Bereft of the bravado which marked their bold speeches at the DAWA meeting in Madison Square Garden Thursday night, a number of leading Nazis Friday appeared before the McCormack Congressional Committee to investigate Nazi activities.
Subpoenae, which they had waved in the faces of 20,000 attendants at the declaration of the anti-Jewish boycott and termed “calling cards” to the “Dickstein persecution,” rested in their pockets as they soberly awaited their turns to be questioned by the committee.
A dispute which arose between, on the one side, Fritz Gissibl and Dr. I. T. Griebl, Numbers One and Two Nazis, and, on the other, the photographer for The New York Evening Post, was the only incident that particularized the hearing.
OBJECT TO PHOTOGRAPH
The photographer, catching Gissibl, member of Hitler’s National Socialist Party and one of the creators of the League of Friends of New Germany, off his guard, snapped a flashlight picture of the doughty brownshirt. Gissibl, in the voice of authority befitting a stormtroop leader, demanded that the picture be surrendered. The photographer failed to click his heels and comply in the Nazi manner, so Griebl and Gissibl began a chorus which made the rooms of the Bar Association Building, in which the hearing was held, resound with “Let’s have a fight. Smash dot camera. Let’s bring dis before de committee.”
Startled at the miniature Nazi revolution in the hallway, the committee filed from its room and shortly ruled that the photographer should surrender the plate, which he promptly did-but it happened to be an unexposed plate, unadorned with the stern, commanding features of Fuehrer Gissibl.
Among the Nazis who greeted the platform at Thursday’s DAWA demonstration and appeared to testify before the Congressional Committee on Friday were: Walter Kappe, editor of the Deutsche Zeitung, organ of the Friends of New Germany; W. L. McLaughlin, editor of the English language supplement of that paper; Erich Lenz, a member of the Friends of New Germany; and Gissibl and Griebl.
MILITANT SPIRIT GONE
None of the witnesses displayed the militant spirit that marked the exhibition at the Garden. One of them, who had referred in unsavory names to the Dickstein-Untermyer Hate Bund, spoke quite respectfully of “Mr. Dickstein” while they awaited their turns to be summoned into the committee room.
The committee hearings continued secret both Friday and Saturday, but there was some assurance by members that open hearings will be held later in the month.
Representatives of both the Silver Legion and Friends of New Germany have petitioned for open hearings.
Alphonse Koelble, attorney for the defendants, explained to both the committee and the press that his clients “have nothing to conceal, and want to be heard openly.”
Congressmen McCormack and Dickstein conducted Friday’s hearing. They were assisted by John Rawlins and Mr. Randolph, the latter a secretary to Congressman Dickstein.