Rediscovering New York

Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Facebook Live Video from 20210803-Spies and Saboteurs in New York During Wartime

Facebook Live Video from 20210803-Spies and Saboteurs in New York During Wartime


20210803-Spies and Saboteurs in New York During Wartime

[NEW EPISODE] Spies and Saboteurs in New York During Wartime

On this week's show we will explore the history of the "enemies within", spies and saboteurs in New York City who were in the service

 of the country's enemies, or soon-to-be-enemies during wartime. My guests will be author Kevin Fitzpatrick,; and tour director Bob Brenner, Founder of Pig Feet Walking Tours,


Tune in for this fascinating conversation at or watch the Facebook Livestream by Clicking Here.

Show Notes

Segment 1

Tonight’s show topic is all about spies and saboteurs in New York during times of war. The special guests are author Kevin Fitzpatrick along with tour director and Founder of Pig Feet Walking Tours, Bob Brenner. Kevin has ties to the Marine Corps and is very proud of his Irish heritage. In 1864, a group of saboteurs set off 19 total fires in order to disrupt the election. This act could have been very damaging to the city but luckily they were Greek fire so less damage was dealt. Greek fire is essentially a substance that gets set ablaze once exposed to oxygen. Furthermore, Kevin is the author of “World War I New York: A Guide to the City's Enduring Ties to the Great War.”

Segment 2

Kevin also has written books about Dorothy Parker as well as Round Tables. He has a great interest in jazz and speakeasies. In regard to the Spanish American War, Kevin states that there likely was not much spying or sabotage going on. The war did not take place for a very long time which may partially be the reason. Also, Kevin explains how the Zimmerman Telegram was a secret document issued from the German Foreign Office in January 1917 that proposed a military alliance between Germany and Mexico if the United States entered World War I against Germany. It was intercepted which led to the declaration of the first World War as well as the famous explosion of Black Tom.

Segment 3

The second half of the show features the second guest named Bob Brenner who is a New York City Tour Guide. He is also the Founder of Pigs Feet Walking Tours. Bob lives in Chelsea but is not originally from the state. Bob first got interested in spies and saboteurs in NY along with NY history overall after seeing Nazis in Yorkville and experiencing how they acted. Yorkville was also the home of the German American Bund. Their main responsibility was to promote propaganda that pushed America to stay neutral and remain out of the war. In addition, they hosted summer camps that taught pupils how to handle firearms and craft explosives such as bombs.

Segment 4

Bob recently has been doing webinars and tours on various topics such as New York City in the 80’s and 90’s. The leader of the Bund was named Fritz Julius Kuhn who was corrupt and spent group funds on his mistress. He was later kicked out and lost citizenship. William Sebold was an American citizen who was born in Germany and had family who lived there. Eventually, he went to go visit his mother when Nazis recognized that he had American traits and made him become a spy for them or else his family would be hurt and he would not be allowed to leave. He agrees but later devises a plan with the FBI to get wired for sound and set up the German Government once they told all of their information.


00:00:31.410 --> 00:00:32.520 Jeff Goodman: Hello everyone.

00:00:33.780 --> 00:00:40.980 Jeff Goodman: Welcome to our listeners in the big apple from across the US and around the world i'm Jeff Goodman and you've tuned into rediscovering New York.

00:00:41.640 --> 00:00:47.580 Jeff Goodman: professionally i'm a real estate broker with brown Harris Stevens, but our show is not a program about real estate.

00:00:48.240 --> 00:00:55.530 Jeff Goodman: rediscovering New York as a weekly program celebrating New York City, its history, its texture its vibe its uniqueness.

00:00:56.190 --> 00:01:06.090 Jeff Goodman: And we do it through interviews with historians local business owners nonprofit organizations preservationists local musicians and artists and the occasional elected official.

00:01:07.200 --> 00:01:15.960 Jeff Goodman: On some shows we bring an individual New York neighborhood to life we explore its history and its current energy what makes that particular New York neighborhood special.

