This is to warn you that the un-American, unpatriotic German propagandist organization, which has been for the past eighteen months and long before our boycott movement was started, spreading its propaganda over the country under one name or another, but latterly under the title of the “Friends of New Germany,” is industriously seeking to sow the seeds of Hitler race and religious hatred, and is now masquerading under the name of the United German-Societies in that unworthy cause.
The originator,-leader and representative of the propaganda bureau in that movement was Heinz Spanknoebel, until he fled the country under indictment-where he remains a fugitive from our justice.
We are hopeful that the true character and extent of these activities against the peace and security of our country will be exposed in the investigation about to be undertaken by the Congressional Committee which is soon to begin the taking of testimony.
Meantime, we find ourselves forced to adopt this means of warning our German-American fellow-citizens against permitting themselves to be misled by the baseless propaganda against our counter-boycott of German goods, ships and shipping, which we were compelled to undertake as the only weapon of defense against (1) the extermination by the Hitler regime of Organized Labor, from which 700,000,000 marks (or about $300,000,000) were confiscated, (2) of the Masonic lodges, whose property was taken from them, (3) because of the persecution of Catholics, Jews and a large section of the Protestant Church that courageously refuses to scrap the Bible and its religious beliefs, and to force the churches to conform to the new pagan creed of the Hitler regime.
What do you, many of whom are Catholics, think of last Friday’s tirade by Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels against your church and the people of your faith, added to the imprisonment of brave priests and all the many other indignities that have already been showered upon the Catholics in Germany?
And how to do you Protestants relish the attempts to destroy the religious freedom of your Church and to place it under the iron heel of the State? or the breaking up of the meetings of your clergy by the police, because they would not submit to being bullied into the surrender of their cherished faith?
The following quotations from an Address by our President, read at a public dinner to William Green, President of the American Federation of Labor, on February 14, 1934, accurately sets forth our position:
“1. This is not a Jewish boycott, nor a Jewish question, but an ever-growing revolt of all civilization, regardless of race or creed, against the unspeakable crimes and persecutions that continue unabated and with increasing fury and heartlessness to be inflicted upon humanity.
Why should decent German-American citizens, who number 100-to-1 to this handful of disloyal men constituting the ‘Friends of New Germany’ and whose treachery to our institutions will, I have every reason to believe, be shortly exposed by the Congressional Investigation to be held and most of whom are not American citizens, seek to retaliate upon the American-Jewish shopkeepers for this boycott, or do aught but give it their loyal support?
2. The Labor Unions and the Masonic orders that have been suppressed at the command of the industrial barons and ammunitions makers and other war-breeders of Germany who have supplied funds and are in supreme command of the Hitler forces, and the Catholic and Protestant Churches that Hitler, Rosenberg and their cohorts, are trying to deprive of their religious freedom, are vastly more powerful and effective champions of the boycott than are the Jews. Their numbers and interest are steadily growing as they learn to realize the enormity of the conspiracy to invade and destroy their religious beliefs and freedom and to subject them to a new pagan church that repudiates and discards the Old and essential parts of the New Testament.
3. Our American citizens of German birth and ancestry can never be inveigled into any such cruel, un-American, sacrilegious movement. They love their Fatherland, but surely not more so than do the German-Jewish citizens, who shed their blood for their country, hundreds of thousands of whom are now being persecuted and reviled, their children excluded from the schools that they are forced to help support, only to be now imprisoned, outlawed, disgraced, kicked out of the professions that they honored, and denied the right to work by being excluded from the new Government labor unions socially ruled by their employers, and from all government service.
To love one’s Fatherland does not mean to love or support Hitler, or to condone his monstrous cruelties. These loyal American citizens of German birth or ancestry, in common with their American brethren, abhor and despise everything for which he stands. Many of them are and have been among our warmest sympathizers, but they dread the reprisals upon their families at home if their support is known. Those who have dared have had object-lessons of the revival of that form of the reign of terror of the Dark Ages. A Government that resorts, as has and does Germany, to those methods of the Inquisition, should be cast out of the brotherhood of nations. It is characteristic of the blind egotism of the Hitler government that it should expect our German-American citizens to fall to realize the obvious fact that ours is a purely defense boycott, as our only weapon against the brutal Hitler persecution and disfranchisement of its own citizens because of their race or ancestry. It has outraged their sense of fair play, as it has that of all other Americans.”
