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Dawa Rally Net Results Unimpressive

May 20, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

While Friends of New Germany and members of the DAWA (German-American Protective Alliance) were recovering from the excitement of their Madison Square Garden anti-boycott mass meeting of last Thursday night, Nazi and anti-Nazi sympathizers began yesterday to take stock of the net results of the affair.

They were, as far as could be ascertained:

Several persons arrested by police for demonstrating near the Garden or for disorderly conduct when the rioters arrested earlier in the evening were brought to Night Court at 314 West Fifty-fourth street.

Three known persons injured and many others bruised in street fighting after the break-up of the meeting.

Statements by Samuel Untermeyer and Bernard S. Deutsch replying to the Garden attacks on them:

Quite a number of men and women in the audience appeared with bandages on. Although very few were given ambulance aid the night before, many required medical attention but preferred to flee from possible arrests and be treated privately later.

Nineteen thousand Nazi headaches in Yorkville and other German sections of the city yesterday morning.

A general feeling of ill will and distrust between pro-Hitlerites and anti-Hitlerites.


The Seventh District Court was packed since noon yesterday by Communists, their sympathizers and other anti-Fascist elements in anticipation of a hearing which was to be conducted by Magistrate Benjamin Greenspan. By three o’clock there was standing room only. But, unlike the previous night, when anti-Fascists gave battle to an extra detail of police in the courtroom and on the spiral stairs which were then liberally spattered with blood, yesterday’s session was orderly.

This was perhaps due to the fact that on the application of the three attorneys for the defendants, the latter were paroled in custody of their counsel until May 23. The only defendant who put up bail the night before, William Gruen, 33, 60 West 107th street, had it remitted.

Others who were paroled, some charged with disorderly conduct in the court after arrests were made following street fighting that lasted through the night in various parts of the Times Square district, were George Mehlinger, 43, 2176 Amsterdam avenue; Robert Peter, 34, 2176 Forty-third street, Astoria, L. I.; Sam Levit, 42, 35 East Nineteenth street; Rose Schwartz, 26, 2526 Valentine avenue, Bronx; Phil Papas, 17, 521 West 130th street; Bernard Nagin, 23, 1916 East Seventy-first street, Brooklyn.

Another arrest was that of Aaron Ross, 32, of 245 Henry street, charged with disorderly conduct because he booed in a skirmish between Nazis and anti-Nazis after the meeting.


The most serious injury resulting from the street fighting early yesterday morning was suffered by Max Steinholtz, 22, of 1778 Vyse avenue, the Bronx, who was treated by an ambulance attendant for cuts on his face and head. Two others, who went home before their names could be ascertained, were injured during the fist fights, and many demonstrators received minor cuts and bruises from encounters.

The meeting at the Garden broke up after 19,999 DAWA demonstrators adopted a resolution calling on President Roosevelt to have the Department of Justice investigate the anti-Nazi boycott, and insisting that the movement is in violation of the anti-trust law.


Speakers who attacked Jewish leaders and demanded that the demonstrators “boycott the boycotters” were: George Sylvester Viereck, American Nazi propagandist; Rheinhold Walter, chief of Friends of New Germany; Louis Zahne, another officer of the group; Henry O. Spier, DAWA leader; Walter Kappe, editor of the Deutsche Zeitung; W. L. McLaughlin, managing editor of that paper; Herbert Schnuch, a Yale student, and Joseph Schuster, Brooklyn Nazi leader and singing waiter.


Samuel Untermyer, president of the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League, issued a statement yesterday afternoon in reference to the Nazi meeting, declaring in part:

“The meeting confirmed my repeated insistence that the loyal German-Americans abhor the Hitler regime with its racial and religious bigotry, hatred, barbarity and persecution of all religions.

“The report of the meeting is most instructive and illuminating, in many respects:

“1. Of all the millions of German-Americans in this country, and the thousands of distinguished men among them, not one outstanding citizen could be found who was willing to stake his good name by addressing that audience or attempting to defend the medieval Hitler rule.

2. Of the obscure men who spoke, not one attempted to defend or excuse the persecution and efforts to destroy the German Catholic and Protestant churches, the imprisonment of their clergy, nor the elimination of Labor Unions and Masonic lodges in Germany and the confiscation of their properties.

“3. The American people will, I firmly believe, know how to resent the boos and insults that were heaped by that meeting upon the President of the American Federation of Labor, Judge Seabury, Ambassador Gerard and the many other non-Jewish members of our board of directors.

“4. Did any speaker try to defend the untold murders and other horrors, disfranchisement and confiscation of property inflicted by the Hitler regime upon its German-Jewish minorities just because they are Jews?

“5. In one breath those gentlemen make the absurd plea that our movement to persuade Americans not to buy German goods, and to buy goods made in America, is illegal, and in the same breath they urge upon German-American citizens the disloyal and seditious action of boycotting American Jews engaged in business here.

“Our organization has, on the other hand, not only discouraged but denounced any attempt to discriminate against German-Americans.

“Never was there a more complete self-exposure of the movement than that furnished by last night’s meeting. The American people are fair-minded. They are neither fools nor bigots. That meeting should, and I believe will, furnish great added impetus to the boycott movement.”


“My only regret is that I didn’t receive as much hissing as Mr. Untermyer.”

This was Aldermanic President Bernard S. Deutsch’s comment Friday on the Friends of New Germany rally in Madison Square Garden Thursday night.

“I feel the policy of the administration in refusing to bar the meeting was fully justified,” Mr. Deutsch continued, “and I’m glad it was held without disturbance or molestation.”

The aldermanic president clarified his viewpoint on the general subject of boycott.

“No group in America have the right to urge boycotts against other Americans,” he declared. “Neither I nor my friends ever have advocated the boycott of American business men or citizens. There is no place in this country for persons who attempt to pit one portion of the population against another.”

Boycott of German goods, however, is another matter, Mr. Deutsch said. So far as he was able to observe, no one of importance participated in the Garden rally.

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