Whether or not the weight of the powerful German-American Conference, composed of 23 federations and more than 300 vereins, will be thrown against the boycott of German goods is expected to be decided at a meeting of the organization tonight at Liederkranz Hall.
In some circles it was believed that the German-American Conference will launch the first important drive against the boycott of German goods in the United States. Allegations have been made that New York public schools are being used by Jewish instructors as a rostrum to propagandize the boycott of Germans and as a pillory upon which to embarrass German pupils before their classmates as “offsprings of Hitlerites.” Some action by the conference is expected on these charges.
During the heat of discussion at the last meeting of the conference, the sentiment of Germans in this country being affected by the boycott of their wares was expressed in an angry vein of feeling against Jewish boycotters, it is learned. A tirade laid down before the Jewish attendants of the meeting dealt with the “persecution” of Germans and Americans of German descent living in this country.
The meeting broke up after it was decided to take a week for consideration of issues involved.
Other questions which will come up for action at tonight’s meeting are those dealing with the attitude of the conference during the present crisis brought about by Nazi agents in the United States.
ACTION AGAINST PROPAGANDA
The conference tonight is to decide whether or not to take action against alleged anti-German propaganda in the United States. Anti-German propaganda, which has taken a sharp rise since the recent flooding of this country with Nazi literature, brought forth a spirited discussion from delegates at the last meeting.
In a series of appeals to the conference, members of the group demanded that they be guided through the present crisis by American principles of democracy. Whether or not all federations embraced by the conference will be obliged to declare loyalty to these American principles will be discussed tonight; and at the same time the problem of bringing into the conference and its American policies all Americans of German descent will arise.
As yet no action has been taken by the organization regarding the United German Societies, which has been judged by many German elements to have enrolled in the Hitlerite cause in the United States. It is believed that the question of the federation’s deportment will come up in tonight’s discussions. At the close of the last meeting it was said that should the German-American community contemplate holding a German Day celebration, the United German Societies, traditional sponsors of the affair, would be placed in charge of arrangements. It was emphasized, however, that the occasion must be rid of all political elements.
The celebration planned for last Sunday was banned by the mayor on the grounds that the United German Societies planned to make the affair a Nazi fete.
UNITED GERMAN SOCIETIES MEETING
Rid of their Nazi agent leaders, the United German Societies met on Monday night at the New York Turnhalle.
During a brief meeting the organization reviewed the events of their former meeting, at which it protested against the mayor’s ban on the projected German Day celebration and ousted Bernard and Victor Ridder, publishers of the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung, from their group.
While neither the press nor unauthorized members of the German community were allowed to attend the meeting, it is learned that Mayor O’Brien became the target for a severe denunciation for his “insult to the German community” and that the organization would work to prevent his re-election next week. Those present asserted that the mayor’s ban on German Day had caused the German bloc to shift its support to Joseph V. McKee in the mayoralty race.
At the door of the Turnhalle, agents of the American Silver Shirt organization passed out pamphlets calling to their ranks, “all men over eighteen years of age of sound health and not afraid to risk life and limb for country.” The action is obviously a bid for unity between the anti-Semitic American Fascist organization and Nazi elements.
Virtually powerless without the guidance of their imported Nazi leaders, the United German Societies found themselves unable to act until new leaders had been elected to the positions held by those who reportedly have left for Germany.
Nazi leaders of the United German Societies were found absent from the meeting whose roll call revealed a sorry tale of disintegration within the United German Societies. Rev. William Popcke, who held the chair at the last stormy session and who made representations for that organization for the celebration of German Day, was not to be seen. He resigned shortly after his request for the celebration had been denied. His withdrawal from the chairmanship of the organization was attributed to his “desire for fair play and lack of racial discrimination.”
Following in the footsteps of Rev. Popcke, Dr. Ignatz T. Griebl, head of the League of Friends of New Germany, resigned from his position after he was brought before the Federal Grand Judy on Monday to testify to the activities of Heinz Spanknoebel and the Friends of New Germany. He gave as the reason for his resignation the fact that he was getting “too much publicity for the good of his profession.”
NICOLAY TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN
Carl Nicolay, despite the withdrawal of his organization, the Gesellewissenschaft Verband, from the United German Societies, was elected temporary chairman of the latter group.
Anticipating trouble, more than a dozen police gathered at the Turnhalle before the meeting but there was no disorder of any sort. The meeting was orderly, and during the half-hour session little argument between delegates arose. The only approach to commotion came when, before the meeting was called to order, members lined the stairways leading to the convention room, closely scrutinized the credentials of all delegates, and firmly ousted all persons without plenary delegate powers. Those ejected from the meeting lingered at the door until adjournment was voted. Among those stopped from entering the meeting was Dr. Fritz Schlesinger, formerly a Jewish delegate and fiery debater, who had challenged the authority of the society to oust him at the last session.
LARGE NAZI BLOC
The League of Friends of New Germany, a comparatively new group which has succeeded in bringing the United German Societies under their control, sent a large bloc of delegates to the meeting, although without their leaders.
It was learned that the Friends of New Germany have increased in numbers as much as 800 a week during the last year. In as much as one delegate may be sent for every 25 men in organizations composing the United German Societies, it was not long before the Friends of New Germany gained control of the larger federation and “gleichschaltet” it with the policies of their imported Nazi leaders.
No definite information was given the delegates as to the future course of the United German Societies. It is believed that no action will be taken nor will policies of the group be restated until the League of Friends of New Germany has provided itself and the federation with new leaders. For this purpose the Friends of New Germany met last night.
When the United German Societies will meet again was not determined. The Monday meeting adjourned without a day set for reconvening. Members expect to be informed of the next meeting through the mails.
The possibility of holding a belated celebration of a belated German Day was discussed briefly by delegates before and after the meeting, The impression prevailed that another attempt will be made to hold the fest with the German Singing Society sponsoring it.