United States. Congress. House. Special Committee.

Investigation of un-American propaganda activities in the United States. Hearings before a Special Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Seventy-fifth Congress, third session-Seventy-eighth Congress, second session, on H. Res. 282, to investigate (l) the extent, character, a online

. (page 8 of 16)
Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Special CommitteeInvestigation of un-American propaganda activities in the United States. Hearings before a Special Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Seventy-fifth Congress, third session-Seventy-eighth Congress, second session, on H. Res. 282, to investigate (l) the extent, character, a → online text (page 8 of 16)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


among Von Bernstoff 's papers. In November 1915 Emerson received
a wire from Ambassador Bernstoff expressing regret at missing him
and stating that "Paper will inform me." He has received funds from
official German sources for services to the German Propaganda Bureau.
On November 22, 1918, the President of Guatemala charged Emerson
with being a German spy. In 1921 and 1923, Emerson was expelled
from Austria and Switzerland as an undesirable alien engaged in
subversive activity.

Emerson seems to have been as active in behalf of the Nazi German
Government as he was in behalf of the Kaiser. In its issue for May
15, 1933, the "Amerika Deutsche Post," a pro-Nazi paper published
in New York, announced that its headquarters were in room 1923 in
the Whitehall Building, at 17 Battery Place. This was the office of
Colonel Emerson. On August 29, 1940, the Honorable Wright Patman
testified before the Special Committee on Un-American Activities
that —

Colonel Edwin Emeison of New York was named the Nazi rally's representative
in America * * * both by the German Consul in New York and by the

56



UN-AMERICAN PROPAGANDA ACTIVITIES 57

German Tourist Information Office. * * * He was one of the first to come
here representing the Nazi form of government in America. He had charge of
Nazi activities in 1933 and in subsequent years.

(Hearings, vol. 14, pp. 8168, 8179.)

A dispatch to the Chicago Daily News from their Berlin corre-
spondent, Junius B. Wood, declared:

An announcement from the press section of the Nazi party that Colonel Edwin
Emerson, a New York clubman, has been named representative of the party's
interests in the United States, revives unpleasant memories for many Americans
who served overseas during the World War.

In his testimony before the MeCormack committee, Carl C.
Dickey, advertising representative of the German Tourists Informa-
tion, declared that Emerson had asked him to send out the pamphlet
"Church and State" by Frederick Franklin Schrader, published by
the Friends of Germany, 17 Battery Place, New York City. The
following excerpts from this pamphlet, issued to counteract the tide
of religious opposition to Hitler and his regime, will show its propa-
gandists nature:

Patriotic Germans take great satisfaction in the recent improvement of rela-
tions between the Church and State in the Fatherland * * * What Bis-
marck failed to accomplish in eight years of cultural struggle (Kulturkampf)
Hitler won for his people in six months of negotiations.

Frederick Franklin Schrader w r as an employee of the German Consul
who had carried on pro-German propaganda during the World War
and had been a WTiter for the "American Observer," the English
supplement to the pro-Nazi "Amerika Deutsche Post."

Congressman Patman testified that —

Colonel Emerson maintained a "translation and advertising bureau" in the
Whitehall Building, 17 Battery Place, New York, which is also the address of
the German Consul General. This happens to be the same place where the
publication Facts in Review was issued.

Emerson's aides in this enterprise were Frederick Franklin Schrader,
T. St. John Gaffney, former American Consul General in Munich
who was retired during the first World War because of pro-German
activity, Ferdinand Hansen, Joseph J. O'Donohue, Rev. Francis
Gross, and Arthur Fleming Waring (hearings, vol. 14, p. 8206).

Emerson was the director of the Friends of Germany, with offices
at 17 Battery Place, New York.

Emerson was a contributor to the Deutscher Weckruf and Beo-
bachter, official Bund organ, and arranged for Fritz Kuhn's trip to
Nazi Germany (hearings, vol. 8, p. 5195).