00:01:16.830 --> 00:01:24.750 Jeff Goodman: On some shows like on tonight's we showcase and interesting and vital color of the city and maybe its history that's not focused on one particular neighborhood.

00:01:25.500 --> 00:01:34.920 Jeff Goodman: i'm prior episodes we've covered topics just diverse and illuminating is American presidents who came from lived in or had some interesting history here in New York, about half of them believe it or not.

00:01:35.580 --> 00:01:43.800 Jeff Goodman: we've looked at the history of women activists in the suffrage movement we've looked at the history of different immigrant communities, including people who were brought here enslaved.

00:01:44.460 --> 00:01:54.240 Jeff Goodman: we've looked at the history of the city's LGBT community and the gay rights movement we've looked at bicycles and cycling, believe it or not, they've been part of our cities fabric, for more than 200 years.

00:01:54.750 --> 00:02:00.870 Jeff Goodman: we've looked at punk an opera those were separate shows, by the way, we've looked at our public library systems we have three of them.

00:02:01.500 --> 00:02:11.220 Jeff Goodman: We visited the subway we visited art in the subway we visited some of our greatest train stations that one of which isn't here anymore, and even some of our bridges, just to name a few.

00:02:12.150 --> 00:02:23.190 Jeff Goodman: After the broadcast each show is available on podcast you can find us on apple spotify Amazon Spied cat Amazon podcasts stitcher Google podcasts and other services.

00:02:23.550 --> 00:02:30.480 Jeff Goodman: Well tonight's going to be one of those special shows and one that's fun and intriguing although probably not at the time that these events were occurring.

00:02:31.050 --> 00:02:36.600 Jeff Goodman: we're calling it saboteurs and spies the enemies within new Yorkers were people who lived here.

00:02:36.900 --> 00:02:43.470 Jeff Goodman: Who spied on, or who committed sabotage for people who are either with countries who are either a war with United States.

00:02:43.830 --> 00:02:48.840 Jeff Goodman: or who would be at war with the United States, but maybe they weren't at the time that they committed their sabotage.

00:02:49.590 --> 00:02:58.350 Jeff Goodman: My first guest is a newbie to rediscovering your keys Kevin Fitzpatrick Kevin is the author of eight books tied to New York City and it's a licensed tour guide.

00:02:59.040 --> 00:03:04.560 Jeff Goodman: He wrote governors island the governor's island explorers guy the first and only guidebook on the island.

00:03:05.040 --> 00:03:14.430 Jeff Goodman: And another book World War one New York a guide to the cities and during ties to the Great War it when the apple award from the guides association of New York City that's Yannick.

00:03:15.030 --> 00:03:22.470 Jeff Goodman: For outstanding achievement and nonfiction books Kevin like myself as a fourth generation new yorker who lives in the upper West side.

00:03:22.950 --> 00:03:36.360 Jeff Goodman: You may have seen him in the new yorker last year for bringing Dorothy parker's ashes home to woodlawn cemetery for that he deserves special recognition and common page and Kevin fits pit Kevin Fitzpatrick a hearty welcome to rediscovering New York.

00:03:36.870 --> 00:03:40.530 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Thanks Jeff for such a warm welcome you to be my press agent you're awesome.

00:03:41.640 --> 00:03:43.080 Jeff Goodman: Well, we can talk about that.

00:03:43.080 --> 00:03:55.230 Jeff Goodman: Some other time, I have my own communications director, but you never know, maybe there's a third career in my office I used to be in advertising and media before I went into real estate you're from New York originally Kevin did you grow up on the upper West side.

00:03:55.620 --> 00:04:07.050 Kevin Fitzpatrick: not actually it's funny my great grandparents came over from Ireland, Italy and Ukraine, and my my if you know if it's Patrick from rockaway beach that's where my dad is from and my mom's from graves end.

