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Spies in US; FBI; J. Edgar Hoover

Film | Accession Number: 2006.73.1 | RG Number: RG-60.4508 | Film ID: 2820

Title on screen: Army-Navy Screen Magazine A pictorial report from all fronts for the armed forces only #42. "Caissons Go Rolling Along" plays as the credits roll. Onscreen: Title "Battle of the United States" superimposed over the seal of the FBI.

J. Edgar Hoover sits at his desk and addresses the men and women of the armed forces. He tells them they are about to see the story of the battle of the United states against enemy agents "...sent to this country to disrupt our industry, destroy our morale, and damage the impact of our fighting armies."

Scenes, narrated by Hoover, showing the US in 1940: the lights of New York City, the World's Fair, baseball in Brooklyn, wheat fields, soldiers in their barracks, etc. Hoover speaks of several cases where plots were uncovered and materials seized. An unnamed "self-appointed dictator" sits in his house outside Los Angeles, a portrait of Hitler visible on the wall. Various shots of men and women marching in Nazi uniforms at rallies in the US. The narration identifies the locations as Camp Hindenburg outside Chicago, Camp Nordland in New Jersey, and Camp Siegfried in Long Island. These scenes are interspersed with shots of German-American newspapers with stories on the rallies. The last shot in this sequence shows Bund leader Fritz Kuhn speaking at an outdoor gathering in a "shameless abuse of the freedom of speech." On a street corner in New York City a young boy passes out flyers advertising the "pro-American" rally that took place on February 20, 1939 in Madison Square Garden. Shots of the rally, which features a huge portrait of George Washington on stage. "Deutschland ueber Alles" plays as the crowd gives the Hitler salute. Shots of the purported interior of the FBI and their activities against German saboteurs, for example Chicago Bund leader Walter Kappe, who organized the failed attempt to infiltrate the United States with several teams of German saboteurs in 1942. Huge room full of fingerprint files; "FBI men" look at slides of fingerprints and consult a chart showing locations of Axis spies in North and South America. Quote: "We knew that the Japanese consul in Pearl Harbor was sending military information to Tokyo. Peacetime laws made it impossible for us to arrest German and Japanese suspects." "FBI agents" pore over law books and shake their heads. German and Japanese "agents" are shown taking pictures of prominent American landmarks.

Footage of Hitler Youth or similar fascist youth club on a ship. "For years before the war, the world had been overrun with German tourists, German and Japanese diplomats, and their paid agents, disguised as cameramen, domestics, and industrialists." Animated map of south America shows German and Japanese infiltration of that continent with listening posts, colonists, air bases, etc. An animated German soldier rises up from South America to tower over North America before stabbing the United States with his bayonet. Nazi merchant marines disembark from a ship; Nazi flags flying in South America. Hoover describes the threat posed by German colonists and German-owned shops, cars, and industry (Thyssen) in South America. Photo of Hitler in a classroom and a Nazi rally, supposedly in South America. Further allegations of industrial espionage. Hoover tells how the FBI caught 33 enemy agents of the Duquesne spy ring. Hidden cameras recorded the transactions of the spy ring. Shot of film cans labeled "Duquesne Case - Secret". A projectionist loads the film onto a projector. Harry Sawyer [pseudonym for William Sebold] was a naturalized German citizen who became a double-agent after he was approached by the Gestapo (in reality the Abwehr) in 1939. He brought down some 33 spies led by Fritz Duquesne.

Event:  1940-1944
Production:  1944
South America
New Jersey, United States
New York, NY, United States
Chicago, IL, United States
Los Angeles, CA, United States
Accessed at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of National Archives & Records Administration
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 21:56:58
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