Indicating that action may be taken against the North German Lloyd Steamship Company for importing undeclared Nazi propaganda, George Brewer, Solicitor of the Port, declared yesterday that the company is liable to fine for not declaring 300 pounds of anti-Jewish literature on the manifest of the freighter Este, which is tied up at Pier 86, North River.
The propaganda, found in the cabin of the ship’s cook by customs inspectors shortly after the vessel docked here on Tuesday, was wrapped in forty bundles variously addressed to officers of the League of Friends of New Germany, Nazi agitation group in the United States.
While no arrests have been made thus far, Brewer said yesterday that his investigation of the affair is continuing and that arrests are "not likely." He said that Nazis to whom the propaganda is addressed will be thoroughly investigated.
Thus far nothing has been found which would constitute a violation of the United States Tariff Act, which makes offensive the importation of subversive propaganda against the government. The whole of the propaganda has not been gone over as yet, however, Brewer declared, and unless something more incriminating turns up action will be restricted to that being contemplated against the North German Lloyd company.
ADDRESSED TO FOUR
The four men to whom the propaganda was addressed are well known as Nazi agitators in this country. They are: Fritz Gissibl, national leader of the league of Friends of New Germany, 2523 Collom Avenue, Chicago; Englebert Roell, secretary of the New York chapter of the Friends of New Germany; Hans G. Strauss, 2921 Baldwin Street, Detroit; and Alfred Knodler, 2361 Rohr Street, Cincinnati.
The cook, in whose custody the propaganda was entrusted, gave his name as Martin Pallor. He admitted that he intended mailing the propaganda to agencies in this country and Central American cells, and under questioning by customs officials said that he is a leader of the Nazi Workers’ Union in Germany and ranking officer in the ship’s Nazi organization.
Customs officials, seeking to bring the cook to the Barge Office at South Ferry for questioning, met with resistance from the captain of the vessel, Capt. S. Kampen. The cook was turned over to the authorities only after Deputy Surveyor John McGill threatened to place him under arrest. Capt. Kampen accompanied his cook to the Barge Office after a hurried conversation with the German consulate here.
After the cook had been questioned he was released, but the propaganda remains in the hands of customs officials.
The propaganda was described by officials at the Barge Office yesterday as the "worst and most scurrilous propaganda" ever found in the port. One of the customs inspectors described the attack embraced in the propaganda as being directed against American Jews and Jews in other parts of the world as well as the German Jew.