Three American Friends Of Germany During WWII

By Carolyn Yeager

A FRIEND SENT ME THE ARTICLE BELOW ABOUT ERNEST LUNDEEN, an American “isolationist” politician from Minnesota who had a fair-minded and truth-seeking attitude toward the German-Polish conflict and the war of September 1939. Through Lundeen, I’ve learned about a couple others who are also of particular interest to me. Lundeen served in the US House of Representatives from 1917 to 1919, when he was one of 50 Congressmen to vote against the U.S. declaration of war against Germany on April 6, 1917. For this reason he was not renominated by his Republican party. After switching to the Democratic Farmer-Labor party, he was elected again from 1933 to 1937 in the Roosevelt landslide. He then went on to become Minnesota Senator from 1937 until his untimely death in a plane crash on August 31, 1940.

Lundeen’s father, C.H. Lundeen was an early pioneer in South Dakota, where Ernest was born and raised. The Lundeens in the USA come from Norway and Austria, according to ancestry sites. Ernest Lundeen is what I would call a true American patriot.

The article appears at a German-language history website.

Senators Demand a Roosevelt Secret Diplomacy Investigation

On June 12, 1940, an English translation of the “Polish Documents on the Prehistory of the War” issued by the Foreign Office was published in the USA. (1) As mentioned above, the despatches of the Polish ambassadors in Washington, London and Paris, captured in Warsaw, were immediately declared “forgeries” by the US State Department immediately after their publication in Germany. The Polish ambassador, Count Jerzy Potocki, was even urged by Secretary of State Cordell Hull to make a public denial in the New York Times. (2)

At that time, few American politicians could get a complete picture of the contents of the secret documents. But after the businessmanRalph B. Strassburger bought 17,000 copies of the English translation and sent them to journalists, senators and governors throughout America, in the beginning of July 1940 a broad discussion emerged in the media. The Washington Post was the first national daily newspaper to dare to call the papers issued by the German Foreign Office authentic. Most other newspapers tried to downplay the importance of the documents. (3)

Who is Ralph B. Strassburger? 

A wealthy publisher and newspaper owner born in 1883 in Norristown, PA whose great-great grandfather Johann Andreas Strassburger emigrated to the USA from Ober Ingelheim, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, a little over 100 years previous. Interesting to me, Ralph (Ralf) Strassburger’s great-great grandmother was Eva Yeager, daughter of John Yeager (Jäger) and Eva Elisabeth Schneider, born in Pennsylvania. His grandfather was named Reuben Yeager Strassburger. (See here)

Strangely, everything written about him I have been able to find ends around 1920, even though he lived until 1959. It’s as though some of his activities in those last forty years, which include the above mentioned dissemination of the translated Polish documents which the US State Dept was compelled to label as forgeries, are covered up in joint agreement with his family. Strassburger was proud of his distinguished German ancestors and wrote a book of importance to historians and genealogists: Pennsylvania German Pioneers, published in 1934. Athough baptised by his mother, the former Mary Jane Beaver, in the First Presbyterian Church in Norristown, he followed the creed of his father, the old German Reformed faith. His father was a member of the Reformed Church of Schwenkville, and his great-grandfather was a minister in other reformed congregations.

1920 – Republican National Convention, Chicago, R. B. Strassburger and A. P. Moore (right). Chicago Daily News negatives collection,. Courtesy of the Chicago Historical Society.

Strassburger acquired residences in France in the 1920’s where he successfully bred and raced thorougbred horses until his death, after which his wife continued to do so.

On July 11, 1940, Ernest Lundeen used a Senate meeting to address the issue in the presence of Roosevelt. In a memorable speech he said:

“‘This is my war!’ was proclaimed in Paris in 1914 by the Russian ambassador Isvolsky.

“Our president could also exclaim ‘This is my war!’ when he looks at the catastrophe that threatens to engulf Europe’s culture today. Europeans have now expressed what Americans have long suspected: England, France and Poland would have settled their dispute with Hitler at the conference table if our president had not interfered. The Polish government would never have rejected thesensible proposals of the German leader if Ambassador Bullitt had not promised her the military support of England, France, and America.

Lundeen in his Senate office.

