Page images
PDF
EPUB

COPY OF TRANSCRIPT OF RECORD.

101

Pleas at a regular term of the District Court of the United States for the

Eastern Division of the Northern District of Illinois, begun and held at he United States Court Rooms in the City of Chicago, in said Division of said District on the first Monday, of February (it being the third day thereof) in the rear of our Lord One Thousand Nine Hundred and Nineteen and of the Independance of the United States of America the One Hundred and Forty-third year.

Present, the Honorable Kenesaw M. Landis, Judge of the District Court of the United States for the Northern District of Illinois, presiding, James J. Bradley, United States Marshal for said District, and T. C. MacMillan, Clerk of said

Court. 102 Be It Remembered that heretofore, to wit, on the 2nd day of February,

A. D. 1918, the following order was had and entered of record in the District Court of the United States for the Northern District of Illinois, in Case Number 6260_wherein The United States is Plaintiff and Victor L. Berger, et al. are defendants, before the Honorable Kenesaw M. Landis, Judge of said Court. to wit:

[merged small][ocr errors]

Comes the grand jury this day and returns in open court indictments against Victor L. Berger, Adolph Germer, J. Louis Engdahl, William F. Kruse and Irwin St. John Tucker, the defendants herein, whereupon on motion of the United States Attorney it is ordered by the Court that said indictment be filed and the

cause placed upon the dockets of this court. 145 And afterwards, to wit, on the 2nd day of February, A. D. 1918, there

was filed in the Clerk's Office of said Court, in the above entitled cause, an Indictment; said Indictment being in the words and figures following, to wit:

103

No. 6260

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

Northern District of Illinois,

Eastern Division.

The United States of America
V.

6260 Victor L. Berger, Adolph Germer, J. Louis Engdahl, William F. Kruse and

Irwin St. John Tucker.

INDICTMENT On Section 4 of the “Espionage Act” of June 15, 1917, in Connection With Sec

tion 3 of That Act.

CHARLES F. CLYNE, JOSEPH B. FLEMING,

United States Attornew. Assistant United States Attorney; OLIVE E. PAGAN,

Attorney, Department of Justice. Feb 2 1918 138525–19-VOL 2- -2

17

104

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

For the Northern District of Illinois,

Eastern Division.

Of the December Term, in the year 1917.

Northern District of Illinois, sct.

;

The grand jurors for the United States of America, empaneled and sworn in the District Court of the United States for the Eastern Division of the Northern District of Illinois at the December Term thereof in the year 1917, and inquiring for said division and district,' upon their oath present, that throughout the period of time from the fifteenth day of June, 1917, to the day of the finding and presentation of this indictment, the United States has been at war with the Imperial German Government; and that continuously throughout said period of time, and when the United States has been at war as aforesaid, Victor L. Berger, Adolph Germer, J Louis Engdahl, William F. Kruse and Irwin St. John Tucker, hereinafter referred to as defendants, each late of the City of Chicago, in said divi ion and district, at Chicago aforesaid, in said Eastern Division of said Northern District of Illinois, unlawfully and feloniously have conspired, combined, confederated and agreed together, and with divers other persons to said grand jurors unknown, to violate certain of the provisions of Section 3 of Title I. of the Act of Congress approved June 15, 1917, entitled "An Act To punish acts of interference with the foreign relations, the neutrality, and the foreign commerce of the United States, to punish espionage, and better to enfore the criminal laws ofthe United States, and for other purposes;” that is to say, wilfully and feloniously, (1) through and by means of personal solicitation, (2) through and by means of divers public speeches, (3) through and

by means of divers articles to be printed in certain newspapers, among 105 others The Milwaukee Leader and The American Socialist, some of which