00:04:07.560 --> 00:04:18.450 Kevin Fitzpatrick: And they got married in brooklyn but, like a lot of people in the 60s, they didn't want to live here, so I had the distinction being born in baltimore, of all places, and we bounced around baltimore yeah charm city.

00:04:19.770 --> 00:04:23.760 Kevin Fitzpatrick: And we bounced around a four different states, but after I got out of the marines.

00:04:24.780 --> 00:04:28.230 Kevin Fitzpatrick: I moved back to New York so i've been on the upper West side for more than 30 years.

00:04:28.590 --> 00:04:36.540 Jeff Goodman: Oh wow we'll have to talk about this offline I my ancestors came have come from Ireland, Italy, and also from Ukraine have some similar.

00:04:37.590 --> 00:04:41.880 Jeff Goodman: Genetic stuff going on, when did you become interested in New York history Kevin.

00:04:42.510 --> 00:04:52.290 Kevin Fitzpatrick: I got it from my grandfather my grandfather grew up in brooklyn and as a kid like a teenager he started writing on lists of names of his family members and.

00:04:52.710 --> 00:05:00.900 Kevin Fitzpatrick: In ancestors from from Ireland, and I have all those notes that he kept and i've just had a very, very strong connection to.

00:05:01.770 --> 00:05:11.910 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Our immigrant past and the people that make the city great from as long as I can remember buying any book about New York City and flea markets in yard sales and secondhand stores.

00:05:12.720 --> 00:05:21.030 Kevin Fitzpatrick: it's it's just an it's the kind of subject, that you will never ever run out of topics and rabbit holes to go down it's the perfect time to study.

00:05:21.720 --> 00:05:26.700 Jeff Goodman: know, and you know, the United States, we are a country of immigrants and descended from immigrants, but New York, especially.

00:05:27.420 --> 00:05:40.320 Jeff Goodman: Little factoid is probably at least since the 1880s about 40% of the people who live in New York City were not even born in the United States, and we still remain that gateway for people who seek a better life and.

00:05:41.160 --> 00:05:54.660 Jeff Goodman: See dreams to fulfill them fulfill them in the United States i'm talking about rabbit holes it's one thing to be interested in New York history Kevin it's another to decide that you wanted to make the study of the city in wartime.

00:05:55.980 --> 00:05:58.260 Jeff Goodman: An important part of your work, how did you get interested in that.

00:05:58.950 --> 00:06:01.140 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Probably coming from a military family.

00:06:02.250 --> 00:06:06.870 Kevin Fitzpatrick: me being in the marine corps kind of set that set that up for me.

00:06:07.950 --> 00:06:11.040 Kevin Fitzpatrick: And that's why I really started going to governor's island so early.

00:06:12.210 --> 00:06:25.860 Kevin Fitzpatrick: right when it open to the public, because it really reminded me of you know posts and basis i've been as a younger person and it's always something interesting to know about and military history in particular.

00:06:26.850 --> 00:06:32.010 Jeff Goodman: And governors island is actually a great piece has a great piece of military history we're going to be talking about that on a.

00:06:32.340 --> 00:06:45.180 Jeff Goodman: On an upcoming show with the person who one of the people who actually introduced us mandy and come she was going to be on in a couple of weeks to talk about governors island um but let's start our discussion of spies and saboteurs with the civil war.

00:06:46.800 --> 00:06:51.840 Jeff Goodman: It sounds romantic but let's just talk about the background for a second it sounds romantic that New York City.

00:06:52.620 --> 00:07:07.560 Jeff Goodman: was at the forefront of fighting for emancipation and freedom and keeping the Union together New York was home to many abolitionists and there was this is a major stop on the underground underground railroad but the reality was a little different than.

00:07:08.010 --> 00:07:11.130 Jeff Goodman: Some people who want to believe that all of us were fighting the good fight.

00:07:11.580 --> 00:07:13.680 Jeff Goodman: And with a good number of you have new Yorkers.

