The following is the nineteenth of a series of articles, “This Fascist Racket,” by Mr. McGrady, exposing, from the inside, the workings of a typical Fascist organization here, and revealing, through publication of the Fascist “chieftain’s” correspondence, how and in what manner these racial rackets are operated. The series appears daily in the Jewish Daily Bulletin.
It is also said that most of this $6,000 has been saved while the League was under the leadership of Reinhold Walter, who is understood to have been installed as national leader under orders from Germany. Walter, for more than a score of years an American citizen, did not get along well with the creators and masters of the League, and because of this was deposed July 1. He gained office four or five months ago, after Ernest Wilhelm Bohle, head of the National Socialist Party’s Foreign Department, had ordered all party members out of the League.
Walter gained office and held it much against the wishes of Fritz Gissibl, dictator of the organization, who has had himself reinstalled as mid-western district leader after having virtually appointed as national leader, Hubert Schnuch. Schnuch, like Walter, is a naturalized American citizen, and it is thought that by waving his naturalization papers in the faces of the curious, the impression may be given that the Friends of New Germany are American and not Nazi.
SCHNUCH FOR STORMTROOPS
While Schnuch is an American citizen, there appear to be assurances that he will not try to disband the Nazi stormtroopers here, as Walter once tried to do. Schnuch is sure to encourage this organization. Walter once sought police aid to break up the Nazi stormtroop outfit operating within the Friends of New Germany, as he testified before the McCormack Committee.
At this time it appears that the Nazis’ curiosity with regard to disposal of their hard-earned contributions may be precipitated into some action. It is a matter of news that Ludwig Werner, a former stormtroop member of the Brooklyn cell of the Friends of New Germany, had lodged formal complaint with the district attorney’s office charging misappropriation of funds by Joseph Schuster, leader of the Brooklyn cell and head of the stormtroops, and by other leaders of the Nazi movement here.
That the Nazi income has been great there can be little doubt. Dues to the Friends of New Germany, I am told, are 75 cents a month. Throughout the country there are more than forty cells, each of which sends one-third of its income to Gissibl, Schnuch, Schuster, and others controlling the national organization. These forty cells are said to have about 5,000 members. It will be left to mathematicians to calculate the income of the League through dues alone.
ADMISSION IS 15 CENTS
Nazi meetings are held in each cell once a week. Admission to these meetings runs fifteen cents per head. The Manhattan cell, which meets on Tuesday, attracts upward of 1,000 persons weekly, and in the old days as many as 3,000 would sometimes be packed into the Yorkville Casino. The Brooklyn cell attracts about 1,000 to the weekly meetings.
Once or twice each week, halls are rented for lecturers from Germany or for the projection of travel or propaganda pictures from Hitler’s Third Reich. The admission price runs from fifty cents to one dollar, and almost invariably the rooms are packed.
Seldom, if ever, does a week pass when the Nazis do not celebrate with at least one picnic, show, ball, or German patriotic celebration of some sort, and admission to these runs from fifty cents to two dollars each. There is a commission on beer sales, and this runs high, for the crowd is usually as thirsty as it is big.
HAT PASSED OFTEN
Throughout all Nazi celebrations little girls circulate seeking contributions to some cause or other. Their efforts are generously rewarded as a rule, and, as far as can be learned, the solicitations all revert to the League. How much these are I have no way of knowing, but at a fairly liberal gathering they must collect as much as $100.
Various concessions, program sales, flower sales, swastika pin sales, and the like must bring this amount up to almost as much again.
Besides the Friends of New Germany, Gissibl, Inc., runs a number of other outfits, all of which should contribute to the Nazi fund. There is the Deutsche Jungenschaft, which is to all intents and purposes America’s Hitler Jugend. This group is divided into a boys’ and a girls’ group, and from these, it is understood, come regular dues and profits from celebrations that are held weekly.
There is a Hitlerite wife’s organization, the Deutsche Frauenschaft, and another parents’ organization, which are called upon not only to support their own organizations but to contribute to the “upkeep” of the youth groups.
A number of minor enterprises such as the German People’s High School, which meets in the Nazi headquarters in the Kreutzer Hall; the sale of German propaganda and other books; the Nazi summer camp in New Jersey; excursions for boys’, girls’, and family groups; and other projects add to the Nazi fortune.
One of the most lucrative Nazi establishments is that of the Deutsche Zeitung, weekly organ of the Friends of New Germany and sympathetic groups. The financial status of this paper is difficult to determine. It is owned by the D. Z. Publishing Corporation of which Carl S. Voelcker is president and William L. McLaughlin vice-president. One-third of the space of the Deutsche Zeitung’s thirty-six pages is taken by advertisers. Advertising rates are higher than in many of the large New York dailies. The circulation of the paper is said to be about 22,000. It sells at ten cents the copy.
Whether or not the Nazi leaders get a cut on the profits of this paper is purely speculative. It is known that at the time Gissibl went to Europe to see the head of the Nazi Party’s foreign department, he met Voelcker there. Voelcker denies that this meeting held any significance and most emphatically refutes reports that Gissibl and others sought to convert the Deutsche Zeitung profits to their own needs by enlisting influence from Berlin.
OVERHEAD IS SMALL
Aside from the rental of halls for meetings, the slight cost of maintaining an employment bureau, and stamp money, the Friends of New Germany, as far as I can learn, do not have any great overhead costs. They have been operating on a paying basis for well over one year.
Some members say that there has never been a public accounting for the funds spent and received by the Friends of New Germany. It is known that on occasion, liberal expense accounts have been turned in by those promoting the movement.
Where does all this money go?
This question has been bothering a number of persons engaged in the Nazi movement here, and its answerâ€”or its failure to be answeredâ€”may spell disaster for the organization.
In some Nazi circles it is regarded as peculiar that of all the money taken in by the Friends of New Germany, only $6,000 has been saved, and almost all of this during the conservative rule of Reinhold Walter, who was ousted after little more than three months’ service.
It is no wonder that the DAWA, another well paying anti-Semitic, pro-Hitler movement, which tends to bring together all German Americans in a block of exaggerated national solidarity within this country, will have nothing to do with the Friends of New Germany. There has been a severe struggle, according to reports, for the DAWA in restraining the Friends from “muscling in” on their enterprise.
The leaders of the Friends of New Germany contend that they are receiving modest salaries. Schnuch getting about $40 weekly and the rest less. Where do the rest of the profits go? More than likely in “expenses.”
I do not believe that the Friends of New Germany’s leaders are getting rich on the profits of their enterprise. I do not believe that there are any fabulous sums invested in the movement; but in the light of what is known about the Nazi movement here, it appears to be as unfair financially to the masses that compose it as it is unfair morally to the elements against which it is directed. It appears that the “expense accounts” or whatever methods are used by the leaders of the movement in disposing of their organization’s funds are subsidized by the nickels and dimes of household help, labor, and even the unemployed German-Americans who feel that they are contributing to an ideal . . . even though that ideal be race hatred and entail gross disloyalty to their adopted fatherland.
To Be Continued Tomorrow