every day and supplied with the material which is available there.
SENDS OTHERS TO EMERSON
“The Friends of Hitler”, says Wiegand, “is solely for Germans living in this country. When German Americans or Americans who are sympathetic, apply for membership, I send them to Col. Emerson to join the Friends of Germany, a different group.”
At the offices of Col. Emerson next door to the German consulate in the Whitehall Building at Battery Place, members are accepted for the Friends of Germanyâ€”an organization which Col. Emerson stoutly denies is anti-Semitic. Here information about the New Germany is freely dispensed and copies of the latest German publications are sold.
THE “FICHTE BUND” LEAFLET
The notorious “Fichte Bund” leaflet which mentions “with what cynical impudence the Jews poisoned the soul of the nation” and speaks of the “silence of the World Press towards the crimes committed by Jews” is distributed here. Typewritten excerpts purportedly from an article by Roderick Macleod in The Investigator, of London, advising the Jews that, as a result of their protests against the Hitler Jewish policies in Germany, their position “is more dangerous than they appear to realize” and warning “the great leaders of Jewry who are English to ban communism once and for all” are also given to inquirers at the Emerson office.
Gottfried Feder’s “The Program of the Party of Hitler”, the official handbook of the National Socialist Party, in which is explained the theory of “Aryan supremacy” and the reasons why the Jew must be considered as aliens in Germany, is one of the items for sale there.
Wiegand says that at present his group still is forced to operate secretly, but that they shortly plan to come out into the open as a definitely anti-Jewish, pro-Nazi organization in America.
NEWARK LESS SECRETIVE
“In a short while” he says, “we will send a notice to the newspapers announcing the names of our leaders and the nature of our program.”
The Newark, N. J. branch of the Friends of New Germany has not been as secretive as its sister group. According to a report of one of their meetings which appeared in the “Amerika’s Deutsche Post”, local Hitlerite organ, “a committee was named consisting of Paul Hennin, 477 South 12th Street, secretary; Dr. Schley, treasurer; Ludwig Gutmann and Willy Bachenberg, propagandists, and Alois Heht, press agent…to make this group the kernel of a regenerated German-Americanism”.
The report, in translation, states further that “the evening was taken up by Carl la Croix on the intellectual basis of the German Nazi movement. He mentioned all the factors, especially the economic system of international finance and the destruction to the German soul caused by alien religions. Previously Pastor Franz Gross of Perth Amboy declared his allegiance to Hitler in passionate words. F. Bolte, of North Arlington; F. Hartmann, of Maplewood, and A. Hecht took part in the discussion. The meeting ended with the singing of the Horst Wessel song, in which all persons present joined.”
Yet the Friends of New Germany groups in New York, Newark and other cities are not the true Nazi units in America. As pointed out in the Jewish Daily Bulletin last Sunday, a nuclear organization exists behind this outward show of frankness and details of the real Nazi organization in this country still remain a jealously-kept mystery.
Wiegand, laboring energetically at 309 East 92nd Street, represents the young German fanatic who is willing to bear the brunt of the publicity while the “higher-ups’ pull the strings backstage.
Wiegand works, day in, day out, to spread the doctrine of National Socialism among Germans in New York and environs. Every day he signs up new members to his association, collects from them one dollar in dues each month. On weekends he arranges Nazi meetings in New York and New Jersey, and addresses the gatherings in a fervent Hitlerite tempo.
There are three rooms in the headquarters of the Friends of New Germany, the meeting hall, the office, and the “recreation hall” in the rear, which is really a miniature barracks for the first detachment of Hitler “Storm Troops” ever to reach this country. As yet, Wiegand’s assistants, who live in the “recreation room” with their chief, confine their fighting to the dissemination of anti-Semitic literature. But they are all men of military bearing, and whenever they greet each other it is with the well-known Fascist signâ€”arm extending proudly up and forward.
SWASTIKAS, HITLER PICTURES
The office of the organization is most busy from 6 to 8 P.M., at which time members gather to discuss their activities, and neophytes are introduced:
Pictures of Adolf Hitler adorn the walls and tables, and swastikas are painted everywhere. Aspiring members are questioned thoroughly concerning their racial origin and previous political sentiments. They are forced to sign papers pledging loyalty, and they are sold little metal Swastika emblems, to be worn on their lapels.
A menacing sign in this room is a collection of sawed-off billiard cues in one corner. Offsetting these are more than fifty German books dealing with the political ferment in Europe.
There is a military atmosphere to the front room which is large enough to be used as a meeting hall. But it also serves other purposes. Along the wall on one side of the room are four narrow tables where energetic members work.
Atop one table is stacked a neat array of propaganda, dealing with the injustice of the Versailles Treaty, the Polish Corridor, Jewish international capitalism, and anti-Semitism in general. The pamphlets are offered free of charge to all visitors. On the walls are pictures of Adolf Hitler, skillfully retouched by an imaginative Nazi artist; bold black swastikas, and slogans and mottoes in German.
THE TYPE OF PROPAGANDA
Wiegand or those of his assistants who speak English make a determined effort to “convert” Americans who visit their headquarters. In many cases they are apparently successful. The visitors are told that France is controlled by Jewish capitalists; that H. R. Knickerbocker, Berlin correspondent of the New York Evening Post, is a Jew; that J. P. Morgan is a Jew; that Communism is a Jewish trick to fool and tire the Christian masses; that a Jew is not a “white” man; that in 50 years America will be ruled by an oligarchy of Jews and Negroes; that there is not much difference between a Jew and a Negro so far as racial distinctions go; that German Jews were responsible for Germany’s losing the war, and most of the other libels on the Jews popular with the Nazis.
The result of this propaganda, which has been rapidly growing in intensity during the last few weeks, is most noticeable in German and German-American organizations that have been subjected to “co-ordinating” pressure from Nazi nuclear cells functioning through the Friends of New Germany.
So strongly has this pressure been fell that it reached the form of a proposal at a meeting of the “Vereinigte Saenger” of Brooklyn that the members of the society boycott Jewish stores.
Among the middle class German-American organizations, such as the Sturmer Society, many already identity themselves as in sympathy with the Hitler regime. Others which have voiced regret at the persecution of the Jews in Germany have been persuaded by Nazi emissaries that it is their duty to stand by the German government.
It is through the Friends of New Germany and similar organizations which have had a mushroom growth in the United States since Hitler sprang into power that the Nazi nuclear cells here fighting to gain the adherence of Americans of German descent to the Hitler program. Succeeding issues of the Jewish Daily Bulletin will describe the campaign to convert the general American public.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.