The German government was worried about Untermyer's activities and closely monitored them. Untermyer even had to hire a bodyguard. In fact, at a huge convention of American Nazis at Madison Square Garden in 1934, the climax of the event was the chanting by thousands of voices, "Hang him, hang him!" attacking Untermyer.
These dramatic and awful times only got worse as the years passed. But Untermyer was on the right side of history as he continually stuck his neck out against Nazi Germany in Hitler's earliest days, unlike most other German Jews in America.
The gravity of the situation was impressively captured in a 134 page booklet published by the anti-Nazi group in 1934, which we recently acquired for our archives. The lead article is an address given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, with other addresses by Abba Hillel Silver, Lady Violet Bonham-Carter and Samuel Seabury. Untermyer is the dominant figure in the booklet, with nine speeches. The composition of the Board (Fiorello LaGuardia, Theodore Roosevelt IV et al) was designed to emphasize that the leadership of the organization was non-sectarian, not Jewish, as the Nazis had tried to diminish their efforts as narrowly based.
On a lighter note, tickets are quickly selling for Timothy Tilghman's lecture on horticulture through the seasons at the gardens. It will be held on March 10 on the Upper West Side. Please don't wait too long, as we expect the event to be sold out. You can buy tickets here.
In the meantime, think good thoughts for the Conservancy and the important work that lies ahead.