Emerson w r as in close touch with Royal Scott Gulden, who organ-
ized the secret "Order of 76," William Dudley Pelley, head of the
Silver Shirts, and George Sylvester Viereck, convicted Nazi propa-
gandist. In fact, Pelley lived with Emerson for some time at the
Hotel Edison in New York. Members of this group together wdth
Carl Guenther Orgell, Emerson's secretary, and Captain Mensing of
the North German Lloyd Line are reported to have had numerous
parties aboard the Europa, the Bremen, and the Deutschland, accord-
ing to testimony presented to this committee (hearings, vol. 12, pp.
7541 to 7552).

According to the testimony of William Dudley Pelley, Emerson of-
fered to place 15,000 Germans in Pelley's Silver Legion at $10 per
head, an offer w T hich Pelley declared he lefused.



58 UN-AMERICAN PROPAGANDA ACTIVITIES

In connection with its exposure of Manfred Zapp and the Trans-
ocean News Service, the committee found two pieces of correspondence
with Emerson. Exhibit 122, in appendix — Part II, reads as follows:

September 13, 1939.
Col. Edwin Emerson,

5 Edgewood Terrace, Alexandria, Va.,

Belle Haven.
Dear Sir: According to your request I am sending you, for a month on trial
our Transocean News Service.

In these times of crisis and war, the Transocean News Service is in the posi-
tion to make its news reports available to individuals, interested in Central
European events.

The Transocean News Service, whose headquarters are in Berlin, Germany, is
a privately owned corporation, not to be confused with the DNB (Deutsches
Nachrichtenbuero) , Transocean specializes in Central European and Near East-
ern news and has an excellent coverage of the Baltics, the Balkans, the Orient
and Germany. Transocean carries all of the official government statements of
Central Europe and does not permit its correspondence to color facts with
individual opinion and comment.

The Transocean News Service reports, which will be issued daily, would cost
$3.00 a week.

If you are interested in the Transocean News Service for your own information,
please send me a note.
Very truly yours,

Manfred Zapp.

Subsequent to this offer from Zapp, Emerson voluntarily sent in a
report to Transocean and closed his letter with a "Sieg-Heil for your
Fuehrer." The letter is addressed to Tonn, Zapp's assistant.

5 Edgewood Terr., Belle Haven,

Alexandria, Va., September 28, 1989.
Mr. Tonn,

Transocean, 341 Madison Avenue,

New York City.
Dear Mr. Tonn: In accordance with my promise I am sending you a brief
repoit about an occurrence which may have escaped your local representative,
since nearly all the local papers assiduously suppressed it. It is of course under-
stood that for such small services I do not expect any honorarium.

As I have stated orally to you, you have my sincere sympathy in the difficulties
of your dangerous post. You are so constantly devoting yourself to Transocean
and your fatherland that you are able to overcome attendant inconveniences.

Of your reports, which are always welcome, only two have failed to appear so
far. My latest German mail arrived so mischievously rumpled that postman felt
constrained to apologize for the Alexandria Post Office.
With a Sieg-Heil for your Fuehrer,
Yours,

(Signed) Edwin Emerson.

FRIENDS OF GERMANY

The Friends of Germany was organized in 1933 by Emerson.

The Friends of New Germany, immediate predecessor of the
German- American Bund, appeared on the scene shortly after the
formation of Emerson's Friends of Germany.

In May 1934, the leaders of the two organizations with similar
names — the Friends of Germany and the Friends of New Germany —
negotiated an arrangement whereby the members of the Friends of
Ciermany were to be admitted to the Friends of New Germany
without the payment of an initiation fee. Thereupon, the Friends
of Germanv was dissolved.



GERMAN-AMERICAN BUND

(Amerikadeutscher Volksbund)

The German-American Bund followed closely the pattern of treason
made familiar by the Nazis in such organizations as those of Norway's
Quisling, Czechoslovakia's Henlein, Belgium's Degrelle, and Jugo-
slavia's Pavelic. Operating under the flimsy pretext of cultural objec-
tives and general German-American welfare, the bund was always and
everywhere a Nazi agency working for disruption, espionage, sabotage,
and treason. The bund's pious pretenses were so shallow that it is
impossible to believe that any considerable proportion of its member-
ship was ever truly deceived concerning its objectives.

