Menu JTA Search

Dawa Plays Role of Pied Piper Tonight

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

As delegations of Nazis from all parts of the East and Middle West arrived in New York yesterday to attend the public launching of the anti-Jewish boycott campaign at Madison Square Garden tonight, members of the Congressional Committee to investigate Nazi propaganda operations also took up quarters here to begin a series of private hearings.

At a meeting of the Friends of New Germany on Tuesday night Fritz Gissibl, recently resigned leader of the organization and Hitlerite representative in this country, announced that five of his key men in the New York group had been subpoenaed to appear before the committee. While the names were not mentioned, it is understood that Gissibl’s name leads the list, with Reinhold Walter, present Nazi commandantissimo: Dr. I. T. Griebl and two others completing the list.

“THEY CAN ALL…”-GISSIBL

Concerning the committee, Gissibl said in part, “The Congressional Committee to investigate Nazi activities has subpoenaed five of our leaders. We don’t care if they subpoenae all of us. When we Germans start anything we finish it, and we finish it thoroughly. They can all -.”

Griebl and Walter also spoke briefly.

Meanwhile, in some channels it was learned that a number of patriotic groups are intending to use all their influence to turn the Congressional Committee’s Nazi investigation into another inspection of the “Red menace,” which was exhaustively probed some time ago by a committee to investigate American Communism headed by Representative Hamilton Fish. The first attempt along these lines will be made public within the next few days. It probably will take the form of a petition to Congressman McCormick, chairman of the committee.

Approximately 700 members of the Police Department will be on hand to maintain order at the Garden tonight, according to the office of Chief Inspector Lewis J. Valentine. The men will not carry night sticks. They will include the regular traffic division detail, two captains, forty-five sergeants and 500 patrolmen on foot, as well as forty patrolmen and one captain mounted. More than 100 plainclothes detectives will be on hand. All will be under the charge of Deputy Chief Inspector David J McCauliffe.

QUIET SESSION INDICATED

Police protection will be abetted by the presence of more than 200 ordnungdienst, or “storm troops.” Whether these will appear in uniform could not be determined yesterday.

Indications pointed to a peaceful meeting, although the affair, under the DAWA auspices, is considered the most significant in the history of America’s mild anti-Semitism. Except for a brief parade by the Minute Men of the United States, a non-sectarian group headed by Edgar H. Burman, past commander of the Jewish War Veterans, in the vicinity of Columbus Circle, and broadcast over WBNX, and an inter-faith demonstration in Brooklyn sponsored by the American Jewish Congress, no announced protest against the anti-Jewish boycott meeting has been made.

Hope for civic interference faded yesterday with an announcement from the Mayor’s office. A letter directed to the Hon. Herman Bernstein, editor of the Jewish Daily Bulletin, and written by Major W. B. Dunham, secretary to the Mayor, said:

CITES FREE SPEECH RIGHTS

“The Mayor directs me to acknowledge receipt of your letter of May 11, protesting against the holding of a meeting in the Madison Square Garden Building on May 17, under the auspices of the Friends of New Germany, and to advise you as follows:

“The meeting in question is to be held in a private building, owned and operated by a private corporation. Whatever the Mayor’s personal viewpoint may be, he has no jurisdiction under the circumstances presented on this particular occasion.

“Both the Constitution and laws of this state guarantee and protect freedom of speech and the right of assembly. Controversial opinions, even though they may be repugnant to a majority, still have a constitutional and legal right of expression.

“Under the laws of the State of New York and the provisions of the state and federal constitution, the Mayor has no authority to prevent the holding of this meeting, in the absence of any complaint charging a specific violation of the law.”

TO ANSWER UNTERMYER

While no information could be obtained yesterday with regard to those speaking at tonight’s mass meeting, the DAWA yesterday in an advertisement covering three full columns of the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung announced that a statement directed to German-Americans and widely published in the daily pres two days ago would be answered at the meeting. Untermyer charged that German-Americans were being misled by Hitlerite agents.

H. O. Spier, organizer for the DAWA, is expected to return today with out-of-town Nazi delegations, who will attend the meeting tonight. It is understood he has been engaged in laying out the groundwork for similar anti-Jewish boycott organizations throughout the country.

CONGRESSIONAL QUIZ PRIVATE

The Congressional Committee to investigate Nazi propaganda activities will meet this afternoon at two o’clock in the Bar Association Building in executive session. The hearings, at which Nazi leaders will appear, will not be public, although later hearings in New York will be open.

Meetings sponsored by the American Jewish Congress for today include: An inter-faith broadcast by leading New York educators over Station WBNX from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.; an inter-faith meeting of representatives from a number of women’s groups at the home of Adolph Lewisohn, 881 Fifth avenue, at 2:30 p.m., and another inter-faith meeting at the Eastern District High School in Brooklyn.

COOPER UNION HALL SESSION

Another counter-demonstration is to be held tonight at Cooper Union Hall, Fourth avenue and Eighth street, under the Emergency Defense Committee, will have as its speakers: Pauline Rogers, secretary of the New York Committee to Aid Victims of German Fascism; James Wexler, editor of the Columbia Spectator; James Lerner, secretary of the Youth Section of the American League Against War and Fascism; James Corrigan, of the Marine Workers Industrial Union, and Hans Baer, a German refugee. Albert A. Addelston will preside. The meeting, originally scheduled to be held in Yorkville, was banned by the police in that section.

NEXT STORY