WASHINGTON (Oct. 6)
Members of the German-American Bund in Los Angeles and throughout the Pacific Coast have made elaborate plans to sabotage and paralyze the Coast from Seattle to San Diego in case of a war between the United States and Germany, Neil Howard Ness, an American engineer who became a confidante of Los Angeles Bund leaders and who himself joined the Bund, testified before the Dies Committee today.
He said: “We frequently discussed plans for blowing up water works, dock and munitions plants. We had a hundred men on whom we could depend to paralyze the Pacific Coast.” These plans, he said, were discussed in Bund meetings.
Earlier, Ness said that Herman Schwinn had outlined a platform for the Bund in Los Angeles based directly upon the policies of Hitler. “Schwinn told me we would commence with an attack upon the Jews and after we had beaten down the Jews go for the Catholics,” Ness told the Committee.
The German Consulate in Los Angeles on several occasions supplied Schwinn with funds for the Bund, Ness testified. Schwinn cautioned him that they would have to be very careful and guard against any congressional committee’s discovering that the Counsellor of the German Consulate gave them cash.
Among those who talked before Bund meetings and cooperated with the Bund, Ness named Capt. Hamilton Beamish, South African Fascist leader, While Beamish was in Los Angeles, he maintained headquarters at the Bund’s building, Ness said. Others included Kenneth Alexander, Roy Zachary, Silver Shirt leaders and the heads of the American Nationalist Party.
Ness told the committee that a continuous stream of German espionage agents was landed at Los Angeles from German ships visiting that port. On one occasion, he said, one of these spies photographed the coast artillery proving grounds twenty miles south of Long Beach. Ness said that he and Schwinn were with the agent at that time. This particular agent, whose name Ness promised to reveal later when he procured his notes and records from Los Angeles, then traveled through the interior of the United States and visited Mexico, Ness said.
TELLS OF BUND LINK TO BERLIN
Testimony indicating that the Bund is directed and controlled from Berlin was given to the Dies Committee yesterday by Ness. He also testified that William Dudley Pelley, Silver Shirt leader, told a meeting of the Los Angeles Bund that he was proud of being called America’s Adolf Hitler “because that is what I consider myself.”
Ness declared that all Bund members, most of whom were naturalized Americans, took an oath of allegiance to Hitler and the National Socialist Party. He said the Bund was directed by Nazi headquarters in Berlin to fight the Roosevelt administration and American Jewry. A constant stream of propaganda came from Germany, to be disseminated to Americans in the organs of the Bund and allied organizations, he testified.
When Ness joined the Bund, he became a columnist for the pro-Nazi newspaper in Los Angeles, Der Weckruf, and a storm trooper, Reinhold Kusche, was assigned to help him prepare anti-Jewish and anti-administration propaganda, according to his testimony.
The witness startled Chairman Martin Dies and other committee members when he casually told how Schwinn and other Bund leaders exchanged documents with the captain of every German ship that put into Los Angeles harbor until the middle of 1936. He said the captains brought instructions for the Bund directly from Germany and in turn received confidential advices from the Bund leaders to take back to the Reich.