THE COMMITTEE'S INVESTIGATION

On August 12, 1938, this committee held its first public hearings.
In an all-day session, the committee heard four witnesses who testi-
fied concerning the German-American Bund and its counterpart for
German nationals, the German Bund.

The most important of the committee's first witnesses was Peter
Gissibl, who had been active in the pro-Nazi organizations which pre-
ceded the formation of the German-American Bund and had later, for
a period of more than a year, been the local leader of the bund in
Chicago.

It was definitely established through the testimony of Gissibl that
Fritz Kuhn had ordered the destruction of bund correspondence and
membership lists in order to prevent their coming into the hands of
this committee. At the very outset of its investigations, therefore,
the committee was faced with the defiance and recalcitrance of the
bund leaders. Nevertheless, the very act of destroying its records
strongly confirmed the widely held suspicion of the subversive char-
acter and aims of the German-American Bund

During the latter half of 1938, the committee employed as an inves-
tigator a man who had become a member of the bund in order to
obtain evidence of the bund's character from the inside.

The committee heard 23 witnesses on the bund in public sessions.
These included some of the outstanding leaders of the bund itself.

The following is a tabulation of the witnesses who appeared before
the committee in public sessions and gave testimony on the German-
American Bund, together with the dates of their appearance and the

59



60



UN-AMERICAN" PROPAGANDA ACTIVITIES



pages of the committee's hearings on which their testimony may be
found :



Witness



John C. Metcalfe.
Peter Gissibl



Frank Davin

James J. Metcalfe. . .

John M. Sweeney...

Roy P. Monohan...

John C. Metcalfe

Do

Do

Do

Arnold Gingrich

John C. Metcalfe....

Bernhard Hoffman.

LeRoy Schulz

John C. Metcalfe....

Do

Do

Do

Theodore Graebner.

John C. Metcalfe..-.



Date of ap-
pearance



Aug. 12,1938
.._.do



do

do .

Sept. 15, 193S
Sept. 16, 1938
Sept. 28,1938
Sept. 29, 1938
Sept. 30, 1938
Oct. 5, 1938
Oct. 6, 1938
Nov. 5,1938
do__



do

Nov. 15, 1938

Nov. 16, 1938

Nov. 19, 1938

Nov. 21, 1938

Dec. 9, 1938

Dec. 14,1938



Page of
commit-
tee
hearing



3-90

47-72

84-86

72-75

75-84

1026-1037

1081-1096

1107-1139

1141-1162

1163-1180

1203-1219

1221-1237

2117

2118-2129

2129-2142

2235-2246

2287-2288

2340-2363

2366-2389

3004-3015

3025-3027



Witness



Fritz Kuhn.
Do



Helen Vooros

John C. Metcalfe

Henry D. Allen

Do

Robert B. Barker

Do

Gerhart H. Seger

Neil Howard Ness

Do

Fritz Kuhn

Richard T. Forbes

Gerhard Wilhelm Kunze

August Klapprott

Arthur H. Bell

A. M. Young

Otto Hohner

Herman A. Ries

Richard W. Werner



Date of ap-
pearance



Aug. 16,1939
Aug. 17,1939

Aug. 18,1939

do

Aug. 22. 1939
Aug. 24, 1939
Aug. 28, 1939
Aug. 29, 1939
Sept. 25, 1939
Oct. 5, 1939

6. 1939
19, 1939
21, 1939

1. 1940
2, 1940

...do

....do _.

do

do

Oct. 4, 1940



Oct.
Oct.
Oct.
Oct-
Oct.



Page of
commit-
tee
hearing



3705-3814
3815-3889
f3891-3942
^3946-3960
3942-3946
3971-4044
4080-4179
4181-4237
4239-4208
5175-5203
5489-5506
5511-5530
6043-6124
6185-6211
8251-8283
8285-8307
8307-8313
8313-8318
8318-8323
8323-8330
8331-8388



In addition to the foregoing witnesses who were heard in public
sessions of the committee, 56 other witnesses were heard on the bund
in executive sessions of the committee.

