Louis Zahne’s vaulting personal ambition may yet hurl him clear over the peak of the German-American preeminence to which he aspires and into the limbo of oblivion beyond.
While Yorkville still buzzed with the repercussions of the political and pseudo – political activities which turned that section into a veritable beehive last week-end, a Jewish Daily Bulletin reporter made a flying survey of the situation there and found that sentiment among important leaders is veering definitely away from Zahne and his henchmen.
With the chairman of the German American Independent Voters League himself off somewhere in the middle west, trying to establish additional branches of that new-born, squealing brainchild of his, chieftains of the German-American Conference and almost all its subsidiaries were rubbing their hands gleefully in delighted contemplation of his failure to obtain the chairmanship of the Conference political committee.
Zahne, who in recent months has mushroomed up out of nowhere has been just a little too impatient and high-handed for his own best interests, an information-hungry reporter was told.
Although no longer ago than early last week he had made no bones about his confident expectation of being named head of the political committee, he discovered at the last minute that he had over-rated the forces he could hope to marshal under his standards.
Thus, when delegates from the various societies which comprise the German-American Conference met in Turn Halle last Friday night, Zahne made a tactical decision to withdraw his candidacy for the chairmanship and to be satisfied with mere membership in the unit.
If he had pushed his claims to the office, a reporter learned yesterday, he would have been subjected to the merciless fire of most of those present, who have viewed with distaste his recent extremist statements on the racial issue and his open avowal of Nazism.
As it turned out. however, Zahne stepped down in time to save some of the shreds of his prestige, and William Fust, conservative leader of the Plattdeutsche Verein of Brooklyn, was appointed to the chair.
Of the eight members of the committee, which now has been instructed to act purely as an information bureau, two are definitely aligned with Zahne. They are Fred Staademann and Carl Nicolai.
The other four members are George Schattner, John H. Werdermann, Dietrich Wortmann and C. K. Froehlich, who serves in an exofficio capacity by virtue of his presidency of the Conference.