articles are hereinafter set forth under the head of Overt Acts," (4) through and by means of certain printed pamphlets some of which are hereinafter set forth in full under the head of "Overt Acts,” that is to say, among others, a pamphlet entitled “Proclamation and War Program," a pamphlet entitled Down With War,” a pamphlet entitled “The Price We Pay," and a pamphlet entitled “Why You Should Fight," (5) through and by means of divers cartoons and illustrations printed in said newspapers and pamphlets, divers printed post-card pictures, and divers bill-board posters, (6) through and by means of certain printed pictures, among others a picture entitled “The Realities of War," (7) through and by means of divers printed books, magazines and bulletins, and (8) through and by means of divers advertisements of said newspapers and pamphlets to be printed in said newspapers and pamphlets; which said solicitations were to be made in private by said defendants, which said speeches were to be delivered in public by said defendants, and a great number, to wit, fifty thousand, copies of each of which said newspapers containing said articles, cartoons, illustrations and advertisements, and a great number, to wit, one hundred thousand, copies of each of said pamphlets coutaining, amongst other things, said advertisements, and a great number, to said grand jurors unknown, of each of said pictures, books, magazines, bulletins, and post-card pictures, were to be old and distributed to the public by said de fendants, and so made in the hearing of, and delivered, sold and distributed to, male persons, whose names are to said grand jurors unknown but who are here described as being (a) those members of the classes of persons consti. tuting the military and naval forces of the United States, and (b) those members of the classes of persons available for service therein, under the laws of the

United States, (1) whom aid defendants should meet in said division and 106 district and elsewhere in the United States, (2) who should apply to said

defendants for advice in said division and district and elsewhere in the United States, (3) who should attend the public meetings of said division and district and elsewhere in the United States where such speeches were to be delivered, and (4) into whose hands copies of said newspapers so containing said articles, cartoons, illustrations and advertisements, of said pamphlets so containing, among other things, said cartoons, illustrations and advertisements

, and of said pictures, books, magazines, bulletins and post-card pictures, should ome in consequence of such sale and distribution thereof, by sa id defendants, n said divi ion and district and in divers other parts of the United States,

First, when the United States was at war, willfully to cause insubordination, lisloyalty and refusal of duty in said military and naval forces, by said perons constituting the same, to the injury of the service of the United States, and,

Second, when the United States was at war, willfully to obstruct the reruiting and enlistment service of the United States, to the injury of said jervice and of the United States:

Which said speeches, articles, pamphlets, pictures, books, magazines, bulleins, cartoons, illustrations, post-card pictures and bill-board posters were to je speeches, articles, pamphlets, pictures, books, magazines, bulletins, cartoons, llustrations, post-card pictures and bill-board posters, persistently dwelling ipon the evils and horrors of war and of said war without mentioning any consideration in favor thereof, and upon the desirability and necessity of ivoiding and stopping said war, and opposing the further prosecution thereof, it all costs and regardless of the patriotic duty of said persons constituting said military and naval forces, and of those available for service therein, willingly and earnestly to engage in and bring the same to a successful con

clusion; and all of which said speeches, articles, pamphlets, pictures, 107 books, magazines, bulletins, cartoons, illustrations, post-card pictures and

bill-board posters were to be speeches, articles, pamphlets, pictures, jooks, magazines, bulletins, cartoons, illustrations, post-card pictures and billboard posters voicing an opposition to the prosecution of said war by the United States, chiefly by misrepresentation, subtlety and indirection, revealing what said defendants would pretend to conceal and hiding disloyalty to the Cnited States behind a screen of specious and evasive phrases.

Overt Acts.

And the grand jurors a foresaid, upon their oath aforesaid, do further present, that in and for executing the unlawful and felonious conspiracy, combination, confederation and argreement aforesaid, said defendants, at the several times and places in that behalf hereinafter mentioned in connection with their names, have done certain acts; that is to say:

1. Said Adolph Gernier, on June 29, 1917, at Chicago aforesaid, gave to the Chicago Arbeiter-Zeitung an order to print a large number, to wit, twentyfive thousand, copies of said pamphlet entitled “Proclamation and War Program," each of the tenor following; that is to say:

Proclamation and War Program. The Socialist Party of the United States in the present grave crisis, solemnly reaffirms its allegiance to the principle of internationalism and working class solidarity the world over, and proclaims its unalterable opposition to the war just declared by the government of the United States.

