That the Nazi spirit in Yorkville is on the wane, is apparent from many angles. It is held generally that the older element of German Americans in that section, men and women who have been in this country long enough to have absorbed democratic principles, have again swung to the same middle course in politics.
The last meeting of the Friends of New Germany, held Tuesday in the Turn Halle at Lexington avenue and Eighty-fifth street, was the worst, from the viewpoint of attendance, in the last year. At its peak of success, the League of Friends of New Germany frequently attracted as many as 2,500 persons to the Yorkville Casino for regular weekly meetings. About one-fifth this number or less attended the last meeting, although the weather was conducive to greater attendance.
While the DAWA has recently issued a new “Trade Guide,” listing the stores adhering to the anti-Jewish boycott movement, it is understood that the popularity of this device has also dwindled. An increasingly large number of Yorkville shops are tearing down the Dawa insignia from their windows. It is believed that the Second Issue of the “Trade Guide,” which contains considerably more than twice the number of references printed in the first issue of three months ago, is less significant than the first issue. The publication of this issue has been delayed for almost two months. It was expected that it would contain more names and be out in a much shorter time.
The Dawa plans for a Chicago convention in October are regarded in many circles as a desperate effort to revive the flagging spirits of Dawa supporters and to broaden the scope of anti-Semitism as well as to advertise German wares.
LEADERS AT ODDS
It is learned that considerable strife exists between leaders of the local Nazi movement. The basis for this strife is the ability of some of the original organizers to make money from the movement, while others, who have worked as hard, are without compensation. A number of old members of the Friends of New Germany have been discharged recently.
Some difference of opinion within the ranks of the Friends of New Germany has arisen since the election on July 1 of Hubert Schnuch as national leader of the organization. It is understood that Reinhold Walter, retiring leader, made serious charges against Fritz Gissibl, unofficial dictator of the movement, and that they were not without effect on many of the leaders. These charges are gradually being brought to the attention of members of the Friends of New Germany via the Yorkville “grapevine” system. Schnuch, a Chicago man, is viewed bitterly in some circles as undeserving of his $50 weekly salary and liberal expense account. He is, admittedly, a Gissibl henchman, and many New York Nazis believe that it was wrong for Gissibl, also ### Chicago man, to pass plums out to fellow-townsmenâ€”especially when the plums are grown in New York.
OBJECT TO BLOOD ‘PURGE’
While the gradual demise of New York Nazidom is attributable mainly to infection within the ranks, conditions in Germany are contributing a not inconsiderable impetus to this falling-off It is understood, after conversations with several Nazi converts of Yorkville, that Hitler’s “explanation” of the blood bath given his party three weeks ago did not strike a particularly responsive chord in Yorkville. The reaction to “Bloody Saturday” has been slow in coming about, but its effects are more and more coming to be regarded as certain.
With some show of open insurgency against the Hitler Administration in Germany, an increasing number of Yorkville Germans are beginning to consider “Germany’s redemption” by a redeemer other than Hitler, and as a result the fanaticism so essential to the Nazi movement is ever so slowly giving way to a broader and more reasonable outlook on the plight of the Fatherland. Within the last few weeks Yorkville residents have begun to consider Hitler’s possibilities of stepping down with a much calmer viewpoint, and some have even gone so far as to consider the best possible successor to the dictator.
As a result of this, there is a barely perceptible relenting in the strained relations of German “Aryans” and “Jews” in the section.
It is reliably reported by those closest to the situation that the Nazi threat, together with its ally, the American Fascist menace, is more and more becoming centered in the other end of the country. Los Angeles is said to be becoming a highly important Nazi headquarters, while dozens of American “patriotic” groups are gaining inspiration from Hitler’s anti-Semitism.
The West, slower in grasping the prejudices of eastern Fascist and Nazi philosophies, is calculated to retain such bias longer than the East. This is usually so. The West is still popularizing Technocracy and cross-word puzzles, and in some sections Mah Jong is still a favorite pastime.
The downfall of the Nazis came about, as nearly as can be determined in the light of past events at the German American Congress in Cleveland on June 7, 8 and 9. Important elements of the congress, which were brought up in the strictest privacy of secret meetings, are only now coming to light.
A mistaken impression given the general press still prevails, but the Steuben News dispels it. It has to do with the Steuben Society resolution calling for a boycott of shops refusing to handle German goods, an instrument virtually the same as that employed by the Dawa. The resolution at the time of its passage was run accurately in the Jewish Daily Bulletin, but because of the unanimity of statements in the general press and among officials at the convention, credence was given “approved” versions.
The resolution originally introduced by the Steuben Society said in part, “Be it resolvedâ€”that when making purchases one should ask, “Are you boycotting German goods?’ and then patronize only those merchants who do not proclaim boycotts.”
This clause, the Jewish Daily Bulletin was informed and reported, had been stricken from the resolution. The current issue of the Steuben News verifies this contention. Its enactment would be tantamount to a declaration of boycott against almost every Jewish enterprise in the country.
The convention also refused to recognize the Dawa delegates as authorized to have voice and vote at the convention. This was the first great setback suffered by the Nazi movement in its meteoric sweep through German-American society. This was done despite the fact that valid delegates of the German American Conference of Greater New York, which a few weeks before had been wrested from conservative hands by the Nazis, strove desperately to introduce the Dawa as a governing factor in German American affairs throughout the country.
LOOK FOR STORMY MEETING
In respect to this, there promises to be a stormy session of the German American Conference of Greater New York on July 23, when, it is expected, the new Nazi officers of the Conference will be held to an accounting for their behavior. It is reported reliably that organizations represented in the conference did not authorize the Conference action at the convention. Certainly the German Jewish vereins did not.
As a matter of fact, Gustav W. M. Wieboldt. chairman of the New York State Council of the Steuben Society and a leading light in the Plattdeutsche Volksfestverein has already publicly taken issue with the new conference leaders, and it is expected that he will air his grievances before the next session of the Conference. This, although he was instrumental in introducing the Steuben conception of the boycott, so like the DAWA’s, to the convention.