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The Southern Jewish weekly. [volume] (Jacksonville, Fla.) 1939-1992, December 29, 1939, Image 2

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn78000090/1939-12-29/ed-1/seq-2/

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Page Two
The Gestapo At Work In America
BY RALPH LEVITT
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article
is based on information supplied
by the News Research Service,
Inc., of Los Angeles. Calif.
The long arm of the Gestapo—
the German secret police—has
reached across the ocean to the
United States. Heinrich Himm
ler’s agents are at work now,
posing as refugees, ready to be
tray anti-Nazi emigres. Some of
them are even renegrade Jews.
Two clear examples of Gestapo
work in America have been un
covered by the News Research
Service, Inc. —a German who rep
resented himself in Los Angeles
as collecting funds for the anti-
Nazi underground movement in
the Reich, but disappeared when
hi s contradictory statements
aroused suspicion, and a “refu
gee” who offered to assist an ex
iled German jurist in New York
but was later seen parading in
storm trooper regalia in New
York’s Yorkville German section.
Last spring there appeared in
Los Angeles Jewish circles a man
who claimed to be a refugee from
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the Reich, connected with the
German anti-Hitler underground
movement. In time, this man
wormed his way into the editorial
confidence of the B’nai B’rith
Messenger and eventually suc
ceeded in setting up, under the
auspices of this weekly, a
Speakers’ Bureau,” personally
gwuing its activities.
Attempting to become a mem
ber of B’nai B’rith, the man be
came involved in a number of
contradictions. Statements he
had made when applying for a
job through the Jewish Employ
ment Bureau did not jibe with
data he furnished when seeking
B’nai B’rith membership. Among
these discrepencies was one of
five years in his age, in addition
to many other details that did
not tally.
Suspicion against him was
strengthened by the fact that
while he had applied for a job
and for lodge membership under
the name of “Robert Terri,” he
had introduced himself at the
B'nai B’rith Messenger as “Dr.
Robert Lahn.” Just as soon as
Lahn-Terrl became aware of the
fact that he was being investi
gated, he disappeared.
It is interesting to note that
Lahn-Terrl had first represented
himself as anxious to collect
funds for the German anti-Nazi
underground movement, making
speeches to that effect before
Jewish audiences in temples, etc.,
but never actually collecting one
cent. This technique served two
purposes: (a), supplying the best
camouflage imaginable for his
Gestapo activities; (b) not laying
himself open to arrest as a
swindler.
Under the present pressure of
intensified Gestapo work in the
United States, it is possible that
he may put in another appear
ance elsewhere, and so his des
cription is given in order to be
on guard against him:
About six feet tall; brown hair
not very neatly combed; fairly
light complexion; brown-greenish
eyes with a slight marking on
the right one, possibly indicating
an operation; dimple in the right
cheek; about 35 years old;
weight approximately 160; rather
well built.
Since the inauguration of the
Gestapo, its technique has been
perfected, especially by the or
ganization of a “Fifth Column”
shock-troop. This special detail
could be referred to as Anti-
Counter-Espionage Service since
operatives of this branch spy on
counter-spies. Whole platoons of
them are busy all over the world,
paying particular attention to the
United States. The Lahn-Terrl
incident is a case in point.
Investigation reveals that
many of these Gestapo anti
counter-spies operate in the guise
of refugees from Nazi terror;
many of them pretend to be
“non-Aryans” who, by some good
fortune were able to escape from
the Reich and, in certain cases,
even from concentration camps.
A goodly number of them filtered
into the United States byway
of the Netherlands and Belgium.
The technique followed in such
instances may best be illustrated
by a recent case. Shortly after
the outbreak of the war, the
Belgian police arrested a man
and found upon him a document
which read:
HARRY E. JAMES, Inc.
GENERAL INSURANCE
Phone 5-3871
Barnett National Bank Bldg.
the SOUTHERN JEWISH WEEKLY
ATTESTATION
It is hereby officially certified
that there is no objection against
’s departure for
Belgium is a non-
Aryan. In order to facilitate his
departure, he has been granted
under date of a German
passport without “J” (“J” —Jude
—Jew). His identification card
has already been withdrawn.
No political objections to
’s departure are being raised.
Request is made to assist him
in leaving the country, and, if
circumstances should demand,
even across the green border.
Kiel, Sept 1939.
The President of Police.
By Order: Schramm.
The attestation makes a special
point of the fact that the bearer
of the document was granted a
passport without “J”. This does
not necessarily mean that the
man was actually a Jew, though
he may have had some remote
relationship.* Apparently, the
Gestapo prefers to employ such
persons to spy upon Jewish or
ganizations outside the Reich, es
pecially within the borders of the
United States. Far from feeling
themselves bound t o “non-
Aryans,” some of them will go
to almost any length to shed “the
yellow spot” and ingratiate them
selves with the Nazis.
Gestapo agents in America are
so well-trained that no sooner do
they realize they are under scrut
iny than they develop a remark
able knack of vanishing into thin
air. Dr. “Lahn-Terrl” disappear
ed when, by chance, some sig
nals were fumbled. Another
Gestapo operative was lost sight
of as soon as he became aware
that he was under suspicion.
This individual approached a
former German jurist who has an
office in New York. Writing to
him after hearing the jurist lec
ture the Gestapo agent pretended
he was eager “to put his modest
assistance at the disposal” of the
German refugee. Under scrutiny
from the very first moment he
entered the German jurist’s of
fice, the operative introduced
himself as Lothar Mannheimer.
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He sought to gain access to a list
of German immigrants by posing
as the confidential secretary of
his employer. On the point of
being trapped, he vanished from
the scene. Some weeks later,
“Mannheimer” was observed in
New York’s Yorkville Little
Germany —in full Stormtrooper
regalia!
Information points to the fact
that, at present, Gestapo agents
operating in the United States
are not only busier than ever
but their ruthlessness is without
bounds. A clear hint regarding
activities in which foreign gov
ernment agents may be involved
was supplied when Federal auth
orities decided to take unusual
precautionary measures to guard
Hoover Dam against possible
sabotage.
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