The following is from a letter, signed by the President of our organization, dated May 4, 1934, addressed to the United German Societies, to which we have had no reply:
“It must be evident to you from a glance at the membership of our distinguished Board of Directors and its long array of non-Jewish champions of the boycott that this movement is not limited to any race or creed but is truly American and nonsectarian.
We desire here again to emphasize that we have no quarrel with our American citizens of German birth or ancestry. Our movement is not directed against any class of people; it is aimed only at German goods, ships and shipping.
Any attempt to discriminate against German-American merchants or shopkeepers, because they are German or of German ancestry, would be regarded as of the same character of outrage and would be denounced by our organization with the same heat and energy as though it were aimed against the Jews, Catholics or any other people. There is no basis for the implication contained in your letter, in which, by the way, you have conveniently lost sight of the fundamental fact that it was months after the inhuman boycott against the Jews, Catholics and Labor Unions was inaugurated by the Hitler regime against Germany’s own loyal, innocent and unoffending peoples and was precipitated upon a stunned and incredulous world like a thunderbolt out of a clear sky, that this defensive boycott was undertaken. The means that the world has adopted, by way of protest, is the world’s only peaceful weapon of defense.
It is a course which we believe has the support of an overwhelmingly majority of decent, self-respecting American citizens of German birth and ancestry. We shall continue to so believe.”
There is no excuse for the attempts to mislead you into the belief that the boycott is in any way directed against you or that it has anything whatever to do with the business conducted by German-Americans in this country.
“If,” sai### Goebbels in a speech at the Sportspalast in Berlin on Friday last, “part of the outside world continues the anonymous boycott against German goods this is due to our own Jewish fellow citizens.”
What have these poor, disfranchised beings, who shed their blood for their Fatherland, to do with the world boycott? And since when are they “fellow-citizens?” They are the same “fellow-citizens” of whom Dr. Goebbels said:
“If they (the Jews) think they can appear on the stage and in the editorial office, and if they imagine they can stroll along the Kurfuerstendamm as if nothing had happened, let them take my words as a last warning.
If the boycott were carried to the length actually end angering our economic situation, it would not mean that we would let the Jews go free. No!”
These veiled threats to murder the Jews remaining in Germany will not affect this world boycott. They are being exterminated as it is.
Referring to Dr. Goebbels’ statement:
“I cannot withdraw the Jewish legislation because the Jews abroad boycott us!”
The Hitler regime blindly refuses to realize that if there were not far more powerful factors engaged in this boycott than the Jews alone it would have amounted to nothing. We believe it is within the power of Germany to end this boycott at any time, but only in one way: Let Germany (1) repeal its medieval laws, (2) cease its brutal persecution of and restore equality to its minorities and freedom of worship and belief to all creeds, and (3) emancipate Organized Labor from its present serfdom to the ammunition makers and other industrial Barons and return their confiscated properties to them. In short, let it come back into the fold of civilization where it will be welcomed like the returning prodigal.
Official threats such as these that will permanently forfeit the respect of mankind, of the wholesale murder of defenseless, inoffensive minorities, by way of reprisal for acts for which they are not responsible, will not avail.
The world has at last found in the economic boycott a powerful defensive weapon against inhumanity, which it will not hesitate to use against nations that choose to become social outlaws against civilization and humanity.
We refuse to believe that you or any other American will so far disgrace himself and earn the deserved contempt of his fellow-men, as to support the revolting program outlined in Dr. Goebbels’ last Friday’s speech. If there are any such, let them stand forth and subject themselves to the “admiring” gaze of the civilized world.
We accordingly urge you, patriotic American citizens-except a mere handful who are unfortunately more attached to Germany than to their adopted country-not to permit yourselves by your silence to be misrepresented and not to ally yourselves with the “Friends of New Germany” Hitler-Goebbels outfit who seek to spread race and religious bigotry and hatred in our beloved country.
NONSECTARIAN ANTI-NAZI LEAGUE TO CHAMPION HUMAN RIGHTS
New York, N. Y.
May 15, 1934
The Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League in pressing the boycott and fighting against the spread of Nazi propaganda in this country appeals for the support of all fair-minded and liberty loving people of America. No contribution for this historic fight against a ruthless tyrant can be either too large or too small.
Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League
To Champion Human Rights,
729 Seventh Avenue:
Enclosed please find my check for $…