For several months the committee employed special investigators
who were acquainted with the German language. These investi-
gators spent their entire time in examining the publications of the
German-American Bund, particularly the Deutscher Weckruf unci
Beobachter, which was the bund's official organ.



THE COMMITTEE S REPORTS ON THE BUND

In its first report to the House of Representatives in January 1939,
this committee dealt at length with the German-American Bund.
(See pp. 91-113 of that report.) The same was done in subsequent
annual reports to the House.

In January 1941, the committee issued a special report of 178 pages
dealing exclusively with the bund. This report is known as Appen-
dix — Part IV. This report was introduced by the prosecution in the
recent trial of bund leaders in New York, a trial which resulted
in the conviction of all the defendants. In this report, based largely
upon documents obtained from the personal effects of Gerhard
Wilhelm Kunze, the committee found the following things:

1. That the bund was characterized by the same ruthless
efficiency of the military set-up which characterized Hitler's
machine in Germany.

2. That bund members were subjected to "absolute loyalty"
and "blind obedience" to the bund's fuehrer.

3. That the bund demanded that its members be "fanatical
fighters" for national socialism.

4. That the bund anticipated the necessity of violence in
carrying out its program.



UN-AMERICAN" PROPAGANDA ACTIVITIES 61

5. That the bund was characterized by extreme religious
bigotry.

6. That the bund aimed at the establishment of a new kind of
government in the United States, one which should incorporate
the principle of Nazi religious bigotry.

7. That the bund kept a systematic record of its enemies.

8. That the bund specified that its meetings should be closed
with the following declaration: "To a free, Gentile-ruled United
States and to our fighting movement of awakened Aryan Ameri-
cans, a threefold rousing 'Free America! Free America! Free
America!' "

9. That the bund was an absolutely secret organization.

10. That the bund looked upon all Americans of German
descent as owing loyalty to the Reich.

11. And that the bund was ideologically and organizationally
tied to Nazi Germany.

OUTLINE OF THE BUND's HISTORY

Tracing the organizational background of the German-American
Bund briefly, we find the following stages:

(1) The first definitely Nazi group organized on American soil was
formed in Chicago in October 1924. The group was known as Teu-
tonia and its founder was Fritz Gissibl. Gissibl, who was an alien,
at the time, later became a member of the National Socialist German
Labor Party (the full English title of the Nazi Party in Germany).
He was born in Nuremberg, Germany, and came to the United
States in December 1923. A period of only 10 months elapsed between
time of his arrival in this country and the time of his forming Teutonia.
He made no secret of his allegiance to Adolf Hitler. Gissibl was a
printer by trade and was employed on the Chicago Daily News until
his Nazi activities were publicly exposed. According to Gissibl' s
sworn statements, Teutonia never had more than 50 members in Chi-
cago. In 1931, a branch of Teutonia was formed in Detroit. The
Detroit branch was still smaller, having an approximate membership
of 12. The leader of the Detroit branch of Teutonia was one Walter
Hentschel. Hubert Sclmuch succeeded Fritz Gissibl as leader of the
Chicago branch of Teutonia. According to Gissibl, Teutonia was dis-
banded in 1932. Approximtely 1 year later, most of the members of
Teutonia joined the Friends of New Germany. Peter Gissibl, Fritz's
brother, and Hubert Schnuch both testified that Teutonia was the
forerunner of the Friends of New Germany.

(2) Between the time of the dissolution of Teutonia and the time of
the formation of the Friends of New Germany, approximately 1 year
elapsed. During that interim of 1 year, locals of the National
Socialist German Labor Party were organized in Chicago and Detroit.
A local of the Nazi Party had previously been organized in New York
City. In April 1933, on orders from Rudolf Hess, deputy leader of
the Nazi Party in Germany, these American locals of the National
Socialist German Labor Party were disbanded.

