An offensive designed to make the United States free for Hitlerites in the manner of modern Germany was launched on Saturday night in Schwaben Hall at Knickerbocker and Myrtle avenues in Ridgewood, Brooklyn.
In a hall jammed to overflowing with uniformed and civilian Nazis, Fritz Gissibl, national commander of the Friends of New Germany, and Severin Winterscheidt, secretary of the United German Societies of New York, demanded that American Jews be boycotted. Their demands with met with howling approval from 2,000 spectators, who in the closing minutes of the program pledged allegiance to the Hitler Government.
A number of fetes under the auspices of the League of Friends of New Germany were announced as an instrument to stir New Yorkers, particularly Germans and German Americans, into conformity with the boycott of Jews in the United States.
Pamphlets were passed out to those attending the Saturday evening affair inviting all to attend an Easter military concert in the Turnhalle at Lexington avenue and 85th street on April 1, and another meeting in Ridgewood Grove on April 8.
Invitations to the second affair were printed on brown leaflets which announced: “German Americans Turn Out For the Mass Protest Meeting Against the Unconstitutional Jewish Boycott.”
Approximately fifty guards dressed in the regulation uniform of the SS, or higher grade storm troops, attended the meeting on Saturday to preserve order. They wore white, rather than brown, shirts, the only mark that distinguished them from the Reich variety of storm trooper. They were clad in black military trousers, white shirts, black ties, “Sam Brown” belts and leather shoulder straps, and on their arms were bands of black, white, and red with a circular swastika emblem. They and other civilians wore the Friends of New Germany emblem, the swastika superimposed on the American shield.
HITLERITE YOUTHS PRESENT
Hitlerite youths were there in numbers. Boys from six to sixteen wore the regulation uniform of the Hitlerjugend, brown shirts, Brown shorts, and the black neckerchief of the group. A few of them sold the Nazi weekly organ, the Deutsche Zeitung.
The background of the stage was draped with a large swastika in the center with the American and German monarchical flags on either side. The swastika hung from the rafters and was draped around the balconies.
A dozen storm troopers were lined up in front of the stage, where they stood at attention during the entire proceedings. Others throughout the audience continually demanded, “Order!” to hush those who whispered too loud. A few of the storm troopers, apparently, spoke in English, while from the accents of the rest, all seemed imported.
The climax of the evening came when, with the audience hushed into absolute silence, a squad of Steel Helmet members in the gray-green uniforms of “front-fighters” marched into the auditorium. They halted, left-faced, clicked their heels and with fife and drum accompanied the Steel Helmet band on the stage in martial airs. The piece finished, the audience remained in utter silence.
DEMANDS BOYCOTT OF JEWS
Suddenly from the wings. Fritz Gissibl, national Nazi commander, strode upon the stage. With hand on hips, he spoke for less than five minutes. He called upon the audience to join the Friends of New Germany Movement and support the organization in all its activities. He demanded that they “boycott the Jewish boycotters,” and he said that in year, to come America would thank them for making America, like Germany, pure of Jews.
Winterscheidt, in an equally brief address, called upon the women to buy no more from Jewish business concerns. He begged them to patronize German stores handling goods made in Germany. He warned them that their “Jewish economic masters” were seeking the impoverishment of all German Americans, and called upon everyone present to pay his initiation fee of one dollar to support the active fight of the Friends of New Germany against American Jewry.
The orchestra struck up “Deutschland Ueber Alles.” A dozen hands throughout the audience was raised in the Hitler salute. After one verse it swung into the Horstwessel Lied, the Hitlerite marching anthem, and half the audience saluted. When the band began the fourth and last verse of the song, every hand in the house (with one exception) was raised. And as the music mounted higher in the closing bars, Nazis besought a unanimous salute to Hitler. “Hoch mit den Haenden,” they urged.