Nazified organization, and of the German American Conference.
On Wednesday, Dr. Ewald informed the Jewish Daily Bulletin that the political body was to meet last night for the purpose of endorsing a list of candidates for municipal, state and federal offices. In his statement, Dr. Ewald, in answer to a reporter’s question, again insisted that the committee was free of Nazi taint and might even endorse Jewish candidates.
INFORMED EWALD OUSTED
Yesterday, immediately following publication of this startling and hardly credible announcement that the committee might endorse Jewish political candidates, the Jewish Daily Bulletin was informed through an unimpeachable source that Dr. Ewald had been ousted from the chairmanship of the committee and would be replaced by Louis A. Zahne, publisher of the Deutsche Zeitung, Yorkville’s anti-Semitic Nazi daily, and actively identified with the Friends of New Germany and other pro-Nazi organizations here.
CLAIMS RESIGNATION VOLUNTARY
Dr. Ewald at his home yesterday confirmed the fact that he is no longer connected with the political committee. He denied, however, that he had been ousted and stated that he had resigned of his own volition.
“I resigned,” he informed the Jewish Daily Bulletin reporter, “on the day before yesterday (Tuesday).”
His reasons for the sudden “resignation” following so closely on the heels of his appointment, he ascribed to “pressure of personal business.”
“I found,” he said, “that the job was too big for me. Much bigger and involving much more time and effort than I thought it would involve when I undertook it.”
The situation precipitated so quickly following the publication of yesterday’s story in the Bulletin has resulted in a welter of conflicting statements on the part of the individuals concerned.
Mr. Froelich, president of the German-American Conference, released an official explanation of the affair that does not coincide at all with the version of Dr. Ewald in several essential points.
STATESMENTS AT ODDS
In his statement, Mr. Froelich said that Dr. Ewald had resigned on Monday immediately following publication of an article which he described as “incorrect and misleading.”
In the published story of the formation of the political committee, Dr. Ewald was quoted as declaring that neither the Friends of New Germany nor the German-American Independent Voters League were represented in the German-American Conference, and that the political committee therefore would be free of any suspicion of pro-Nazi influence.
With reference to this statement by Dr. Ewald, Mr. Froelich made the following announcement:
“The political committee or any other member of the German-American Conference or the United German Societies was not authorized to make any such statement.
“I regret that the Friends of New Germany or the German-American Independent Voters League should have been mentioned in this article as pro-Nazi. The fact is that the Friends of New Germany are members of the German-American Conference and as such have our sympathy and stand under our protection. The German – American Independent Voters League, while not a member of the German-American Conference is viewed by us as a worthy and honest movement and therefore entitled to the consideration of German-American voters. The membership of the German-American Independent Voters League is 100 per cent American in its political attitude and is to our knowledge not to be considered in any way a pro-Nazi organization.”
“MISTAKE” IN RESIGNATION
The statement then went on to admit that the German-American Conference had been taking an active interest in the political life of America. The newly formed committee, Mr. Froelich concluded, will shortly be empowered to make a statement for publication.
When Dr. Ewald was informed that Mr. Froelich, as well as Dr. Schnuch and Mr. Zahne, had said that he resigned on Monday, he said he thought it must be “a “mistake.”
Whether as stated by all concerned that it was a “resignation” rather than an ouster, which is the more probable in view of known Nazi tactics in the past, one outstanding fact looms:
The “resignation” or ouster presages a wide open split in the ranks of the German-American Conference. Dr. Ewald is president of the United Bavarian Societies, which boasts in greater New York of a membership of some 55,000.
While asserting that he had voluntarily resigned from the committee Dr. Ewald intimated, when asked, that there would shortly be a meeting of the society he heads.
“Will you call this meeting?” he was asked.
“Yes,” he answered.
“Will the purpose of the meeting be withdrawal from the German-American Conference?”
Dr. Ewald strongly hinted that that would be the purpose of the meeting. He refused to say when it would be called.
Dr. Schnuch and Mr. Zahne, when approached on the question of Dr. Ewald’s ouster, denied he had been forcibly removed from office.
They admitted, however, that he had resigned and had given as his excuse “pressure of personal business.”
In substantiation of this explanation of Dr. Ewald’s sudden severance from the committee after having been named to it but a few hours previous, both Dr. Schnuch and Mr. Zahne announced that he had also resigned from membership on all committees of the German-American Conference and the United German Societies.
According to Dr. Schnuch, Dr. Ewald had also withdrawn from the list of speakers scheduled to grace the rostrum on the occasion of the German Day celebration at Madison Square on October 6 under the sponsorship of the United German Societies. Mr. Zahne, Dr. Schnuch announced, will replace Dr. Ewald as the principal speaker.
The resignation of Dr. Ewald, both Dr. Schnuch and Mr. Zahne declared, had been made on Monday, the day on which the first stories of the political committee’s formation had appeared. Since that time, the pro-Nazi leaders insisted, Dr. Ewald has had no authority to speak for the committee.
EWALD IN THE DARK
However, Dr. Ewald when interviewed on Wednesday by the Jewish Daily Bulletin, was evidently quite in the dark about his supposed resignation. He spoke with the air of a man who has absolute authority and whose authority hadn’t even been questioned, as chairman of the political body.
That Mr. Zahne had already replaced Dr. Ewald as chairman of the committee was denied by Zahne and Dr. Schnuch. Mr. Zahne pointed out that he is not even a member of the committee. Dr. Schnuch declared that the committee had not as yet met to choose a new chairman and probably would not convene until next week.
Mr. Zahne, who says he is merely a “humble delegate of the United German Societies to the German – American Conference,” professed complete ignorance of the committee’s plans with respect to him.
Asked what attitude he would take on Jewish candidates for political office if he were to become chairman of the committee, he suavely dodged the issue.
“Do you mean whether I will support Democratic or Republican candidates?” he countered.
He then pointed out that normally he is a Democrat, but that he couldn’t tell at this stage of the game whether he would split his vote or go Republican.
VOLUBLE ON GERMAN DAY
“You may say for me,” he declared, “that German Day will be a marvelous success. It will be an eye-opener to New York City. Everybody will be surprised to see concrete evidence of the solidarity that has developed among German-American ranks here.”