00:07:14.490 --> 00:07:23.580 Jeff Goodman: There were many in the city and the neighboring city of brooklyn which was its own city until 1898 who sympathized with the South right before and during the civil war, why was that.

00:07:24.570 --> 00:07:30.390 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Well, I think yeah look at the money you know the the textile industry, you know the commerce was coming in from the south.

00:07:30.870 --> 00:07:45.060 Kevin Fitzpatrick: You know quite a few people that are coming from slave states to live and work in the metro area to support businesses back home, and so they of course would not have been going along with what the Union cause was that was probably a big part of it.

00:07:46.410 --> 00:08:01.110 Jeff Goodman: And there also was a there was there were Irish immigrants who also felt that they would be forced to bear the brunt I don't know that they would have been considered southern sympathizers but we had the draft riots in 1863 but that's another topic for for another day.

00:08:02.370 --> 00:08:08.310 Jeff Goodman: we're going to talk about a prison that was in New York for confederates so we talked about covenant we mentioned governors island.

00:08:08.670 --> 00:08:15.000 Jeff Goodman: But before we do I want to talk about some of the spies and saboteurs who actually would not imprisoned on that military base.

00:08:15.570 --> 00:08:31.410 Jeff Goodman: What kind of saboteurs might there have been in New York at the beginning of the civil war, people who were not military folks but but but citizens who decided that it was worth their while, of whatever reason, they were going to aid and abet the cause the cause of the southern states.

00:08:31.980 --> 00:08:39.060 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Well, most researchers talk about you know southerners that stayed in New York to funnel money and information back.

00:08:40.860 --> 00:08:50.430 Kevin Fitzpatrick: You know, quietly flying under the radar so they weren't going to be making the news or getting into the history books, so much the big thing, though Jeff is.

00:08:50.910 --> 00:09:04.860 Kevin Fitzpatrick: The attack by fire thanksgiving 1864 That was a ring of saboteurs who were confederate officers who originally in November 1864 want to disrupt the election.

00:09:05.850 --> 00:09:23.040 Kevin Fitzpatrick: But they didn't get their act together in time, so they set a plot set up on this plan on November 25 1864, which was a set off a series of fires around the city simultaneously and they rented hotel rooms all over and set 19 fires, the same time at eight o'clock on that night.

00:09:24.060 --> 00:09:32.550 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Luckily, they were using something called Greek fire which didn't work so well, and so, none of the none of the conflagrations were very serious.

00:09:33.270 --> 00:09:39.120 Kevin Fitzpatrick: To hotels did suffer some damage the St Nicholas and the New England hotel, which is still around on the bowery.

00:09:39.960 --> 00:09:51.180 Kevin Fitzpatrick: But the most serious was that barnum's museum everybody knows who PT Barnum was but an office named Robert Kennedy set a fire and cause a stampede in a panic and luckily, no one was killed.

00:09:52.200 --> 00:10:00.270 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Those men escape to Canada, the next day and got away, but when Kennedy came back across the border not too long after he was captured.

00:10:01.020 --> 00:10:10.260 Kevin Fitzpatrick: taken to Fort Lafayette and the harbor which we'll talk more about that in a minute and was was executed in March 1865 right before the war ended.

00:10:11.100 --> 00:10:25.740 Kevin Fitzpatrick: That could have been very you know damaging to the city, you know, we had three great fires already in the 18th in 18th century, and this could have been much worse, but I guess, they just weren't very good saboteurs because they didn't bring anything down to the crime.

00:10:26.460 --> 00:10:27.360 Jeff Goodman: what's a Greek fire.

00:10:28.440 --> 00:10:29.190 Kevin Fitzpatrick: um.

00:10:30.900 --> 00:10:32.010 Kevin Fitzpatrick: I flunked chemistry.

00:10:32.280 --> 00:10:33.120 Jeff Goodman: Oh, I never heard of.

