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Nazi Meetings in Chicago Open Advertised in Paper

April 8, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A one-column display ad in The Chicago Daily News today in heavy black type occupying. a space three inches deep proclaims to the reading world that “Friend of New Germany meet each Wednesday niter Reichshalle, 3859 N. Ashland Av., Everyone cordially invited.”

This was the first out-and-out open manifestation of the existence in Chicago of this group of Nazi adherents The advertisement follows charges made today that 500 Germans who reside in Chicago and are members of a Chicago unit of the Friends of New Germany are cooperating in a movement to ## America. These charges were made by two men, one a present member of the unit, the other a former member.

Leaders of the organization, which has headquarters in the Reichshalle at 3859 North Ashland avenue, denied the charges, but a few hours later inserted the advertisement. They said the purpose of the asociation is merely to promote closer relations between Germans in the United States and in Germany.

The leaders of the Chicago unit, or cell, are Fritz Zeglin, 1257 Winnemac avenue; William Neubert, 3337 North Hoyne avenue, and George Wachtendort, 2522 Seminary avenue, who is chief of the group of so-called “uniformed storm troopers.” Fritz Gissibl, leader of the former Teutonic club in Chicago, is said to be head of the national organization and organizer of the Chicago unit.


The member and former member who revealed what they said were the secrets of the Friends of New Germany demanded the protection of anonymity on the grounds that they feared their relatives in Germany would be harrassed if their identities became known.

The two men charged that the primary purpose of the Friends of New Germany is to “turn over to Hitler’s support millions of persons of ‘Aryan’ descent in America with Hitler as their spiritual leader. “The former member charged that a Nazi dictatorship in the United States is hoped for.

He also asserted that he was expelled from the Chicago unit last September because he violated an alleged rule by applying for American citizenship. Another result of this incident, he averred, was that he was severely beaten by four “storm troopers.” He declared that the Chicago organization includes forty storm troopers who drill every Thursday night and expects to mobilize sixty more. These “storm troopers,” he asserted, will stop at nothing to carry out the orders of their leaders.

The weekly program was outlined by the former member as follows: Mondays, a meeting of the leaders; Tuesday, a secret meeting of all members; Thursdays, secret drill by the storm troopers.

The charges of the former member and the present member were conveyed to leaders of the Friends of New Germany at the Ashland avenue headquarters. Zeglin denied them all and also another allegation that he was appointed by Gissibl with these instructions, “You are the czar of the Nazis of Chicago. You are the undisputed authority.”


Zeglin admitted that regular meetings are conducted secretly and that as a further precaution for secrecy only the German language is spoken. Asked about the charges made by the ex-member of being beaten by “storm troopers” Zeglin said there had been several fistic disputes at headquarters. He attributed the report of the beating to some such incident.

The Ashland avenue headquarters can be entered only through a saloon in the front. Both the saloon and the hall are generously decorated with Hitler swastika emblems and other Nazi insignia. In the hall above the rostrum is an American flag flanked by the swastika. The American flag, which is almost new, has only forty-six stars. It was explained that Illinois and New York are not considered members of the Union in Nazi eyes as those States have Jewish governors. In one section of the headquarters is a large room reputedly used by the ‘storm troopers.”

The “storm troops” it is said, during last fall often drilled in uniform in the open in the Cook County Forest Preserves.

The Nazi movement has considerable poltical significance in certain wards where both Democrat and Republican candidates for ward committeemen are seeking German-American votes. Active German-American Democrats who are members of the Friends of New Germany are quietly driving a wedge of anti-Semitic propaganda into their campaign.


There is considerable opposition to Governor Henry Horner based solely on racial prejudice, according to observers within the party ranks who have not as yet joined the Nazi organization. There is said to be a very definite cleavage within the party over German racial propaganda.

One of the German-American organizations mentioned as a “hotbed” of Nazi propaganda is the German Citizens’ Association of which Fred Rixman of 6316 North Paulina street, is the president. Rixman is a candidate for Democratic ward committeeman in the 50th Ward.

Observers do not attach significance to the appearance of the acting German consul general, Wilhelm Tannenberg, at the Reichshalle as chief speaker and at other meetings under distinctive Nazi leadership. They maintain that since the consul is the representative of the Nazi government here it is expected that he is a Hitlerite.

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