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Fifth Column Seen Able to Rally 2,000,000 Men in Americas

June 16, 1940
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The fifth column can muster nearly 2,000,000 men with military training in nine countries of North and South America, it was estimated today by the newspaper Civilizacion, organ of the Anti-Racist Institute of Chile.

The newspaper, listing German Nazis, Italian Fascists and Nazi-Fascist natives in the potential army of the Fifth Column, said there were 1,040,000 effectives in the United States alone. Other nations with fifth columns having large rosters of army-trained men were listed as follows: the Argentine, 250,000; Brazil, 328,000; Canada, 157,000;Chile, 28,000, and Mexico, 39,000.

“The fifth column in the Western Hemisphere,” the newspaper said, “has existed for eight years and waits only for the United States to enter the European conflict–it then will mobilize in a short time and stab the American democracies in the back.”

Taking up the fifth column in Chile, the newspaper charged that it was under the direct leadership of employes of the German Embassy and consulates. The duties of these diplomatic employes, Civilizacion said, have been subordinated to their work for the fifth column. At the head of the column is the Partido Nacional Socialista Aleman (National Socialist German Workers Party), which takes orders directly from Ernst Bohle, head of the Foreign Office of the German Nazi party in Stuttgart.

Membership in this party is drawn largely from the German colony in Chile, the newspaper said, adding that as German subjects they were bound to blind obedience to Hitler, thus forming a state within a state in Chile. Chileans of German descent have founded a separate organization, whose main purpose is to raise funds for the Nazi party.

While previously the Chilean Nazis maintained their own offices and conducted propaganda openly, they are now working under cover, using large commercial enterprises and the German Embassy and consulates to conceal their insidious activities, the newspaper stated. The Chilean fifth column includes a majority of the German teachers, who owe their positions in the German schools here to the Nazi Party, although these schools are subsidized by the Chilean Government.

The newspaper charged also that a large proportion of the Germans employed by commercial and industrial enterprises in Chile were members of the German Labor Front and were active as German spies.

Civilizacion asserted that the rightist press in Chile was playing an important role in fifth column activities. It listed in this category such newspapers as the two German daily newspapers, The German Newspaper for Chile and the West Coast Observer; the provincial papers controlled by the Nazi-owned syndicate Sociedad Periodistica Del Sur; El Chileno and El Impartial of Santiago, and a number of weekly papers.

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