On the hinge of future developments in Hitler’s “purging” of the Nazi administration, the door to German America’s cooperation with the Nazi administration will be shut and bolted or opened wide.
It is difficult at this time to prophesy accurately the reaction of Yorkville to recent activities of Hitler. The full effects of the purgative Hitler applied to his party will not be felt here for some weeks, at least not until the full accounting for “bloody Saturday” and the ensuing terrible days is rendered.
Through the American press German Americans are privileged to know much more about recent developments in Germany than Germans, because of the rigid restructions against investigation and publication of the truth in Germany. And, it is felt, even the foreign press is not permitted to know all the truth.
The seed of reaction, however, has already been sown in German America, and it is considered highly likely that it will develop more rapidly here than in Germany.
Particularly the Catholic element of German American Nazidom appears to have had its faith in Hitler shaken. A number of Catholics who have been active with the Nazis have announced that they have begun to distrust Nazi intentions toward the Catholic faith in Germany.
They base their sentiment on the execution of Herr Klausner, leader of the Catholic Action Party, the murder and imprisonment of an as yet unascertained number of German Catholic priests, the radical anti-Catholic utterances of Herr Brueckner, who is governor of Catholic Silesia, increasing determination of the Nazis to destroy Catholic youth and social groups, and various other anti-Catholic phases of the turn of events in Germany.
While German Catholics in New York have been stubborn in submitting to gleichschaltung into Nazi ranks, they are now more recalcitrant than ever. To compromise the Catholic element with Nazi policies, the Friends of New Germany headquarters at 305 East Eighty-sixth street has been placed in Catholic hands, although Catholics have little if any executive authority in the organization.
In other phases of the situation there has been some show of flagging enthusiasm on the part of American Nazi supporters.
Hitler has been accredited with gaining power through a virtually bloodless revolution. He is conceded in some circles to have forestalled a Communist reign of terror.
One no longer hears this talk. Hitler’s revolution has become bloody, and his supporters in this country are wondering not only how bloody it has become, but how bloody it will be in the future. Hitler’s early assertion that “Heads will roll!” has become a stark and unwholesome reality. They have rolled in the manner described by Nazis as attending a Communist revolution.
There has been a decided flagging of Nazi enthusiasm. But this can not be attributed directly to events in Germany. Perhaps the most important factor in the decline of spirit in Nazi ranks here is the sweltering weather, which has discouraged attendance at meetings and other exercises that might be considered strenuous with the mercury up to ninety. Open air features, such as the Friends of New Germany picnic on Long Island one week ago, are as attractive as ever.
Support of the DAWA, anti-Jewish boycott organization, is also diminishing somewhat. A number of Yorkville merchants have quietly taken the DAWA signs from their windows. They give as their reason their desire to live at peace with neighboring Jewish and liberal merchants. New DAWA subscribers, however, have stepped into the ranks. As far as interviews with Jewish merchants in Yorkville indicate there is some very slight tendency on the part of their customers to ignore the “Aryan” patronage clauses of the DAWA.
The findings of the Congressional Committee to Investigate Nazi Activities are now without great influence. Following the disclosure of evidence of subversive Nazi activities there was a perceptible movement away from the Nazi fold, but this has been checked. The reassuring hand of paid Nazi leaders, who have been busy telling their followers that nothing incriminating has been found, has served to avert panic.
The Nazi organization here is now stagnant. Considering its phenomenal growth during the first half of the year, this may be regarded as the first stage of decay. With any organized resistance to Hitler in Germany the American Nazis will be shorn of most of their followers, who are now members only because that they feel that Hitler’s position is indisputable and that they can serve Germany best by serving its governmental administration.