Colonel Edwin E. Emerson, one time member of the Roosevelt Rough Riders, prisoner of war in Turkey during the World War, creator of the Friends of Germany Movement, and at present correspondent for German newspapers and disseminator of Nazi literature, yesterday was brought before the Federal Grand Jury by George Z. Medalie, United States District Attorney.
While the proceedings were kept secret it is believed that Emerson was questioned regarding his connections with the Hitler Government, His name has been mentioned frequently in connection with the development of Nazi organizations in the United States.
Emerson was a writer for the Continental Times, a journal published in Amsterdam during the World War. The paper was regarded as unfriendly to the allied cause.
Besides Mr. Emerson, five others were called to testify before the Grand Jury in their investigation of Nazi affairs at yesterday’s session.
Dr. I. T. Griebl, who resigned as president of the League of Friends of New Germany on Monday, presented a statement to the Grand Jury together with a letter from Heinz Spanknoebel, in which the Nazi agent announced his intended departure from the country despite the fact that a warrant for his arrest had been issued.
Bernard Kleinschmidt, former president of the United German Societies, was literally carried into the examination room in a state of collapse. He was accompanied by his wife and infant daughter. Dr. F. R. Silver described Kleinschmidt as suffering from nervousness and hysteria.
Hans Holterbusch, Carl Nicolai, chairman of the United German Societies, and Deputy Police Inspector George Heinzman, were called to the hearing.
In the meantime Representative Samuel Dickstein, who is conducting an investigation into Nazi affairs for the House of Representatives, declared yesterday he had ample evidence of German merchant seamen distributing Nazi propaganda in the United States. He said this literature attacked the United States Government.
“I have learned that German seamen during their stay in port and during periods of sixty days leave of absence have been sent ashore in the United States for the purpose of winning sympathy for Hitler. They have gone so far as to threaten German Americans with violence if they do not subject themselves to Nazi politics,” the representative said.
Representative Dickstein said he has definite information to the effect that Heinz Spanknoebel left the United States for Canada and that during the last two days six of the men about whom he has information have left the country for Germany.
Offices of the Hamburg American and North German Lloyd lines yesterday denied that they were active in Nazi conspiracy and that they had dismissed Jewish employees.