When the Germans conquered Warsaw, they discovered a multitude of documents in the archives. The most prominent among them are byWilliam C. Bullitt, our ambassador in Paris, and Joseph P. Kennedy, our ambassador in London. In front of me are photocopies of the documents the Germans claim to have found in Warsaw. I do not know if these documents are real or not. I hope they are fakes, but I’m afraid they are not. Rather, I fear they are real, and they feed on the reasonable suspicionthat our government has made secret commitments to the Allies.

“From these documents we can see that 
Mr Bullitt assured the Polish Government of America’s hostility to Germany. He also incited Britain to strengthen Poland’s resistance to Germany. This is of great importance because it was precisely this English action that was the main reason for the outbreak of the war. In a letter of March 29, 1939, Ambassador Lukasiewicz wrote to his Foreign Minister in Warsaw that Mr. Bullitt had urged our Ambassador Kennedy in London to liaise with British Prime Minister Chamberlainand ask him to give Poland a British guarantee. This helped decisively to the outbreak of war. Poland was reluctant and unwilling to accept the reasonable German demands. This made any peaceful solution to the Danzig and Corridor problem impossible. AndEngland and France went to war confidently because they believed they had the assurance of rapid American aid.“(4)

At the end of his speech, Lundeen demanded an inquiry by a Senate committee. Many prominent anti-interventionists – including pilot Charles Lindbergh, historian Harry Elmer Barnes, and Senator Gerald P. Nye – joined him.(5) [the following month Lundeen was dead! -cy] However, instead of examining Bullitt’s activities, there was only one investigation into the translation of the documents. That same month, the “House Committee on Un-American Activities” turned to the New York publishing house “Howell & Soskin” and there learned about documents from the German journalist dr. Manfred Zapp translated by the German-American writer George Sylvester Viereck.(6) Both Zapp and Viereck were arrested in the spring of 1941 for spreading “National Socialist propaganda”.

(1) The German White Paper: Full Text of the Polish Documents Issued by the Berlin Foreign Office. Howell & Soskin, New York 1940.
(2) “Berlin Accuses US: Bullitt Quoted as Saying ‘We Will Finish War on the Allies Side’.” In The New York Times vom 30. März 1940, Seite 1.
(3) Justus D. Doenecke Storm on the Horizon: The Challenge to American Intervention, 1939 – 1941. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham 2003, S. 76.(4) Ernest Lundeen, Six Men and War. Speech of July 11, 1940. Hoover Institution Archive.
(5) Justus D. Doenecke, Storm on the Horizon: The Challenge to American Intervention, 1939 – 1941. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham 2003, S. 76.
(6) House of Representative Special Committee on Un-American Activities Investigation on Un-American Propaganda Activities in the United States. Third Session on H. Res. 282. Appendix – Part II. Washington 1940, S. 1054 – 1059.

Who was George Sylvester Viereck?

A German-American poet, writer and reputed illegitimate grandson of Kaiser Wilhelm I. He came to the United States with his parents in 1896 at the age of twelve. In college, he published his first collection of poems. He continued writing and publishing, gaining national fame. In 1908 he became a Germanophile and his support for Germany and pacifism caused him to be expelled from clubs and fraternal organizations. During WWI he edited a weekly magazine,The Fatherland. After the war, he was expelled from the Poetry Society of America. But in 1923 his popular-science book Rejuvenation: How Steinach Makes People Young brought him international success. He traveled through Europe, stopping in Munich to interview Adolf Hitler and became a well-known supporter of National Socialism. In 1933, Viereck again met with Hitler in Berlin and in 1934, he gave a speech to twenty thousand “Friends of the New Germany” at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Viereck was convicted in 1942 for “failure to register with the U.S. Department of State as a National Socialist agent” when he set up his publishing house, Flanders Hall, in New Jersey. He was imprisoned for five years. Jews who are agents of Israel, or promote the interests of Israel to our government, are not found in violation of this Foreign Agents Registration Act. Funny how that works.

One thing that comes clear to me from this is that if you were a pro-British propagandist or writer during the war years from 1910 to 1950 or so, you were applauded, assisted and even funded by the governmental and media reigning powers, while if you were pro-German, or even recommended neutrality, you were under suspicion as an enemy of the state. The actual declaraton of war in both wars was just a formality. And little has changed in that regard up till today, whether we are “at war” or not. Germans get thrown in jail, blown up in plane crashes, and blotted out from history.

Published in: on November 27, 2018 at 8:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

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