00:10:33.780 --> 00:10:44.100 Jeff Goodman: Our Sophie obviously if they all tried to say Greek fire someone in their ring you had to think it was a good idea, and it would be effective to and a good way to combust wouldn't hotels.

00:10:44.400 --> 00:11:02.490 Kevin Fitzpatrick: i'm going to blame the Christian brothers education, I have for not teaching me enough chemistry, but it's basically is this chemical in a jar and when you i'm exposed to oxygen it's supposed to start a blaze I should know this because I come from a fire department family too, but.

00:11:03.630 --> 00:11:04.170 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Sorry.

00:11:05.700 --> 00:11:06.750 Kevin Fitzpatrick: They weren't very good at it.

00:11:08.370 --> 00:11:11.220 Jeff Goodman: A little off topic question you know, one of the reasons that New York.

00:11:12.000 --> 00:11:18.390 Jeff Goodman: A lot of new Yorkers did sympathize with the South was because of money and because of commerce and there was a lot of manufacturing and a lot of textile here.

00:11:19.050 --> 00:11:32.190 Jeff Goodman: There was pretty much a blockade on southern cotton was was there any kind of significant trade and contraband cotton and made its way to New York so some of the mills could some of the the the manufacturers could.

00:11:32.730 --> 00:11:43.590 Kevin Fitzpatrick: could operate with them oh yeah they were on the South was trying to maintain that trade with with Europe, I mean that's when we were blockading you know charleston and and down down south.

00:11:44.250 --> 00:11:53.400 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Even though the north was cut off they they try to you know sell to you know to England and France and they've failed as well too.

00:11:55.110 --> 00:12:01.770 Jeff Goodman: Well let's talk about governors island Kevin for those people who haven't been there it's a very picturesque place right out on the harbor.

00:12:02.160 --> 00:12:08.100 Jeff Goodman: were many new Yorkers enjoy themselves, their music festivals now they actually have running water, they have you know non.

00:12:08.610 --> 00:12:16.920 Jeff Goodman: Tanks which which it didn't for the longest time and every summer this sort of like a 30 is I forgot the name of it, but this with this band of people wearing vintage clothing.

00:12:17.700 --> 00:12:30.060 Jeff Goodman: It was a military base for a long time, there are two old forts there one was for che which takes that dates back almost to the time of the revolution, and then we have Castle Williams, which is this round big stone structure when was it built.

00:12:30.540 --> 00:12:32.970 Kevin Fitzpatrick: 1813 for the war of 1812.

00:12:33.960 --> 00:12:35.370 Jeff Goodman: And when did it become a prison.

00:12:36.210 --> 00:12:47.970 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Well, not too right when the war started it kind of wasn't needed as a fortification a longer because if ships with cannons got into the harbor they could start you know, showing 14 street.

00:12:48.390 --> 00:12:54.210 Kevin Fitzpatrick: So they took the cannons out and when the war started they started locking up confederate pow they brought them up by ship.

00:12:55.050 --> 00:13:05.250 Kevin Fitzpatrick: from North Carolina and then later by rail from you know Pennsylvania, is a lot of gettysburg pow are kept there more than 1000 men in really terrible conditions were kept in that.

00:13:05.970 --> 00:13:15.570 Kevin Fitzpatrick: open air for and then in for Jay is where they kept the officers, they had a gentleman's agreement to walk around the island, but they were cut their.

00:13:16.830 --> 00:13:30.120 Jeff Goodman: Why would they have transported prisoners, I mean in those days it wasn't just like you got on the bus and went up by 95 you know for two hours to get to New York City, why would they have transported prisoners from gettysburg to New York.

00:13:30.420 --> 00:13:40.680 Kevin Fitzpatrick: We had prison prison camps all over the place, just like the south did, and it was a very serious thing you got to remember when the war started the Union said they were going to.

00:13:41.580 --> 00:13:49.530 Kevin Fitzpatrick: execute confederate officers for treason, so what the south did in Richmond is they started drawing lots of prisoners.

