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UNITED STATES v. WOLTER

December 17, 1943

UNITED STATES
v.
WOLTER



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SCHOONMAKER

This is an action under Section 338 of the Nationality Act of 1940, 54 Stat. 1158, Sec. 738, U.S.C.A. Title 8, wherein the United States seeks to revoke the decree of naturalization of Arthur Heinrich Wolter entered in the Court of Common Pleas of Clark County, Ohio, on September 23, 1932, because it was obtained by false and fraudulent representations on the part of Wolter, in that

"(1) he did not in good faith renounce or intend to renounce absolutely and forever all allegiance and fidelity to Germany, but in fact retained and intended to retain allegiance and fidelity to Germany, and that he did not in fact intend when he took his oath to bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution and laws of the United States.

 "(2) he was not in fact attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States at the time of the filing of his petition for citizenship nor during the five years prior thereto, and in that he did not in fact intend to support the Constitution and laws of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

 The case was heard on complaint, answer and proofs. On these we have made and file herewith our findings of fact and conclusions of law, holding the United States is entitled to a decree revoking the Naturalization Certificate of said Wolter.

 The facts which we have found may be briefly stated as follows:

 We find that Wolter, at the time of naturalization, was not attached to the principles of the Constitution, and that he did not forswear entirely his allegiance to Germany, and did not wholly and without mental reservation transfer his entire allegiance to the United States. The evidence amply demonstrated this. His allegiance to Germany was not interrupted by his coming to this country in 1925, and by his naturalization in 1932. He was a constant champion of Germany. He felt called upon to make clear to the world that Germany was not to blame for World War No. 1 (Ex. 156,160). In that connection, he even went so far as to say that the world, and particularly the United States, owed Germany an apology (Ex. 40-A, Col. of April 22, 1937). Even before he became a citizen of the United States, he was so outspoken in his praise of Germany that his aunt, who brought him to America, had to caution him to be more careful, as he was saying things he had no right to say (Testimony of Miss Bruing, pp. 506, 507).

 Wolter's German-American Bund activities also clearly demonstrate that his representations in his petition for naturalization and in his oath of allegiance were false and fraudulent. This organization found its inception in the "Free Society of Teutonia", which was founded in October, 1924, in Chicago, Illinois, by Fritz Gissibl and other members of the National Socialist German Labor Party (also known as the National-sozialistische Deutsche Arbeiter Partei, or the N.S.D.A.P., or more commonly known as the Nazi Party).

 In 1926, this organization changed its name to the National Socialistic Society of Teutonia, and openly indicated that it embraced National Socialism as its guiding principle. In 1932, this organization changed its name to the "Bund der Freunde der Hitler Bewegung" (Bund of the Friends of the Hitler Movement). After the accession of Hitler to power early in 1933, the name was again changed to "Bund der Freunde des Neuen Deutschland" (Bund of the Friends of New Germany). In March 1936, the name was again changed to "Amerika-Deutscher Volksbund" (German-American Bund). After Pearl Harbor in December 1941, its activities were carried on under the guise of singing societies.

 The Bund and its predecessor organization adhered to and operated in accordance with the Leadership Principle, which is basic in National Socialist philosophy of the Nazi Party and the German Government

 The basic qualifications for membership were that the applicant subscribe to the Leadership Principle, believe in National Socialism, and be of Aryan descent, free of Jewish or colored blood.

 The German-American Bund and its predecessor organization continually made contributions to Germany and the Nazi cause. As an example, the minutes of "Teutonia" for March 22, 1925, stated: "In spite of the financial weakness of the Bund brothers and of the Bund, a collection is to be held on April 5th in order to get a birthday present for Adolph Hitler."

 The Bund also made collections for German winter relief, which money was sent to Germany through Fritz Kuhn. Those who donated were given buttons. Such a button representing a contribution for the winter of 1937-1938 was found in defendant's possession.

 The Bund also served as an outlet for German propaganda and publications. Likewise for propaganda purposes, motion pictures were furnished to the Bund and trips were arranged for Bund members by German agencies.

 The Bund publications encouraged their leaders to purchase Rueckwanderer Marks, which was a foreign exchange used by persons returning to Germany for permanent residence. This made available to German foreign exchange money which they had difficulty obtaining otherwise. Visiting American Bund members were accepted and given special privileges by reason of their Bund credentials. They were admitted to Nazi functions, camps and schools, and were offered training courses in Nazi ideology and National Socialism. Among the early leaders in the American Bund who returned to Germany and were given high positions in the Third Reich were Fritz Gissibl, Walter Kappe, Heinze Spanonoebel and Joseph Schuster. Severin Winterscheidt, editor of the Deutscher Weckruf und Beobachter, attended a Nazi-party school in Germany, and on his return to this country conducted classes for Bund officials, based on the instructions he had received. These included the standard Nazi philosophy and purposes.

 In telegrams to Nazi leaders, such as Hitler, Bohle and others, the Bund indicated its ties with the German Reich.

 The principal aims and purposes of the Bund were to disseminate the principles of National Socialism in the United States and to foster allegiance to Germany, regardless of the obligations of citizenship undertaken at the time of naturalization.

 The German-American Bund was outspoken in voicing and urging adherence to the principles of German National Socialism. This was admitted by witnesses Leudtke, a former national secretary of the Bund; Winterscheidt, a former Bund press chief; and Gissibl, a former Chicago Bund Unit Leader.

 There are numerous assertions in the Deutscher Weckruf und Beobachter on that point. The defendant in this case contributed to that paper in an article dated February 18, 1937 (Exh. 40-A), in which he says: "That one must read if one wants to be truthfully oriented on all questions of the day to the extent that they deal with National Socialist endeavors and policy."

 The Deutsche Zeitung, a German newspaper published in this country, in an issue of July 7, 1934, in describing the National Convention of the Bund of the Friends of the New Germany, stated: "Again the Bund has pledged itself at this convention, to its lofty objectives for the Germandom; to the spiritual renaissance of the Germandom in America, to the furtherance of all aims of German Kultur, as far as they are based on the principles of National Socialist world philosophy."

 Again, in an issue of the Deutscher Weckruf und Beobachter of September 6, 1935, appears this article: "Conscious of their deep responsibility to the entire Germandom, and in the realization of the necessity of a spiritual renewing of this Germandom, the body of the delegates of the Bund has determined with even more emphasis than formerly upon the National Socialistic World Philosophy as it is the supreme course of action, and proceeding from this world philosophy, has laid out a program of action that, as a matter of course, bears within itself the guarantee for its practical accomplishment."

 In the same issue, it is also stated: "We need a spiritual renewal of Germandom, a breaking away through the National Socialist world philosophy from the still prevailing ...


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