Either the DAWA eagle has grown another claw, which it is anxious to keep sheathed for the present, or someone has committed a “silly blunder.”
Recently, in the streets and through the mails, circulars have been distributed bearing the imprint of a newly organized firm describing itself as the Concord-Hanseatic Corporation of 151 East Fiftieth street.
ASKS ECONOMIC UNION
The circular calls upon German-Americans to unite on an “economic basis” and explains the corporation’s intention is to “strengthen commercial relations between Germany and the United States.’ Also, according to the circular, the corporation proposes “to establish a first-class German-American life insurance company, fire, health and casualty insurance companies and a first-class monthly magazine, thus uniting German-Americans in worthwhile business undertakings.”
In the final paragraph of the announcement it is specifically stated that the corporation is a member of DAWA (German-American Protective Alliance organized as a counter-offensive against the anti-Nazi boycott) and that further details will be given through the Deutsche Zeitung, Nazi organ in this city.
The circular is signed by William A. Meyer-a name identical with that of the young self-styled successor to Heinz Spanknoebel, vanished Nazi propagandist. Meyer, who refused to be interviewed by a Bulletin reporter, lives in New Jersey as does the Nazi agitator.
Up to that point everything is clear.
At the offices of the Concord-Hanseatic Corporation, which happen also to be the headquarters of the Concord Wine and Spirits Corporation, the affair begins to assume an air of dark mystery which was only deepened by the kindly efforts of the president of both organizations. Charles F. Tuttle, to clarify the matter.
Tuttle at first professed complete ignorance of the circular. When a copy of it was shown to him, he then emphatically denied that the concord-Hanseatic Corporation was a member of DAWA.
“That,” he declared, “was a stupid mistake.”
He then explained that the mistake occurred because certain members of the corporation (who they were he did not state) had organized a “Wein Centrale” for the purpose of selling German wines, which they had stocked heavily, to their compatriots in this country. Mistakenly they thought, he said, that it was necessary to join DAWA in order to sell the stock.
As to membership in DAWA, Tuttle vigorously denied that he was in any way connected with it or with any other boycott or counter-boycott movement.
“We never have been a member, and we never will be a member of such an un-American organization,” he said.
He said both organizations he headed are 100 per cent American and would not engage in any activity contrary to the highest American principles.
CHAMBER REFUTES CLAIM
He further declared that the Concord-Hanseatic Corporation is a member of the German-American Chamber of Commerce.
A telephone call to that body elicited the information, supplied by Dr. Albert Dedener, secretary, that there is no such member on its rolls.
Another telephone call to William A. Meyer, who denies he is the Meyer who has been actively connected with the League of Friends of New Germany, elicited the further information that while the Concord Hanseatic Corporation is not a member of DAWA, the Concord Wine and Spirits Corporation is a member.
When confronted with this information, Tuttle explained, after considerable fuss and business of hunting for the records, that the corporation at one time was a member of DAWA but no longer is affiliated with that anti-Jewish boycott movement.
A moment later he changed that statement, saying the Concord Wine and Spirits Corporation’s predecessor had been a member. The predecessor was the Pani-Higgins, Ltd. Tuttle was also president of that corporation. He said Pani-Higgins, Ltd., also engaged in the business of importing wines, had joined DAWA in ignorance of its purposes. When Pani-Higgins became. Concord Wine and Spirits, six weeks ago, the DAWA affiliation was severed, he said.
To support his contention that neither the Concord-Hanseatic Corporation nor the Concord wine and Spirits Corporation is in any way prejudiced against Jews and does not intend to participate in anti-Jewish movements, Tuttle made the following statements, which has not as yet been checked.
“We have Jews in our employ here.
“We are constantly purchasing wine from the Gebrueder Scheuer, Jewish firm at Mainz-on-the-Rhein.
“We are buying and selling kummel, a Jewish wine, made by Jews in Germany and imported here by the Jewish firm of Julius Wile and Co.”
It was learned, however, that the firm employed a young Jewish attorney to draw up its incorporation papers. The attorney, who asked that his name be with-held, testified eloquently to the personal charm and sincerity of Tuttle, saying he had known him for years and believed him to the absolutely free of racial prejudice. He also stated that he had suggested to Tuttle that the DAWA clause be withdrawn from the circular.
According to Tuttle, officers of the Concord-Hanseatic Corporation are: Tuttle, president; Hans Wolfgarten, vice-president; William A. Meyer, first vice-present; George Schmidt, treasurer; and Miss G. J. Lieske. Tuttle at first gave only his own name and those of Wolfgarten and Miss Lieske as the officers. His memory was prodded by the sight of Meyer’s signature on the circular.