Spanknoebel Here Sunday Grand Jury Discovers; Letter Reveals His Intent to Flee
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Spanknoebel Here Sunday Grand Jury Discovers; Letter Reveals His Intent to Flee

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In opening the investigation of charges against Heinz Spanknoebel, Nazi propagandist in this country, of carrying on diplomatic work without presentation of credentials to the United States Government State Department, the Federal Grand Jury yesterday disclosed that Spanknoebel had been in New York as late as last Sunday.

In a letter received by Dr. I. T. Griebl, president of the League of Friends of New Germany dated October 29 from New York City, Spanknoebel recognized the fact that a warrant for his arrest had been issued, stated his refusal to surrender to “unfair Jewish judges,” urged German-Americans to fight for their rights of free speech, and said he was leaving the country “for some other place.”

Police guarding all exits from the United States have been warned to be on the watch for Spanknoebel.

Recognizance of the failure of Spanknoebel to depart from Germany last Wednesday aboard the Hamburg American liner, Deutschland, exploded many theorics generally accepted as fact. Representative Samuel Dickstein, conductor of a House investigation of Nazi affairs in the United States, had previously asserted that his agents had seen Spanknoebel aboard the ship as it cleared port.

Among those brought before the Federal Grand Jury yesterday for questioning were Dr. I. T. Griebl, president of the League of the Friends of New Germany; Bernard and Victor Ridder, publishers of the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung whose allegations of Spanknoebel’s attempt to dictate Nazi policies to German American newspapers inspired the hearing; Hans Kleinschmidt; Hans Hollerbusch; and Carl Nicolai, acting-president of the United German Societies.


Griebl’s testimony revealed that he had talked with Spanknoebel on Friday night in New York. The witness said there was little doubt about the authenticity of the letter in as much as he was familiar with the handwriting of Spanknoebel and recognized it as such. He said he had no idea as to the present whereabouts of the Nazi agent.

Spanknoebel’s letter, in German script, is translated as follows:

“New York, October 29.

“Dear Dr. Griebl:

“Undoubtedly you will be surprised that I did not come to see you yesterday and, even more so, that I will not return at all in the future.

“I am going to leave the United States for some other place. I learned from the papers yesterday that there is a warrant for my arrest issued against me—which is self explanatory for my action.

“You know I am not leaving because I am afraid nor because I am not able to acquit myself of the unjust charges and slanderous accusations. Rather I leave because I was told by my lawyers that ‘I can not and will not find justice from Jewish judges.’

“I have never been politically engaged against the United States during my activities among the Germans in this country. I have always respected the symbol of the United States of America—the star-spangled banner. I have always been and still am an admirer of President Roosevelt.

“I was not a paid agent from Germany. My desire and aim were always to unite the Germans in America and to see them as loyal citizens of this country. I am of the opinion it is the right and duty of every naturalized citizen and guest of the country to stand up for

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