Modern wars as a rule have been caused by the commercial and financial rivalry and intrigues of the capitalist interests in the different countries.

Whether they have been frankly waged as wars of aggression or have been 108 hypocritically represented as wars of “defense,” they have always been

made by the classes and fought by the masses. Wars bring wealth and power to the ruling classes, and suffering, death and demoralization to the workers.

They breed a sinister spirit of passion, unreason, race hatred and false patriotism. They obscure the struggles of the workers for life, liberty and social justice. They tend to sever the vital bonds of solidarity between them and their brothers in other countries, to destroy their organizations and to rurtail their civic and political rights and liberties.

The Socialist Party of the United States is unalterably opposed to the system of exploitation and class rule which is upheld and strengthened by military power and sham national patriotism. We, therefore, call upon the workers of all countries to refuse support to their governments in their wars. The wars of the contending national groups of capitalists are not the concern of the workers. The only struggle which would justify the workers in taking up arms is the great struggle of the working class of the world to free itself from economic exploitation and political oppression, and we particularly warn the workers against the snare and delusion of defensive warfare. As against

the false doctrine of national patriotism we uphold the ideal of international working-class solidarity. In support of capitalism, we will not willingly give a single life or a single dollar; in support of the struggle of the workers for freedom we pledge our all.

The mad orgy of death and destruction which is now convulsing unfortunate Europe was caused by the conflict of capitalist interests in the European countries.

In each of these countries, the workers were oppressed and exploited. They produced enormous wealth but the bulk of it was withheld from them by the owners of the industries. The workers were thus deprived of the means to repurchase the wealth which they themselves had created.

The capitalist class of each country was forced to look for foreign mar109 kets to dispose of the accumulated “surplus" wealth. The huge profits

made by the capitalists could no longer be rofitably reinvested in their own countries, hence, they were driven to look for foreign fields of investment. The geographical boundaries of each modern capitalist country thus became too narrow for the industrial and commercial operations of its capitalist class.,

The efforts of the capitalists of all leading nations were therefore centered upon the domination of the world markets. Imperialism became the dominant note in the politics of Europe. The aquisition of colonial possessions and the extension of spheres of commercial and political influence became the object of diplomatic intrigues and the cause of constant clashes between nations,

The acute competition between the capitalist powers of the earth, their jealousies and distrusts of one another and the fear of the rising power of the working class forced each of them to arm to the teeth. This led to the mad rivalry of armament, which, years before the outbreak of the present war, had turned the leading countries of Europe into armed camps with standing armies of many millions, drilled and equipped for war in times of "peace."

Capitalism, imperialism, and militarism had thus laid the foundation of an inevitable general conflict in Europe. The ghastly war in Europe was not caused by an accidental event, nor by the policy or institutions of any single nation. It was the logical outcome of the competitive capitalist system.

The six million men of all countries and races who have been ruthlessly slain in the first thirty months of this war, the millions of others, who have been crippled and maimed, the vast treasures of wealth that have been de stroyed, the untold misery and sufferings of Europe, have not been sacrifices exacted in a struggle for principles or ideals, but wanton offerings upon the altar of private profit.

The forces of capitalism which have led to the war in Europe are 110 even more hideously transparent in the war recently provoked by the

ruling class of this country. When Belgium was invaded, the government enjoined upon the people of this country the duty of remaining neutral, thus clearly demonstrating that the “dictates of humanity," and the fate of small nations and of democratic institutions were matters that did not concern it. But when our enormous war traffic was serious threatened, our government calls upon us to rally to the "defense of democracy and civilization."

Our entrance into the European war was instigated by the predatory capitalists in the United States who boast of the enormous profit of seven billiou dollars from the manufacture and sale of munitions and war supplies and from the exportation of American food stuffs and other necessities. They are also deeply interested in the continuance of war and the success of the allied arms through their huge loans to the governments of the allied powers and through other commercial ties. It is the saine interests which strive for inperialistic domination of the Western Hemisphere.

