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Ivy Lee Denies Nazi Sympathies; Report in Press is Discredited

May 24, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Responding to “rumors” widely featured in the Yiddish press yesterday, the offices of Ivy Lee Sr., one of the foremost publicity men of the country, yesterday told the Jewish Daily Bulletin that the concern had nothing whatever to do with Nazi propaganda or the activities of Nazis in this country.

According to the reports which appeared in the foreign language press. Ivy Lee had been brought before the Congressional Committee to Investigate Nazi Propaganda, and subsequently he had written his resignation from the League of Friends of New Germany under pressure from Rockefeller interests, which he represents as public relations counsel at a salary of $30,000 yearly. The “tip-off” to the story, one of the papers admitted, came in a two-line reference appearing in Walter Winchell’s column in the Daily Mirror. Dr. I. T. Griebl, who has long been identified with Nazi affairs, was mentioned as one of the Nazis who took part at an alleged executive session of the League of Friends of New Germany at the Turn Halle from morning until midnight, which assertedly was called for the purpose of discussing Lee’s rumored withdrawal.

Lee, who has been ailing for months, was not available yesterday. It was said that he has been out of town recently.

Burnham Carter, a partner of and spokesman for Lee, denied that the concern had anything to do with Nazi propaganda or activities either here or in Germany. He stated that the concern’s sole German account consisted of publicity work for the large Industrial Gesellschaft, the German dye industry. He stated further that Ivy Lee had absolutely no connection with the Friends of New Germany or any of its leaders, that he had not been threatened with the withdrawal of the Rockefeller accounts in the event that he “continued handling Nazi propaganda,” and that no word, written or oral had ever passed between the Friends of New Germany and Ivy Lee.

Dr. I. T. Griebl, prominently mentioned as having taken part in the alleged executive session in the Turn Halle, states that he has no knowledge of such a session, and that he did not meet with the Friends of New Germany on Tuesday, as claimed. He said that, to his knowledge, the only meeting held was the regular weekly meeting of the League of Friends of New Germany which took place at the Turn Halle on Tuesday night but this, he asserts, he did not attend.

Observers at the Congressional Committee secret hearings held here last week report that Ivy Lee did not appear before the committee. It was said, however, that Lee’s accounts had been brought before the committee, apparently to learn whether or not his concern had transferred funds from Germany to Nazis in this country. Account books brought before the committee, It was said, constituted almost a truckload. They were brought by two men from Lee’s offices.

Carter, Lee’s partner, would not discuss the investigation. He refused to state whether or not Lee had appeared before that body, and he expressed the opinion that Lee himself would not give the information inasmuch as the hearings were private.

When asked concerning the authenticity of reports that Ivy Lee Jr., Lee’s son, had any connection with the Reichs propaganda Ministerium in Berlin and whether or not he had been assigned a desk in that department, carter yesterday replied that he had no knowledge of these reports.

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