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Senate Group Finds Unofficial Anti-semitic Thread in Election Campaign

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A strong thread of anti-Semitism ran through unofficial and frequently anonymous literature circulated during the Presidential campaign, but there is no evidence to date that any of it was sponsored by responsible officials of either major party, according to documents received by the Senate Campaign Investigation Committee.

Samples of campaign literature have been piling up in committee headquarters here since Chairman Gillette of Iowa a month ago publicly appealed for examples of “smear propaganda” to aid the committee in drafting remedial legislation.

Anti-Semitic literature received by the committee is practically entirely incidental to attacks on President. Roosevelt and revolve around the familiar allegation of “Jew-Communist” domination of his administration.

Copies received indicate a widespread circulation during the campaign of the writings of such well-known anti-Semites as William D. Pelley, Robert Edward Emerson, Charles Hudson and the Rev. Gerald Winrod. Most of these publications, it was said, were not received directly from the publishers but from anonymous distributors scattered throughout the country.

While no evidence has been received showing party organizations using the anti-Semitic theme, it was charged that individual party workers and mushroom “committees” had done so. Copies of a Republican National Committee leaflet alleging Communist sympathies on the part of the Roosevelt administration which were distributed by Walter R. Krembs, Republican precinct captain in Chicago, bore such anti-Semitic statements as “Roosevelt helps Jew-Communist destroy the U.S.A.” stamped in green ink. In Detroit, the writings of Winrod and Emerson were circulated by an “Independent Citizen Information Committee” which gave no address. This organization had enough funds to pay for numerous political ads in Detroit papers, committee informants pointed out.

Similarity of campaign propaganda by German-American organizations in different parts of the country indicated an organized drive. These organizations, such as the German-American Bund, actively participated in the campaign and the theme of their propaganda mirage was the charge that President Roosevelt’s reelection meant U.S. involvement in the war. In many large cities, the committee was informed, copies of similar propaganda and marked sample ballots apparently went to all voters whose registration statement reported a German or Italian birthplace.

Several of those writing to the committee charged that Bund-sponsored rallies in Minnesota and other states with large German-American populations featured a motion picture record of the German Blitzkrieg in Poland as an example of the danger in American war participation.

Committee aides said an analysis of the propaganda would soon be made and recommendations for legislative action placed before committee members before their report is drafted.

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