NEW YORK (Oct. 8)
A nation-wide unofficial army, as yet unarmed, but uniformed and trained in rifle practice and military drill, with its leader quoted as anti-Communist and anti-Jewish, is being recruited, it was revealed today in the New York World Telegram.
The commander, Hubert W. Eldred, is employed by the United States Treasury Department, assigned to the WPA procurement division. He was quoted as warning against the growing influence of Rods and Jews, and declaring that “Jews are getting to run the WPA, banks and other institutions.”
Mr. Eldred, who admitted he has gotten into trouble as a result of the disclosures, denied over the telephone to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he had mentioned the Jews in conversation with Frederick Woltman of the Telegram.
Speaking from the office of Thomas J. Ford, State Procurement Officer, Mr. Eldred declared the organization was neither anti-Jewish nor anti-Communist, and explained that it was simply an organization of former army officers designed as a reserve for the army.
He admitted making a statement to Mr. Woltman — not printed but repeated by Mr. Woltman to the J.T.A. — that he had lost a job with the WPA Columbia University Housing Survey after two Jews had been placed over him, thereby losing seven weeks pay.
Mr. Woltman said Mr. Eldred had repeatedly referred to the Jews during their interview, speaking of “grasping Jews,” the “Jewish grafters all over the WPA” and declaring the United States was faced with “the same trouble Germany had.”
WOULD MAKE IT AUXILIARY TO U.S. ARMY
The organization is known as the Veterans Reserve Corporation, and until yesterday had offices at the WPA finance building at 40 Varick Street. Mr. Eldred hoped to recruit 830,400 men and said Rep. James A. O’Leary of Staten Island was introducing a bill in Congress to make the organization an auxiliary of the army.
The Telegram said most of its leaders were reserve officers employed by the Treasury Dept. and WPA, and that the organization had divided the country into corps areas, divisions, brigades and regiments.
In denying the organization is anti-Semitic, Mr. Eldred said that Company A of the First Regiment was entirely Jewish and commanded by a Captain Handler. None of the officers listed on the corporation’s proposed letterhead appeared to be Jewish.
Col. Brehon B. Somervell, WPA administrator, said the movement had no connection with WPA. At WPA offices, it was said the names of
officers were being checked with WPA rolls and those found doing the organization’s work in working hours would be discharged.
Mr. Ford, who is Mr. Eldred’s superior, told the J.T.A. no Treasury Dept. men besides Mr. Eldred were members of the organization.
Eldred listed as his chief aides William L. Matter and Arthur B. Kratz, who are WPA executives; William E. Hoyer, who recently resigned from the WPA, Admiral Richard P. Hobson and Queens Borough President George U. Harvey. The latter denied any connection with the organization.
GROUP MEETS IN YORKVILLE
The organization meets in Germania Hall in Yorkville, a gathering place for pro-Nazi groups, and at a similar German hall in Queens.
Roy B. Monahan, Judge Advocate General of the organization, an attorney of 49 Wall St., who drew up the corporation’s charter, was said to have resigned on the ground that the organization was anti-Semitic.
Mr. Eldred, admitting he was having trouble with many members after being quoted as anti-Semitic, denied doing organization activity on working time — a point which evidently was causing him some concern. He said he was leaving for Washington shortly.
Asked his attitude toward the Jews, he said it was the “same as toward any other citizens.”
The organization is six weeks old now and claims a membership of 3,000. It has an undercover intelligence unit, Eldred was quoted, advised by Vladimir N. Kusick, described as a White Russian, with references from Grand Dutchess Maric.
The corps is scheduled to hold a war-time mobilization maneuver for its Queens company next week.