As the first Jewish newspaperman to have met and interviewed Heinz Spanknoebel, Hitler’s spokesman in this country. I can’t suppress a feeling of amusement when I read statements glorifying this fellow and dignifying him with powers which he does not possess.
I am particularly amused when I read in the American Hebrew that he is “a desperado capable of any act to attain his end.” What remarkable powers are given this young man who has learned almost verbatim to repeat statements and views fathered by Hitler.
What sort of a fellow is this Spanknoebel? Simple, without logical power of persuasion, except by repetition and constant emphasis on the views of his “fuehrer”, he makes no impression at all. He is tall and has the Hitler close-cropped moustache, but aside from that it would be ridiculous to credit him with the powers he is said to possess.
RIDICULOUS, NOT DIGNIFIED
It is safe to say that if this German possesses any powers at all at this time, he has acquired them from two sources: From Hitler who supplies the funds and from the Jews who dignify him instead of treating with him ridicule and the type of contempt which completely ignores a spreader of hate which must in the long run defeat the hater.
Why Jews should bother about this man I fail to understand. If anyone is to worry about him it should be our American immigrant service. I am in a position to divulge some facts which were hitherto unknown. Here they are:
Heinz Spanknoebel came to this country about four years ago and was admitted as a minister. He was ordained as a minister in the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Wurtzenburg, Germany, in 1920. But was his entry in the United States legal? Did he ever have a church here? He claimed at one time that his church broke up shortly after his arrival here. But there is no record of the church having ever existed.
WITHOUT RELIGIOUS TIES
Should Jews bother about him? Why should they, if this is a duty of the immigration authorities?
I spoke to Seventh Day Adventists here. They laughed when they were told that Spanknoebel had a church here. One of the Seventh Day Adventist preachers knows him and he informed me that Spanknoebel had left the Sabbath-observers’ church and is today without any religious affiliations.
So there you have it! The Nazi leader, once a Sabbath observer, now without any religious affiliations at all, had entered this country as a minister, and we are to believe that he had a church, without any record of it being available.
To write the complete story of the Spanknoebel comedy would require much space. Here is a fact that is not known: In the U. S. immigration records (see D.L. 55830/8) will be found the story of the arrival and departure from this country of Martha Spanknoebel, sister of Heinz, the Nazi chieftain.
SISTER PROVEN INSANE
Martha arrived in this country on the S.S. Columbus on Dec. 7, 1925, and joined her brother, Karl, at 5192 St. Clair Street, Detroit. At that time she had two brothers and two sisters here. She was single and 22 years old. She became a public charge at the Detroit Receiving Hospital on April 5, 1926 and the U. S. Immigration Department’s Board of Review directed her deportation on Aug. 14, 1926, on the ground of dementia praecox. She was deported to Germany on the S.S. Luetzow on Sept. 21, 1926. So there you have another act in the Spanknoebel family comedy: this one pointing to the existence of insanity in this family group, one of whom is the upholder of the superiority theory for the Aryans!
A few facts about Heinz Spanknobel should be made note of here. As soon as Hitler rose to power in Germany he left for his Vaterland on April 26, 1933, on the Steamer Europa (occupying cabin 905). When he left this country he was already a marked character and was to have been watched by the immigration authorities. But he returned to the United States, also on the Europa, on July 2, 1933, on a certificate of reentry which was issued to him, and he then must have come back with powers assigned to him by his chief. Hitler.
WHERE HE GOT THE MONEY
His visit in Germany also must have been provided him with funds to carry on his propaganda and to finance the printing of the large amount of anti-Semitic propaganda which is being circulated in this country by the Friends of the New Germany.
Spanknoebel’s visit in Germany in the spring of this year was not his only return to Germany since he first settled in the United States. A little over a year ago he visited his parents in Brugenau, Bavaria. He told this writer that at that time he found a strong anti-Nazi sentiment there. The hotel keeper would not rent to Jews, because, reports this Nazi lieutenant, he was afraid the Jewish salesmen would boycott him. Shades of Jewish influence! So Spanknoebel rented a room in his own name and began to spread the Nazi doctrine, with the result that he even influenced the Jews to approve of the Nationalist Socialist program. Such is the ego of this man, as he represented it to this interviewer.
With ridicule Spanknoebel and his group could have been relegated to the realm of scorn and mockery. Before his visit in Germany in April Spanknoebel was able to organize only a few hundred followers in this country, and in Detroit he admittedly had not more than a few dozen supporters. Is Hitler money and Jewish attention giving him a place of importance?
Spanknoebel pleads among Germans for loyalty to their fatherland. His propaganda, coupled with the doubt as to the existence of a church to which he was supposed to have ministered, should make him a subject for investigation by our government. His family record in the immigration department certainly is not a very clean one.
Let the United States government do the investigating.
Let the Jews ignore and ridicule him.
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.