(3) In July 1933, the Friends of New Germany was formed in
Chicago. According to Fritz Gissibl, "the left-overs of the former
Nazi Party and their friends" sent delegates to Chicago for the pur-
pose of setting up the Friends of New Germany. The Chicago



62 UN-AMERICAN PROPAGANDA ACTIVITIES

convention elected Heinz Spanknoebel as leader and Fritz Gissibl
as deputy leader of the new organization. New York City was
chosen as the seat of the organization's national headquarters.
Spanknoebel, a photoengraver by trade, claimed that he was a
clergyman at the time he entered the United States. At the public
hearings of the McCormack committee (Special Committee on
Un-American Activities) on June 6, 1934, a letter from Heinz Spank-
noebel to Walter Kappe was introduced in evidence. This letter
read, in part, as follows:

First of all, confidentially, for technical reasons my commission must continue
as leader of the defense and enlightenment in the U. S. A., for which also the
necessary funds have been appropriated. * * * Our office here leans closely
on the consul general, and at present, I am occupied with negotiations and with
furnishing the office. * * * Have full authorizations from the Supreme
Party Office as well as from the Ministry for Propaganda.

This letter was dated July 6, 1933.

(4) On December 1, 1935, Fritz Kuhn became the head or fuehrer
of the Friends of New Germany. In March 1936, in Buffalo, the
Friends of New Germany became the German-American Bund and
Fritz Kuhn was made its leader. Kuhn remained as leader until
December 1939, when he was convicted of the misuse of the funds
of the organization. Gerhard Wilhelm Kunze thereupon succeeded
Kuhn as the bund's fuehrer.

FRITZ KUHN

Fritz Julius Kuhn was born in Munich, Germany, on May. 15, 1896.
According to his own testimony, he received his education in Munich,
completing a university course there.

In the First World War Kuhn was a machine gunner in the infantry
of the German Army. He states that he served 4^ years with the
German forces, and by the end of the war had attained the rank of
lieutenant.

Kuhri's brother, Max, was appointed a member of the German Supreme
Covrt by Hitler — sufficient evidence that the Kuhn family stands in
well with the Nazi Fuehrer.

When Kuhn was a witness before the Special Committee on Un-
American Activities, he stated that he had never at any time been a
member of the National Socialist Party in Germany. However, his
testimony on this point was in conflict with a statement which ap-
peared in the official publication of the Friends of New Germany, the
Nazi organization which preceded the German-American Bund. In
this publication, a picture of Kuhn was carried in the issue of Decem-
ber 30, 1935. Kuhn, who had just become the recognized national
leader of the Nazi element among Germans in this country, was
introduced to his Nazi followers with the following statement:

Mr. Fritz Kuhn became a member of the Nazi Party in 1921 and was active
under (lie then Munich police commissioner, one of the first leading Nazi officials,
Dr. Poehner.

Kuhn further testified before the Special Committee on Un-Ameri-
can Activities that he had had no part in the Munich beer hall putsch
of November 9, 1923. This, too, was in direct conflict with the state-
ment which appeared under his picture in the Friends of New Germany
paper of December 30, 1935, which declared:



UN-AMERICAN PROPAGANDA ACTIVITIES 63

When on November 9, 1923, in front of the Feldherrenhalle in Munich, Bavarian
police shot at the Nazis marching under the leadership of Hitler and Ludendorff,
Kuhn was among the marching Nazis.

Whether Kuhn committed perjury on the foregoing questions when
he was a witness before the committee, or whether the Nazi news-
paper deliberately falsified his record and background, the committee
is not in a position to state. One thing is certain, however, and that
is that the Friends of New Germany desired very much to present
itself as a bona fide Nazi organization by correctly or falsely, as the
case may be, introducing its fuehrer as one of the original and devoted
followers of Adolf Hitler.

Kuhn entered the United States at Laredo, Tex., on or about May
18, 1927. Prior to that date, he claims to have had a residence of
about 3 years in Mexico.

After his entry into the United States, Kuhn proceeded directly to
Detroit, where he obtained employment in the Henry Ford Hospital
and later as a chemical engineer in the Ford Motor Co. Kuhn's
employment in these Ford institutions lasted about 8 years.

Kuhn w r as naturalized in Detroit on December 3, 1934.