The war of the United States against Germany cannot be justified even op the plea that it is a war in defense of American rights or American "honor." Ruthless as the unrestricted submarine war policy of the German government was and is, it is not an invasion of the rights of the American people as such, but only an interference with the opportunity of certain groups of American capitalists to coin gold profits out of the blood and sufferings of our fellow men in the warring countries of Europe.

It is not a war against the militarist regime of the Central Powers. Militarism can never be abolished by militarism.

It is not a war to advance the cause of democracy in Europe. Democracy can never be imposed upon any country by a foreign power by force of arms.

11

It is cant and hypocrisy to say that the war is not directed against the German people, but against the Imperial Government of Germany, f we send an armed force to the battlefields of Europe, its cannon will mow lown the masses of the German people and not the Imperial German Governnent.

Our entrance into the European conflict at this time will serve only to nultiply the horrors of the war, to increase the toll of death and destruction ind to prolong the fiendish slaughter. It will bring death, suffering and destiution to the people of the United States and particularly to the working class. t will give the powers of reaction in this country the pretext for an attempt to brottle our rights and to crush our democratic institutions, and to fasten upon his country a permanent militarism.

The working class of the United States has no quarrel with the working class of Germany or of any other country. The people of the United States have no quarrel with the people of Germany or any other country. The American people lid not want and do not want this war. They have not been consulted about he war and have had no part in declaring war. They have been plunged into his war by the trickery and treachery of the ruling class of the country hrough its representatives in the National Administration and National Congress, its demagogic agitators, its subsidized press, and other servile instrunents of public expression.

We brand the declaration of war by our government as a crime against the veople of the United States and against the nations of the world.

In all modern history there has been no war more unjustifiable than the war n which we are about to engage. No greater dishonor has ever been forced upon a people than that which the

capitalist class is forcing upon this nation against its will. 112 In harmony with these principles, the Socialist Party emphatically rejects

the proposal that in time of war the workers should suspend their struggle for better conditions. On the contrary, the acute situation created by war ealls for an even more vigorous prosecution of the class struggle, and we recommend to the workers and pledge ourselves to the following course of action :

1. Continuous, active, and public opposition to the war, through demonstrations, mass petitions, and all other means within our power.

2. Unyielding opposition to all proposed legislation for military or industrial conscription. Should such conscription be forced upon the people, we pledge ourselves to continuous efforts for the repeal of such laws and to the support of all mass movements in opposition to conscription. We pledge ourselves to oppose with all out strength any attempt to raise money for payment of war expense by taxing the necessaries of life or issuing bonds which will put the burden upon future generations. We demand that the capitalist class, which is responsible for the war, pay its cost. Let thse who kindled the fire furnish the fuel.

3. Vigorous resistance to all reactionary measures, such as censorship of press and mails, restriction of the rights of free speech, assemblage, and organization, or compulsory arbitration and limitation of the right to strike.

4. Consistent propaganda against military training and militaristic teaching in the public schools.

5. Extension of the campaign of education among the workers to organize them into strong, class conscious, and closely unified political and industrial organizations, to enable them by concerted and harmonious mass action to shorten this war and to establish lasting peace. 6. Widespread, educational propaganda to enlighten the masses as to the

true relation between the capitalism and war, and to rouse and organize 113 them for action, not only against present war evils, but for the prevention of

future wars and for the destruction of the causes of war, 7. To protect the masses of the American people from the pressing danger of starvation which the war in Europe has brought upon them, and which the entry of the United States has already accentuated, we demand :

(a) The restriction of food exports so long as the present shortage continues, the fixing of maximum prices, and whatever measures may be necessary to prevent the food speculators from holding back the supplies now in their hands.

(b) The socialization and democratic management of the great industries concerned with the production, transportation, storage, and the marketing of food and other necessaries of life;

(c) The socialization and democratic management of all land and other natural resources now held out of use for monopolistic or speculative profit.

« PreviousContinue »