Mysterious Witness Heard by Dickstein Committee Opening Nazi Inquiry
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Mysterious Witness Heard by Dickstein Committee Opening Nazi Inquiry

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A mysterious witness, whose name was not disclosed, took the stand today as the Dickstein inquiry into Nazi activities in this country held its first open session. A letter, first brought to light by the Daily Worker, New York Communist newspaper, purporting to be from Walter Haag, adjutant to Heinz Spanknoebel, fugitive head of the Nazi movement in this country, and reporting progress made here, was declared authentic by the witness.

Clarence Hathaway, editor of the paper, informed Congressman Dickstein that he would try to be present tomorrow to testify concerning the letter and to answer questions concerning Nazi propaganda activities. Hathaway is expected to bring the original of the letter with him.

The sub-committee conducting the investigation under the leadership of Congressman Dickstein, and with which A. Dana Hodgson, representative of the State Department also sat, heard Victor Ridder, one of the publishers of the New York Staats-Zeitung, who identified Nazi propaganda papers circulated in this country. Bernard Ridder, who will appear before the committee tomorrow, is expected to make startling revelations.

The committee also heard Joseph Smith, an official of the National Association of American Seamen, who declared that hundreds of men who are in reality German citizens and whose families live in Germany, hold down jobs on American vessels by virtue of naturalization papers which they possess. Sixty-five percent of these men, he asserted, are used to bringing Nazi literature into this country.

During the course of Smith’s testimony, Congressman Dickstein indicated a need for revision of naturalization laws to make a “heart and soul” belief in the constitution a requirement for naturalization papers.

Following tomorrow’s session, the committee is expected to go into a series of closed sessions where witnesses, whose names will not be made public, will be heard.

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