Feeling between the German-American Conference and the Steuben Society, both flagrantly tainted with Nazism, flared into the open yesterday as the implications of the Conference’s decision to go into politics became clearer.
Jealous of encroachment on what it had regarded as peculiarly its own ground, the Steuben group, through spokesmen, indicated that appointment by the Conference of a committee whose avowed intention is to tell German American citizens how to vote came as an unsavory dose.
While nearly all public figures of German extraction were inclined to regard the subject as figurative dynamite, and were unwilling to lay themselves open to retaliation by commenting on it, R. E. Leyendecker, member of the Steuben national council and prominent participant in that organization’s deliberations, was less reticent than the others.
Speaking as an individual rather than as a Steuben official, since he has not yet had time to confer with colleagues in the society, Leyendecker was inclined to discount the importance and scope of the German-American Conference.
“We are national,” he pointed out. “They are merely a Greater New York group. The Conference is a loosely knit organization of member clubs and associations, and I wouldn’t be surprised if many of these subsidiaries would refuse to pay any attention to the recommendations of this new political committee.”
A statement made to the press by Dr. Louis A. Ewald, chairman of the Conference committee, to the effect that his body probably would “work in harmony” with the Steubenites failed to impress Leyendecker.
“If they have any such plans”