Spanknöbel, Heinrich “Heinz”

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Spanknöbel, “Heinz” Heinrich, born 27-11-1893 in Homberg, Germany to Konrad Spanknöbel (1866–1969) and Christiane Becker (1869–1966). He had an older brother, Karl Adolf (later Charles A. Noble; born 06-09-1892, Homberg, Germany – died 22-03-1983, in Watsontown, Pennsylvania, USA) and younger brothers and sisters: Kathe (1897–1970), Anne (1898–1962), Wilhelm (1900–1980), August (1902–1969), Martha (1904–1966), and Freida (1907–?). In 1918, he married Elsa Fourier (1892–1957) in Würzburg, Germany.

Spanknöbel was ordained as a minister in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Würzburg . He was admitted to the US as a minister in 1929. Spanknöbel was a member of the Free Society of Teutonia and an employee of the Ford Motor Company. Initial support for American fascist organizations came from Germany. In May 1933, Nazi Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess gave Spanknöbel authority to form an American Nazi organization  He left his wife in with the children in Germany back. In 1930 he was unemployed again.. Shortly thereafter, with help from the German consul in New York City, Spanknöbel formed the Friends of New Germany by merging two older organizations in the United States— the Society of American Friends of Germany (formed from the dissolved Gauleitung-USA or Gau-USA) and the Free Society of Teutonia; which were both small groups with only a few hundred members each. The Friends of New Germany was headquartered in Yorkville, Manhattan, but had a strong presence in Chicago. The leader became Fritz Julius Kuhn The organization led by Spanknöbel was openly pro-Nazi, and engaged in activities such as storming the German language New Yorker Staats-Zeitung with the demand that Nazi-sympathetic articles be published. He attempted to infiltrate and influence other non-political German-American organizations, such as the United German Societies. One of the Friends’ early initiatives was to counter, with propaganda, a Jewish boycott of businesses in the heavily German neighborhood of Yorkville. Also in Canada Spanknöbel tried to unite the German immigrants under Nazi flag. The performances of his organization were marked by extreme Jew haidred, violence and extortion. In 1929, Heinz Spanknöbel joined the German NSDAP. In 1923, his brother Karl Spanknöbel as a missionary of the reform movement of the Seventh-day Adventists was sent to the United States, settling in Detroit and named Charles A. Noble.

In an internal battle for control of the Friends, Spanknöbel was ousted as leader and subsequently ordered to be deported in October 1933 because he had failed to register as a foreign agent. At the same time, Congressman Samuel Dickstein’s investigation concluded that the Friends represented a branch of German dictator Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party in America. After a U.S. Federal arrest warrant was issued, Spanknöbel boarded the S.S. Europa ocean liner bound for Bremen on 29 October. Jewish Congressman Samuel Dickstein died age 69 on 22-04-1954, in New York City. He was buried at the Union Field Cemetery, Queens County, Brooklyn, New York.

Back in Germany, Spanknöbel reportedly became a director of the Propaganda School for Germans Living Abroad. In 1942, a company called Vereinigte Leder- und Lederwarenfabriken Heinz Spanknöbel & Co. [United Leather and leather goods factories Heinz Spanknöbel & Co.] was founded in Hohenbruck near Königgrätz in then Sudetenland.

Death and burial ground of Spanknöbel, Heinrich “Heinz”.

After the occupation by the Soviet military, Spanknöbel was arrested on 04-10-1945 in Dresden by the NKVD secret police. He was held in captivity in the NKVD Special Camp No. 1 near Mühlberg, Brandenburg, where he died of starvation, Dystrophie 3, on 10-03-1947 and buried there, age 53. His brother Charles Noble and his nephew John Noble (both now American citizens) were also in the NKWD special camp Mühlberg.

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