Dies Committee Asks Laws to Check Anti-semitic Incitement, Curb ‘ism’ Groups
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Dies Committee Asks Laws to Check Anti-semitic Incitement, Curb ‘ism’ Groups

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Legislation which would outlaw such organizations as the German-American Bund and ban distribution of anti-Semitic propaganda through the U.S. mails was recommended in a seven-point legislative program offered to congress in the report made by the Dies Committee today.

Anti-Semitic propaganda would be “almost completely eliminated” under a proposed law which would restrict propaganda of foreign origin when its distribution involves costs to U.S. tax payers. This measure, Dies pointed out, would not only cover the “tons” of German propaganda currently being landed on the West Coast from Japanese ships in ever-increasing amounts, but would also cover much of the output of domestic anti-Semitic and Fascist organizations. He noted that the publications and speeches of such organizations and individuals as William Dudley Pelley, James True, the Christian Front and others repeated almost word for word the releases of the Nazi World Service and other totalitarian organizations.

Also recommended were measures calling for the mandatory deportation of aliens, spies and saboteurs and of non-citizens advocating “any basic change” in the present form of government in this country; full citizenship as a requirement for all Federal employees, the withholding of Federal funds from educational institutions permitting Communists, Nazis and Fascists on their staff; denial of immigration from countries refusing to accept the return of their nationals ordered deported by the U.S., and the extension of the period in which citizenship can be revoked to 10 years and of the period in which prosecution can be brought for the use of fraudulent passports from three to seven years.

The committee also recommended that it be extended for two more years and that a policy of denying employment to persons who have been or are members of foreign-controlled organizations be adopted by U.S. industry.

The Bund, the American branch of the Nazi Party and similar organizations would, in the opinion of Committee Chairman Martin Dies, be outlawed by recommended legislation banning entirely all organizations shown to be under foreign control — a more drastic measure than the existing law, which calls for their registration by Jan. 16.

The committee report declared these organizations “furnish the legal apparatus for the operations of saboteurs and the window-dressing for espionage,” and voiced the belief that legislation could be worked out which would outlaw such organizations without violating the guarantees of the Bill of Rights.

Reviewing the committee’s work over the past year, the report said it had been definitely proved that the Trans-Ocean News Service, the German Library of Information, the German Railroad Information Service, the American Fellowship Forum and many individual German agents had been revealed to be part of the vast system of front organizations cloaking espionage, sabotage and propaganda activities under the direction of the Nazi Government. It estimated that these organizations had spent well over a million dollars a year in the last few years in this country to promote Hitler’s avowed objective of creating dissension.

It also revealed for the first time details of the organization of the Kyffhauser bund, an organization of German war veterans in the U.S. The committee report declared the Bund worked in close collaboration with other Nazi front organizations in the U.S. and pointed out its membership book stressed rifle and pistol practice and bore a space for “recommendation of organization leader as to member’s ability of being trusted with confidential work.” Organized in 1937, the Bund is now active in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Michigan, Illinois and Texas.

In recommending that the committee be extended for two more years, the report said no other Federal investigating unit would have been able to publicize evidence relating to the activities of Nazi diplomatic officials in this country. The threatening letters of Baron von Spiegel, Consul General in New Orleans, to editors of German-American papers in the South were cited in this connection.

It was also pointed out that some time would have to be taken before all the evidence in the committee’s possession could be evaluated as the basis for the recommended legislation. While it was unable to obtain any definite figures as to the total amount of totalitarian propaganda carried by the U.S. postal system, the report stated that all indications pointed to a steadily increasing amount. A total of close to nine tons of propaganda mail sent by H.R. Hoffman of Munich to West Coast ports between Sept. 5 and Nov. 27 of last year was reported to the committee by postal authorities as an indication of the complete picture.

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