00:13:49.860 --> 00:14:03.180 Kevin Fitzpatrick: of Union officers have who was going to be executed in retaliation so that's when that stopped, and so they had a series of prison prison transfers, where they would do swaps say would send 100 Union down and they get 100 confederates back.

00:14:04.410 --> 00:14:05.130 Kevin Fitzpatrick: That kind of thing.

00:14:06.270 --> 00:14:08.070 Jeff Goodman: And the prison swapping stopped at some point.

00:14:09.300 --> 00:14:17.970 Kevin Fitzpatrick: i'm not exactly sure when it when it ceased, because what happened is some of these men were going back and forth a couple of times, including you know our star witness tonight.

00:14:21.120 --> 00:14:26.490 Jeff Goodman: Was there any other civil war saboteurs in the city, who was who were caught, aside from.

00:14:27.930 --> 00:14:28.860 Jeff Goodman: What was his name sorry.

00:14:29.400 --> 00:14:30.270 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Kennedy Kennedy.

00:14:30.840 --> 00:14:32.550 Jeff Goodman: i'm not aware of it, I forget that name but.

00:14:33.300 --> 00:14:39.690 Kevin Fitzpatrick: His name was Robert Kennedy i'm stories i'm not aware of i'm sure there's quite a few others, but.

00:14:41.100 --> 00:14:49.320 Kevin Fitzpatrick: There aren't that many books about the civil war in New York one it's quite good it's bad the confederate.

00:14:50.520 --> 00:15:05.700 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Award dead, who are in brooklyn you know Cypress hills national cemetery has more than 500 confederates entered there there's more confederates entered in brooklyn in any other place in the northeast and most of them were men who died in prison and and hospitals in the metro area.

00:15:06.330 --> 00:15:11.670 Jeff Goodman: wow and are their graves recognizable as as having been confederate soldiers.

00:15:12.030 --> 00:15:21.660 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Yes, I do a tour of Cypress hill cemetery actually i'm there in a federal cemetery and so federal cemeteries you've seen like an arlington have around top.

00:15:22.860 --> 00:15:35.850 Kevin Fitzpatrick: The CSA confederate states, they have a peak on the top, so you can tell the difference in their graves, since around 1905 the federal government is recognizing those as well to you know where the peak comes from.

00:15:36.690 --> 00:15:39.090 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Know then that's how the Yankees don't sit on them.

00:15:40.260 --> 00:15:40.950 Jeff Goodman: Oh wow.

00:15:43.140 --> 00:15:44.190 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Some cemetery camera.

00:15:44.820 --> 00:15:46.440 Jeff Goodman: Well, would you also probably not many.

00:15:47.490 --> 00:15:50.460 Jeff Goodman: Jewish to abuse, it would be hard to leave stones on those two if they were pete.

00:15:51.660 --> 00:15:55.770 Jeff Goodman: By the way, i've been to the Jewish confederate cemetery in Richmond, which is also really interesting.

00:15:56.460 --> 00:16:09.780 Jeff Goodman: we're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to continue the first part of our show with Kevin Fitzpatrick Kevin is the author of World War one New York a guide to the cities and during ties to the Great War we'll be back in a moment.

00:18:25.740 --> 00:18:37.950 Jeff Goodman: we're back to rediscovering New York and episode 123 saboteurs and spies the enemy within, people who are in New York, who either Spied for enemies of the United States or committed sabotage.

00:18:38.370 --> 00:18:49.440 Jeff Goodman: My first guest is Kevin Fitzpatrick Kevin is an author and editor and one of the books, he wrote is called World War one New York a guide to the cities in during ties to the great war.

00:18:49.770 --> 00:18:57.780 Jeff Goodman: Kevin you wrote seven of the books oh there it is great i'll have to get an order an autographed copy of both of them what are some of the other books you've written.

00:19:00.600 --> 00:19:01.530 Jeff Goodman: you're muted.

