Mayor Reserves Decision on German Day Fete Ban
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Mayor Reserves Decision on German Day Fete Ban

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cieties had openly challenged his authority to interfere with their celebration of German Day with speeches by Heinz Spanknoebel, Nazi agent to the United States, and by Ambassador Hans Luther, representative of the Hitler Government in Washington.

First official protest against the mayor’s suspension of celebrations came on Monday night when in a tumultuous meeting of the United German Societies a letter was drafted terming the mayor’s decision an "insult to the organization" and an encroachment upon American rights of assembly. A delegation of seventeen members, who interviewed the mayor Tuesday were invited to return to present their case yesterday.

United States Attorney George Z. Medalie announced yesterday that he would undertake an investigation of the activities of Spanknoebel in this country. His announcement followed a visit to his office by Victor and Bernard Ridder in which charges made against Spanknoebel by the Ridders were discussed.

The Ridders declined to reveal the nature of their talk with Mr. Medalie who declared merely that "I am looking into Spanknoebel’s status in this country and also into his actions in this city."


As the German American Conference went into session last night it was felt in many German-American circles that the United German Societies, which recently came under the control of American Hitlerites, would lose all its prestige among German American groups.

Victor Ridder, president of the German American Conference, was suspended with his brother Bernard from the United German Societies for "treachery and treason to the German people," when they demanded that the U.G.S. throw off the yoke of Heinz Spanknoebel, Nazi agent in the United States, at the organization’s meeting Monday.

It was expected last night that the German American Conference embracing 300 German American organizations would introduce a plan for an organization to replace or rival the United German Societies. The new federation will either be anti-Nazi in policy or steer clear of political entanglements altogether. Prominent German Jewish and German leaders last night believed the latter policy would be adopted.

The United German Societies is a small part of the German American Conference; and it was expected that the larger organization would bring to task the minor group for its active participation in foreign politics and its attempted application of Hitlerite features to American affairs.

Asked what action would be taken against the United German Societies, Victor Ridder, president of the conference, yesterday refused to discuss the possibility of creation of a rival organization.

When queried as to whether or not the policies of the German American Conference were liberal, Ridder cried, "Liberal? I’ll say we are."

Bernard and Victor Ridder declared yesterday that hundreds of members of the German colony in New York had called them to offer support in their opposition to the Nazi control of the United German Societies. The suspension of the brothers, publishers of the New Yorker Staats-Zeitung, is believed in many quarters to have been the signal for a schism between factions of the United German Societies. Leaders of the German-American community indicated that the Ridders will receive strong support from dissenting German-Jewish organizations of the United German Societies and tremendous backing from other groups.

Other features inspired optimism before the mayor rendered his decision on the celebration yesterday on the possibilities of thwarting plans for observance of the day. Representative Samuel Dickstein on his departure for Washington Tuesday promised to jail all alien Nazi agitators; the Board of Aldermen rendered a vote of confidence in the mayor’s early prohibition of German Day celebrations; all anti-Nazi elements were called upon to mobilize to break up the German Day celebration at the 165th Regiment Armory; and factions of Yorkville yesterday loaned their support to the Ridders as a good omen to opposition of the transformation of German Day into a Nazi fete.


Among those endorsing the action of Bernard and Victor Ridder in denouncing the United German Societies’ preparations for the German Day celebration, according to the Statts-Zeitung were: Dr. Gotthard E. Seyforth, president of the Northeastern Saengerbund; Dietrich Wortmann, president of the German American Sport Alliance; Jacob Moebus, president of the United Singers of New York; Professor Mankiewitz of the School of Education of City College; John H. Ducker, honorary president of the Plattdeutsche Volkfest Alliance of Brooklyn; Dr. Louis Ewald, Bruno C. Schmidt, and Fred Schartel, secretary of the German American Football League.

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