Fists banged desks and many determined voices were raised as a delegation of Naional Blue Men of America invaded City Hall, and later the Police Commissioner’s office, seeking to bring about a ban on the Nazi mass meeting in Madison Square Garden slated for May 17. Threats were uttered to bring thousands of Blue Men to see the Mayor. There were intimations of possible bloodshed on the night of the meeting.
And the Minute Men would not take No for an answer. Rebuffed by the Mayor’s secretary and diplomatically turned away by the tactful Lieutenant James Harten, watchdog of the Mayoral sanctum, the Blue Men, with ex-Magistrate Joseph Goldstein as one of their spokesmen, stormed the Aldermanic President’s precinct. Mr. Deutsch finally received them.
During the lengthy interview which followed and which in its course attracted a crowd of newspapermen, Mr. Deutsch set forth his philosophy of free speech, which makes it impossible for him to see things in the Blue Man way.
“A riot will be provoked on the night of May 17,” shouted Mr. Goldstein. “It will be a disorderly meeting, inciting to riot, fomenting hatred against Jews and Catholics.” He displayed Nazi promotion literature calling for “United Germanism in America.”
“As I se it, they are only calling a meeting to protest against the boycott,” Mr. Deutsch said.
“It will precipitate a riot the like of which New York has never seen,” retorted Goldstein.
“Have a stenographer there to take down what you claim are inflammatory speeches. We can always trace those who stage meetings,” Mr. Deutsch said.
“We demand police protection for our stenographer,” a number of Blue Men exclaimed in one voice.
“Personally I do not see the necessity for any Jew going there. No Jew has a right to go to that meeting,” Deutsch said emphatically.
“There will be ample police protection, but not for those who try to break up a meeting. This is still America.
“We won’t prevent the meeting. We cannot interfere with free speech. All my life I have preached free speech when it does not contravene law and order.”
“But our intelligence division,” Ben Lazare, national commander of Blue Men, said, “which includes a number of Germans, brings us information every day of their activities inciting to riot and fomenting hatred.”
Philip Cook, Frank Radest and Abe Kasoff and Robert Cohen told their experience with Nazis in Ridgewood and elsewhere. Radest asked if Blue Men would be permitted to stage a parade and an outdoor meeting in front of Madison Square Garden on the night of May 17.
Mr. Deutsch promised to speak to the Mayor about the matter.
“At our burning of German merchandise tonight,” Commander Lazare announced, “I shall order every Blue Man to turn out for May 17. I am going to have 8,000 of them.”
“And I am going to draw up a petition to the Supreme Court,” declared ex-Judge Goldstein, “for an order to the Mayor, Aldermanic President and the Police Commissioner to show cause why the Nazi meeting, inciting to riot, should not be prevented. And we’ll have plenty of affidavits on Hitlerites’ previous activities.”
“And where can I get a blue shirt for myself, boys? I am going to parade with you in Brownsville tonight?”
Immediately after leaving City Hall the delegation proceeded to the Police Headquarters. Although they had no previous appointment they refused to be overawed by the attendants. They were ultimately received by Allen Stuyvesant, secretary to the Commissioner, telling him that either the Nazi conclave must be called off or the Blue Men must have their permit for parading the same night.
Stuyvesant’s tact and diplomacy proved of no avail. The fiery Mr. Goldstein and his emphatic colleagues on the delegation were finally admitted into the Commissioner’s presence.
What transpired there is not known, but they were said to have left smiling contendedly, although it is understood that no permit has been granted yet. Police Commissioner O’Ryan, at the press conference which is to be held at the Headquarters today, will probably explain the disposition of the Blue Men’s case.