00:19:03.570 --> 00:19:08.820 Kevin Fitzpatrick: What a rookie I written a few books about Dorothy Parker another upper West signer.

00:19:09.660 --> 00:19:22.470 Kevin Fitzpatrick: And about the algonquin round table I really loved jazz ah, I do literary walking tours as well too i'll focused on speakeasies and a jazz age and brothels and all those kinds of fun things from the roaring 20s.

00:19:22.980 --> 00:19:24.810 Jeff Goodman: Oh Greg a thumbs up from Robert on that one.

00:19:26.040 --> 00:19:34.080 Jeff Goodman: We actually had a show on famous New York roundtables if we spent a little time talking about the algonquin Roundtable and Dorothy Parker and eventually and.

00:19:35.400 --> 00:19:37.020 Jeff Goodman: The the focus of the Roundtable.

00:19:37.110 --> 00:19:42.030 Jeff Goodman: prefer if people wanted to find out about your books and about your work and your tours how could they do that.

00:19:42.750 --> 00:19:52.950 Kevin Fitzpatrick: I have two sites Fitzpatrick author calm is all about my books and stuff and then big apple fanatics tour so that's with an s big apple fanatics tours calm.

00:19:53.220 --> 00:20:06.480 Kevin Fitzpatrick: And that has my my tour schedule i'm actually doing governors island tour August 15 and September 25 and it's called the secrets of governors island and I do show you where the bodies are buried, there are some some people under the earth out there.

00:20:06.840 --> 00:20:07.350 Oh wow.

00:20:08.730 --> 00:20:12.840 Jeff Goodman: On the 15th if i'm not showing property, I will join you on that day.

00:20:14.280 --> 00:20:17.130 Jeff Goodman: I have my own tour on the 14th them conducting.

00:20:18.360 --> 00:20:23.670 Jeff Goodman: I want to get to the next big war and sabotage in New York, the First World War, but first I want to ask you.

00:20:24.240 --> 00:20:32.190 Jeff Goodman: A question about a war in between the civil war in the First World War it's probably a war that most of the workers don't think about very much and that's the Spanish American war.

00:20:32.490 --> 00:20:44.730 Jeff Goodman: Even though we have a monument to some of the data, the beginning of the war at Columbus circle at the monument for the main do we know if they weren't any spies in New York, who were in the service of Spain during during this war.

00:20:45.210 --> 00:20:52.380 Kevin Fitzpatrick: You know that's a good question you know we're in that for such a short time, you know, under a year I don't think that there was any.

00:20:52.980 --> 00:20:59.880 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Real sabotage or spy activity going on i've never come across any stories i'm sure, maybe one of your listeners has.

00:21:00.420 --> 00:21:12.240 Kevin Fitzpatrick: A point of fact, though, is when the the main was raised and was brought back to New York, it was brought to governors island and governors island has a piece of the main in South battery still.

00:21:12.960 --> 00:21:19.260 Kevin Fitzpatrick: But it was it was you know such a very brief time, if anything, came out of the Spanish American war it showed us how unprepared, we were.

00:21:19.680 --> 00:21:30.780 Kevin Fitzpatrick: On the supply and quartermaster side, which is why governor's honors used to supply the war material and World War one because it wasn't utilized as such in the span and more.

00:21:31.260 --> 00:21:31.650 hmm.

00:21:32.850 --> 00:21:44.340 Jeff Goodman: Well, speaking of World War one let's go to the First World War, it was an interesting conflict for the United States for a number of reasons, not the least because other countries had been at war with each other for almost.

00:21:44.340 --> 00:21:45.240 Jeff Goodman: Three years.

00:21:45.660 --> 00:21:46.890 Jeff Goodman: Before the US entered the.

00:21:46.890 --> 00:21:47.400 Jeff Goodman: War.

00:21:47.460 --> 00:21:48.960 Jeff Goodman: And we were officially neutral.

00:21:48.990 --> 00:21:50.190 Jeff Goodman: For most of the war actually.

