Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Police Avert Nazi Riot

December 16, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Late Friday night the Schnuch clique was still in control of the Friends of New Germany headquarters at 205 East Eighty-fifth street.

A knock-down and drag-out fight between two warring factions of the Nazi Friends of New Germany, as revealed exclusively in Thursday’s Jewish Daily Bulletin, emulated the best Hitler traditions Friday night, with Anton Haegele’s henchmen taking forceable possession of the printing plant of the Deutscher Beobachter while Dr. Hubert Schnuch’s loyal followers remained in command of the publication’s news and business departments.

The thirteenth floor of the Albano Building at 305 East Forty-sixth street, where the newspaper makes its headquarters, was a bitterly disputed fortress, with a locked door separating the printing section from the other two departments.

Two separate entrances to the building one leading to the freight elevator and the printing plant, the other giving ingress to the passenger elevator and the news and business rooms were under twenty-four-hour guard by two antagonistic groups of poker-faced young men, who narrowly scrutinized each would-be entrant.

Police in the precinct kept a strict vigil to prevent outbreaks of violence in or near the building. A police detachment was sent to Beobachter headquarters to “maintain the peace” at the request of both Nazi factions.

Reports that a night operator on the freight elevator had been subjected to a physical attack could not be verified at the precinct station-house, which had no record of the incident.

Neither Dr. Schnuch, titular national president of the “Friends,” nor Haegele, leader of the revolt which hopes to depose him, would divulge what steps were planned to clarify the situation.


An informant who asked that his name be withheld, however, declared that Schnuch will ask an injunction, through Walter Van Sickle, counsel for the “Friends,” against operation of the Beobachter plant by the Haegele forces.

It was difficult to predict Friday night which faction will gain eventual ascendancy over Manhattan and the Bronx, which hold within their confines the disputed territory.


On the basis that “possession is nine points of the law” Haegele appeared to have the upper hand, for the time being, at least, since his men were in control of the Beobachter’s printing plant and included in their group every former Manhattan official of the Friends.

Among the heads which figuratively rolled in the dust by order of Schnuch were those of Ludwig Glaser, former business manager of the organization’s New York district, and Gerhard Procht, former employment manager of the district.


In the Bronx, according to an edict handed down by Joseph Schuster, “Friends” eastern district leader, “the following persons were relieved of their {SPAN}p##ts{/SPAN}… on account of gross offenses against the principles of the League”:

Fritz Schroeder, Richard Dessecker, Hans Gruber, Ferdinand Schreiber, Albin Machold, Willy Gengenbach and Paul Scholz.

In addition to these men every Manhattan district official has been discharged by Schnuch. All have cast their lot with Haegele.

Schnuch’s contingent in Manhattan now consists entirely of lay members, who compared the fight with the “Roehm revolt” in Germany which ended in wholesale executions last June.


The Beobachter, which according to usual schedule was to have been published Friday night, did not appear at that time. Haegele’s men said a paper would be ready for sale by Saturday morning and evidenced their intention of working all night to make good their promise.

There was some speculation as to whether this publication would bear the masthead of the Deutscher Beobachter, to which, Schnuch declares, Haegele is not entitled.

Louis Zahne, who suffered a heart attack Wednesday night during an impassioned appeal for the Schnuch cause, was reported resting comfortably Friday by Dr. Ignatz T. Griebl, attending physician.

Recommended from JTA