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Stay Charter for ‘Shirts’ in Pennsylvania

April 13, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Silver Shirt Legion of America, Inc., will not be permitted "to do business" in Pennsylvania beginning Saturday, as they had originally planned.

In a letter to Samuel L. Einhorn, chairman of a special committee of B’rith Sholom, fraternal order with national headquarters here Richard J. Beamish, secretary of the Commonwealth, announced that he had issued instructions to the Bureau of Corporations "to hold up this application and to give to those who are protesting an opportunity to be heard on all phases of the application."

Action by the state followed formal protest by B’rith Sholom yesterday. In a letter to Governor Pinchot, Einhorn explained that the Silver Shirts are the same organization that is operating in other parts of the country under William Dudley Pelley.


Einhorn’s protest against the issuance of a certificate of incorporation was in the name of B’rith Sholom.

Fear was expressed that due to legal technicalities Governor Pinchot may be powerless to deny the application. The act relating to non-profit corporations, approved by the Governor, provides that the Department of State shall not issue a certificate of authority to any foreign non-profit corporation if the application for the certificate of authority sets forth any kind of business for which the domestic non-profit corporation could not be formed under the laws of this Commonwealth.

"Under the former Pennsylvania law." Einhorn explained, "it was possible for a foreign corporation to engage in such business in Pennsylvania, for which no Pennsylvania charter could be obtained. The new provision is an attempt to eliminate this anomalous condition and in so doing equalize domestic and foreign corporations.

"If the Silver Shirt Legion of America, Inc.," Einhorn added, "were intending to do business as a domestic corporation, it would be necessary, under our procedure here, to file a petition with our courts and a hearing would be held before a master, at which hearing testimony would be given with respect to the purposes of the organization.


"Certainly, it seems quite clear that the Silver Shirts, being a corporation of the State of Delaware, are attempting to get in via the back door into Pennsylvania and avoid the rigorous rule now obtaining with respect to the granting of charters to domestic corporations."

Louis J. Herbets, Deputy Inspector General; Isaac E. Bloch, historian, of the Louis Simelson Post No. 54, Jewish War Veterans of the United States, in a telegram to Governor Pinchot voiced protest against granting the charter.

"Organizations animated by bigotry, stimulated by race prejudice and dedicated to strife and race hatred should have no place in America," the veterans’ protest read. "Silver Shirts of America, Inc., is just such an organization. We condemn their efforts to arrest the progress of food-will and understanding among our neighbors and their activities to break down the spirit of rebuilding and rehabilitation in which you and our national leaders are engaged.

"We appeal to you as our Governor, who is known to be an outstanding liberal and one who has always opposed every phase of intolerance, to use your good office to check the spread of this menace in our Commonwealth. There is no place for Silver Shirts, Inc., in our fair state."


Abraham Berkowitz, member of the National Anti – Defamation Commission and chairman of District 3, B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Committee, covering Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia and Delaware, also telegraphed to Governor Pinchot, Secretary of the Commonwealth Beamish and Attorney General William A. Schander protesting the right to Silver Shirts to operate in Pennsylvania.

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