speech, freedom of assemblage, or freedom of religion is hardly, if any, short of treason, and any effort to accomplish such a result ought to be exposed, forbidden, and prevented if necessary. Even if the propagandists of today are careful to avoid either the present employment or advocacy of force and violence to accomplish their objects, it must be remembered that the right of free speech of these propagandists ought not to stretch from liberty to license nor be permitted to occasion the ultimate destruction of free speech for all others except themselves.
"The committee welcomes any information or evidence relative to this inquiry the committee is conducting, but will make its own independent investigation of evidence given it.
"We are concerned with any effort or movement to array Americans against Americans which is subversive to our fundamental principles. Any effort to organize Americans into a group or bloc based on racial lines or as a result of intolerant views held toward other Americans strikes at the fundamentals of our Government.
"Organized efforts to create and implant the seeds of distrust, suspicion, and hatred in the minds of some of our citizens and directed toward others should be exposed and the facts brought to light.
"Experience teaches us that depressions of the past have been followed by intolerant movements which have been disturbing and harmful. The exposing of the early stages of such movements might prevent the harm that flows from the development of a well-organized movement based on emotionalism and prejudice.
"There is no justification on the part of any of our citizens, or of any person, irrespective of the land of his birth or of his forebears, to feel that this inquiry is directed toward him. Any effort to create such an impression is unwarranted and simply an appeal to emotionalism.
"Every person imbued with a love of our institutions should be interested in and concerned about the facts of any such movement or efforts being ascertained and brought to light.
"In the conduct of this investigation the committee holds no brief for any group or class of our citizens. It has no preconceived views of what the truth is respecting the subject matter of this inquiry. Its sole purpose is to discover the truth and report it as it is, with such recommendations, if any, as to legislation on these subjects as the situation may require and as the duty of the Congress to the American people may demand."
Testimony and documentary evidence accumulated by the committee revealed:
That the American branch of the Stahlhelm (German war veterans) is drilling openly in German Army uniforms under German Army officers, equipped with rifles obtained from the New York National Guard.
That Nazi propaganda and German aliens were smuggled into this country on German liners.
That one Kurt Luedecke, posing as a traveling salesman for a German firm, admitted under oath that his job was only a "smoke screen" behind which he could disseminate Nazi propaganda in the United States.
That Luedecke established in Brookline, Massachusetts, the "Swastika Press," in one issue of which he said:
"We repudiate the doctrine of popular sovereignty. Believing in the authority of leadership, in the value of personality, we advocate a state of truly sovereign authority, which dominates all the forces of the Nation, coordinating them, solidifying them, and directing them towards the higher ends of national life; an authority which is at the same time in constant touch with the masses, guiding and educating them, and looking after their interest."
That Nazi groups known as "Teutonia" were organized, and later consolidated into "The Friends of New Germany," the leader being one Peinz Splanknoebel, an alien, who entered America claiming to be a clergyman.
That Spanknoebel, with money supplied from Germany, by threats and intimidation, forced a German-American newspaper in New York to discontinue publication and that he tried to dictate the news and editorial policies of other German-American papers.
That Spanknoebel gained control of the United German Societies of New York. Because the patriotic German-Americans could not accept the Nazi philosophy, the organization was disrupted. Indicted for his failure to register as the agent of a foreign country, Spanknoebel became a fugitive from justice.
"This committee found indisputable evidence to show that certain German consuls in this country, with all the appurtenances of diplomatic immunity, violated the pledge and proprieties of diplomatic status and engaged in vicious and un-American propaganda activities, paying for them in cash, in the hope that they could not be traced. One of the transactions in question, which can be found in the evidence taken by this committee, goes to the German Embassy itself.*
"Several American firms and American citizens as individuals sold their services for express propaganda purposes, making their contracts with and accepting compensation from foreign business firms. The firms in question were Carl Byoir & Associates and Ivy Lee-T. J. Ross. The owner of the Ivy Lee-T. J. Ross firm admitted to the committee that the reports he furnished to the I. G. Farben Industrie, his ostensible employer, dealt with public and political questions rather than trade promotion, and that they were intended to be relayed to the German Government. For this service he received $25,000, all payments of which were in cash, and an effort was made to secrete the connections. Mr. Lee also admitted that he had never made such a contract before.
"Carl Dickey, junior partner of Carl Byoir & Associates, testified that his firm handled the contract with the German Tourist Bureau with the fee for services set at $6,000 per month. He testified that the contract was secured with the help of George Sylvester Viereck who received $1,750 per month with free office space and secretary as his share of the $6,000. The committee finds that the services rendered by Carl Byoir & Associates were largely of a propaganda nature.
"Viereck admitted that he discussed the Byoir contract with a German Cabinet officer before it was entered into. He further testified that he had also been paid the sum of $500 monthly 'for 4 or 5 months' by Dr. Kiep, former German consul-general in New York City, which was paid in cash for advice of a propaganda nature.
"The first payment on the contract amounting to $4,000 was made by Dr. Kiep, German consul-general in New York City, in cash.
"We would not be fully responsive to our duty if we failed to compliment the twenty-odd-million Americans of German birth or descent, who have refused to participate in the Nazi movement and propaganda in this country, which the evidence plainly shows have been founded, in the main, on racial and religious prejudices."
The committee found that Italian Fascist organizations in America are financed by contractors, bankers and large employers of labor. Their press is subsidized by Italy. Gerolamo Valenti, editor of La Stampa Libera, (a New York Italian newspaper), and a patriotic American, brought to the McCormack Committee documents concerning subversive Italian propaganda in the United States. He presented affidavits charging Italian consuls with terrorizing and intimidating American citizens of Italian birth and charged that "pilgrim, ages" of American-born Italian children were paid for by Fascist propaganda funds.
An Italian law (1925) provides that a Fascist who "kills, stabs, or shoots an anti-Fascist" in Italy is rewarded with a pension. In August, 1927, this subsidy was extended to Fascists in the United States, whose wounds are regarded as war-wounds if received in conflict with police or anti-Fascists "in the Nationalist cause." (See Official Gazette of The Italian Kingdom, August 30. 1927.)
"The Communist Party of the United States is not a national political party concerned primarily and legitimately with conditions in this country. Neither does it operate on American principles for the maintenance and improvement of the form of government established by the organic law of the land.
"The nature and extent of organized Communist activity in the United States have been established by testimony and the objectives of such activities clearly defined. Both from documentary evidence submitted to the committee and from the frank admission of Communist(text continues on next page)
*Quotations are from McCormack Committee Report.