Walter Haag, member of the executive committee of the League of Friends of New Germany, and an officer of the United German Societies whose plans for celebration of German Day were suspended by the mayor last month when it was decided the fete was to be used as an occasion for the dissemination of Nazi propaganda, yesterday denied authorship of a letter allegedly dispatched to Berlin over Haag’s signature and introduced at the first session of the congressional investigation into Nazi affairs at Washington Tuesday.
Haag, shortly after he had left the federal grand jury rooms at yesterday’s resumption of hearings pertinent to the disappearance of Heinz Spanknoebel, America’s Nazi chieftain, disowned authorship of the letter and declared the document a forgery.
Plied with the questions of newspapermen, Haag said his only knowledge of the letter was gleaned through information received through the press.
The letter, translated by “Mr. X” before Representative Samuel Dickstein’s committee of investigation, bore the letter head, “Friends of New Germany” with the organization’s address as 23 Lexington Avenue. It was addressed to “Usehala Berlin Alexanderplatz, 812 No. X.”
The letter purported to be a communication between Haag and the above address reporting on the “development of the special division.” It mentioned the advisability of sending a young lady, preferably with brothers in the stormtroop organization, to New York to report on the Amtorg Corporation. The letter indicated the agent could be smuggled into the country from either the Bremen or Europa, and asked that a new code be put into effect.
Haag’s name was signed with the title, “Adjutant of the National Leader,” the latter, apparently being Spanknoebel, whose name was mentioned in the document.
When Haag was asked yesterday whether or not he had made his assertions of innocence before the federal grand jury, he replied, “They didn’t ask me about this case; but if they had I should certainly have told them as I tell you now, the whole letter is a forgery.”
Besides Haag, Dr. I. T. Griebl, former president of the League of Friends of New Germany, testified before the federal grand jury. He was interrogated for more than an hour, while Haag concluded his testimony after a few minutes on the stand.
It is believed that the grand jury is continuing its investigation of Nazi affairs with a view toward issuing further indictments. At the session of the body last Friday, an indictment for Spanknoebel was handed down, and a bench warrant issued for his arrest.