Guide to the Friedrich Ernst Auhagen Collection

Collection Title: Friedrich Ernst Auhagen Collection
Dates: 1939-1952
Identification: MS110
Creator: Auhagen, Friedrich Ernst
Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections
Extent: 1 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: In September 1940 Dr. Auhagen was arrested and called to testify before the Dies Commission in October regarding possible subversive Nazi activities. He was released, but kept under Justice Department surveillance until March 1941 when a federal grand jury issued an indictment against him for failing to register as a German agent. The articles, newspaper clippings and correspondence in the Friedrich Ernst Auhagen Collection were collected between 1939 and 1952 by Henry Pope, a prominent Republican and Chicago area businessman.
Acquisition Information: The Friedrich Ernst Auhagen materials collected by Henry Pope between 1939 and 1941 were donated to the Charles Deering McCormick Library by Betty Pope.
Processing Information: Sigrid Pohl Perry, August 1996.
Separated Materials: Removed for cataloging: Today’s Challenge, v. 1 no. 1 and v. 1 no. 3, 1939; The Forum Observer, two issues, 1940.
Conditions Governing Use: There are no restrictions on use of the materials in the department for research; all patrons must comply with federal copyright regulations.
Repository: Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections
Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston, IL,
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/spec
Email: special.collections@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3635

Biographical/Historical Information

Dr. Friedrich Ernst Auhagen emigrated to the United States in 1923, received a doctorate in philosophy, taught at Columbia University until 1935, and although he applied for citizenship in 1929, he never completed the process.  In March of 1939 he helped organize the American Fellowship Forum as an educational vehicle among German Americans to promote “national recovery.”  Branches were established in New York, Newark, Philadelphia, Springfield (MA), Cleveland, Chicago, and La Salle (IL). However, the A.F.F. actually supported fascism and the rise of German National Socialism.  Other leaders included George Sylvester Viereck, German propagandist since World War I, and Lawrence Dennis, publisher of The Weekly Foreign Letter which analyzed foreign political trends from a fascist perspective.  Dr. Auhagen wrote regularly for the A.F.F.’s two serials, Today’s Challenge and The Forum Observer which were published between 1939 and 1940.  The American Fellowship Forum disbanded in May of 1940.

In September 1940 Dr. Auhagen was arrested and called to testify before the Dies Commission in October regarding possible subversive Nazi activities.  He was released, but kept under Justice Department surveillance until March 1941 when a federal grand jury issued an indictment against him for failing to register as a German agent.  Circumstantial evidence against him maintained that he had received payment for spreading propaganda to influence attitudes and policies in the U.S.  He was convicted on July 11, 1941, on three counts of failing to register as an agent of the German government and distributing propaganda.  He was fined $1000 and sentenced to two years in prison.  However, after the formal declaration of war with Germany in December 1941, Auhagen was listed as a “dangerous enemy alien,” not allowed an appeal, and held in custody until April 1947 when he was returned to Germany and there arrested for war crimes as a Nazi agent.  He was tried in Nuremberg in August 1947, and released after a review of all charges and records showed no connection with the Nazi regime.  However, he was not allowed to return to the U.S. and in 1952 he petitioned for a new trial.

Scope and Content

The articles, newspaper clippings and correspondence in the Friedrich Ernst Auhagen Collection were collected between 1939 and 1952 by Henry Pope, a prominent Republican and Chicago area businessman. Betty and Henry Pope frequently invited Dr. Auhagen into their home when he visited the area. Auhagen claimed that his arrest was part of a Democratic plot to discredit German- American Republican leaders.

Subjects

Subjects

Fascism--United States--History--20th century

Germans--Political activity--United States

World War, 1939-1945


Container List / Contents

  • Register; original contents list of donationBox 1, Folder 1
  • American Fellowship ForumBox 1, Folder 2
      Scope and Contents: Today's Challenge, v. 1 no. 1, June/July 1939 (contains 3 articles by Auhagen, one under the pseudonym of “Ferdinand Cooper”)The American Fellowship Forum platform and program
  • Freidrich Ernst Auhagen addressesBox 1, Folder 3
      Scope and Contents: [address to the German University League], March 16, 1939, upon which the American Fellowship Forum was founded.“America and Germany,” July 15, 1939.Town Meeting, v. 5 no. 8, December 4, 1939, [responses by Auhagen and others to question: What Kind of Peace Can Europe Make?]
  • Dorothy ThompsonBox 1, Folder 4
      Scope and Contents: “On the Record” column on Dr. Auhagen, October 23, 1940.Pilot Radio transcript, Dorothy Thompson on Dr. Auhagen, October 20, 1940.Lawrence Dennis to Dorothy Thompson in published, Weekly Foreign Letter, December 9, 1940.
  • Newspaper clippings, (originals and photocopies), 1940 - 1941Box 1, Folder 5
      Scope and Contents: re: Auhagen arrest and trial
  • Correspondence: Alfred S. Holmes to Edward and Dorothy CarusBox 1, Folder 6
      Scope and Contents: July 22, 1941 and July 30, 1941 re: Auhagen appealHolmes was Auhagen's lawyer; Mr. & Mrs. Carus had hosted Augen in their LaSalle, Illinois home for several months before his arrest.
  • Correspondence: Friedrich E. Auhagen to Henry & Betty PopeBox 1, Folder 7
      Scope and Contents: December 9, 1952 with copy of petition for a new trial enclosed as well as photograph of Auhagen with his infant son.Removed for cataloging: Today's Challenge, v. 1 no. 1 and v. 1 no. 3, 1939; The Forum Observer, two issues, 1940.