee on Immigration, made the accusation Tuesday in New York when he announced that as chairman of the Committee on Immigration he would begin an unofficial investigation into Nazi activities in the United States.
No complaint has been filed with the Department of Labor concerning the Nazi activities here and the department has not heard from Congressman Dickstein, it was stated by officials. The department, however, is taking a keen interest in the matter.
In New York Congressman Dickstein announced that his investigation, which was unofficial, since the House of Representatives was not in session, would be begun next week and that the hearings would be in the Immigration Committee rooms in the office building of the House of Representatives.
“Information has reached me that the Nazi government maintains a propaganda bureau in the United States which is heavily financed by the resources of the German government. The objective of the bureau and its activities consist of spreading Nazi propaganda in the United States, with the ultimate object of overthrowing our government and of installing in its place a dictatorship on the Nazi model,” said Congressman Dickstein.
“If Congress were in session. I would have asked for an official resolution to make a full and proper Congressional investigation. Mean-whle, however, it is necessary that determined steps be taken so that we may know the source of these activities and that proper Congressional action may be taken at the proper time.
“Friends of the Hitler brand of government now in this country will be asked to come before the committee and explain themselves, in order to clear the atmosphere that has been spreading throughout the United States by movement of alien or German propaganda in the manner outlined.”
One of the prospective witnesses before the committee is Bernard Ridder, publisher of the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung. Mr. Ridder declared that he had received a visit recently from Heinz Spanknoebel, who showed him credentials from the German government as leader in establishing pro-Nazi organizations in the United States. Mr. Ridder declared that Spanknoebel told him that he must print fewer pro-Jewish articles and more pro-Hitler material if he wished to receive any consideration when he visited Germany again. Mr. Ridder ordered Spanknoebel out of his office, he said.
Later Spanknoebel admitted his visit to Mr. Ridder and his attempt to influence the editorial policy of the Staats-Zeitung.
Mr. Ridder also declared that the only reason for the continued existence of the United German Societies, now in the hands of the pro-Nazi elements in this country, was the fact that the leaders of the various societies had been informed by pro-Nazi organizers that any resistance would bring punishment on their relatives in Germany.