Nazis made their most daring bid for power in German-American social circles in the history of the American Brown Shirt movement in America on Friday night when they arbitrarily “crashed” a meeting of the German-American Conference in an effort to place that important group under the control of the League of Friends of New Germany.
The meeting, called at Luchow’s Restaurant at 110 East Fourteenth street, was attended not only by members of the organization but also by delegates from all Nazi organizations, including the Friends of New Germany, the DAWA (anti-Jewish boycotting society) and the United German Societies.
FIGHT FOR CONTROL
The president of the conference, Victor F. Ridder, German American and publisher of the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung, was expected to make a strong bid to retain power. For many years he has been president of the German American Conference. Dr. L. Oberndorf, secretary to the Conference and an associate in business with Ridder, also was on hand to try to maintain control. Bernard, Victor Ridder’s brother, is also active in efforts to preserve the status quo of the conference.
Friday night’s meeting is considered the most significant since Hitler’s rise to power. Its importance lies in the influence of the German American Conference, which is the parent body of twenty-five large German social leagues which embrace more than 300 of the most active societies in the city and surrounding communities. With few exceptions, the German American Conference controls all German organizations in Greater New York.
The Deutsche Zeitung, organ of New York Nazis and bible of the Friends of New Germany throughout the country, editorially called upon all supporters to attend the meeting to see that it be “conducted in a proper manner.” The editors recalled the fact that the German American Conference had not met since November, when, it is generally understood, further meetings were discouraged due to the rising tide of emotion which engulfed the sentiments and actions of Nazi and anti-Nazi factions. Leaders are understood to have reasoned that to continue their regular meetings would eventuate in absolute disruption of the Conference, or worse, the surrender of a large part of it to the Nazi control.