Prior to his naturalization, Fritz Kuhn became a member of the
Friends of New Germany, the Nazi organization which was the pred-
ecessor of the German-American Bund. Kuhn was, in fact, the
local unit leader of the Friends of New Germany in Detroit. It is,
therefore, apparent that, wholly apart from other evidence, Kuhn's
loyalty was to Nazi Germai\y at the very time that he took out his
final citizenship papers in the United States. Almost 3 years later,
Kuhn made it unequivocally clear that his American citizenship had
not interfered with his loyalty to Nazi Germany. In his bund news-
paper, Deutscher Weckruf und Beobachter, for April 22, 1937, Kuhn
wrote as follows:

We may have various citizenship papers in our drawers, but we are all Germans
and part of the great German nation of a hundred million people.

The German-American Bund was formally launched at a national
convention held in Buffalo, N. Y., in March 1936. Kuhn testified
before the Special Committee on Un-American activities that he
personally called this convention together. He was made bundes-
fuehrer (bund leader) of the new organization. Subsequently, Kuhn
became head of three subsidiary or affiliated organizations. They
were the German-American Business League, the A. V. Publishing
Corporation, and the A. V. Development Corporation. (The initials
A. V. Stand for the German title of the bund which is Amerika-
deutscher Volksbund).

In the Deutscher Weckruf und Beobachter, official bund news-
paper, the visit of Kuhn and a delegation of German-American Bund
storm troopers to Germany was described with obvious pride in both
words and pictures. The accounts of this visit, which took place in
1936, are found in the Deutscher Weckruf and Beobachter for August
6, August 27, and September 10, 1936. When these bund storm
troopers paraded in Berlin before Hitler himself, the Nazi Feuhrer
stood on the balcony of the Chancellory. As Hitler stood there
viewing this parade, Fritz Kuhn went to the baleoiry and, according
to the words of the Deutscher Weckruf und Beobachter itself, "Bund
Leader Fritz Kuhn reported to him." The German text of this episode

279895—43 — Appendix 7 5



64 UN-AMERICAN PROPAGAXDA ACTIVITIES

is as follows: "Auf clem Balkon der Reichskanzlei stehend, nahm
Reichskanzler Hitler den Vorbeimarsch ab, Bundesfuehrer Fritz
Kuhn erstattet ihm Meldung." It cannot be denied that Hitler in
this manner gave the highest official recognition of the fact that the
German-American Bund was a Nazi agency and that Bundesfuehrer
Fritz Kuhn was a subordinate of Hitler himself. According to the
report which was published in the bund's own newspaper, Hitler
replied to Kuhn, "Now you go back and continue your struggle."

Fritz Kuhn permitted himself to be described as "the American
Henlein" in the Deutscher Weckruf und Beobachter of August 31,
1939. The treasonable role of Henlein in Czechoslovakia is, of course,
a matter of public record. Kulm's career as leader of the German-
American Bund and the record of the bund itself fit perfectly the
pattern made familiar by Quisling in Norway, Degrelle in Belgium,
and Henlein in Czechoslovakia.

From March 1936, until he was sent to prison, Kuhn occupied the
position of bundesfuehrer in the German-American Bund. In the
organization, his word was law. In November 1939, Kuhn was con-
victed of misuse of the funds of the German-American Bund and was
committed to prison shortly thereafter.

Fritz Kuhn was a witness before the Special Committee on Un-
American Activities on August 16 and 17, and October 19, 1939. The
transcript of his testimony may be found on pages 3705-3889 and
6043-6124 of the committee's published hearings.

GERHARD WILHELM KIJNZfc

Gerhard Wilhelm Kunze was born in Camden, N. J., on Janu-
ary 10, 1906.

'According to his testimony before the Special Committee on
Un-American Activities, Kunze's formal education extended through


1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Special CommitteeInvestigation of un-American propaganda activities in the United States. Hearings before a Special Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Seventy-fifth Congress, third session-Seventy-eighth Congress, second session, on H. Res. 282, to investigate (l) the extent, character, a → online text (page 8 of 16)