00:21:51.960 --> 00:22:03.570 Jeff Goodman: let's talk about what New York was like before we declared war on Germany in 1917 but during the first years of the war, what was the York like in the first years of the war, before we actually became a belligerent.

00:22:03.960 --> 00:22:10.380 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Great question really good question we got a member, you know Wilson had run on a platform of he will keep us out of the war.

00:22:10.830 --> 00:22:17.850 Kevin Fitzpatrick: and New York was you know, think about in Europe was like you know the Irish certainly don't want to get into it, because they don't support Great Britain.

00:22:18.240 --> 00:22:28.710 Kevin Fitzpatrick: And then look at the large you know German American Community in the city as well, too, and when john Paul Mitchell ran and was successful he was a progressive.

00:22:29.160 --> 00:22:36.780 Kevin Fitzpatrick: And he was pro war he wanted to get us into the fight and that cost in the election in 1917 and he lost to read my island.

00:22:37.680 --> 00:22:48.300 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Because Highland said I don't want to get us into the war, and so there was a lot of people that wanted to not get into it, but as time went on, and the last is continued to mount.

00:22:48.750 --> 00:23:03.390 Kevin Fitzpatrick: People really, really wanted to to volunteer a lot of new Yorkers went over as volunteers to fight for France and fight for fight for the King and a lot of them lost their lives, quite a few new Yorkers actually wow.

00:23:04.350 --> 00:23:10.770 Jeff Goodman: So you know New York certainly well part of New York, certainly on the on the side of of the allies.

00:23:11.730 --> 00:23:31.020 Jeff Goodman: we're going to talk in a minute about that a famous explosion that actually happened in the harbor and ninth and 16 before we do that was there a there was a big German American Community in New York and some German citizens but lots of first and second generation German Americans.

00:23:32.040 --> 00:23:36.570 Jeff Goodman: Was there any kind of a network of informants here in the early days of the war.

00:23:37.380 --> 00:23:50.280 Jeff Goodman: i'm not referring to them as spies because we weren't at war, yet so they couldn't be spying you know against us if we were not if we're not at war, what what kind of a network of informants were there, who were who were working for for the German empire.

00:23:50.310 --> 00:23:57.690 Kevin Fitzpatrick: In the first there were there were a lot of people from the central powers who are in New York, you know remember you know the before the lusitania sank.

00:23:59.010 --> 00:24:04.890 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Germany took out ads and newspapers saying you know don't get on the ship, you know that you know we are at war.

00:24:06.270 --> 00:24:13.020 Kevin Fitzpatrick: And so you know anybody has been to the West side of Manhattan and and can see how you know steamships are loaded up.

00:24:13.920 --> 00:24:23.310 Kevin Fitzpatrick: It can be filled with spies that's why, when the Americans were sending the dough boys over to fight in France, they didn't leave from Manhattan they left from hoboken.

00:24:24.240 --> 00:24:36.480 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Because the army control those peers and keep you know what you know prying eyes away from those steamships that going over to to fight in France, but you know, there was definitely.

00:24:37.800 --> 00:24:45.120 Kevin Fitzpatrick: You know, maybe not as many as you know, Robert i'll talk about in World War Two but but definitely was you know sympathizers in in the US, at the time.

00:24:45.780 --> 00:24:52.800 Jeff Goodman: And, of course, they would have been informants who might the lusitania did itself from the West side peers in Manhattan.

00:24:53.430 --> 00:24:58.800 Kevin Fitzpatrick: yeah it was white star line you know right we're little island is right now that's where it departed from.

00:25:00.090 --> 00:25:03.420 Jeff Goodman: So they were probably informants who I mean the the.

00:25:04.710 --> 00:25:13.920 Jeff Goodman: The story of the word, is that the reason why I blew up the way it did is because, when a torpedo hit it the whole was filled with arguments that were on their way to.

00:25:14.670 --> 00:25:22.800 Jeff Goodman: To Britain so they're probably were informants who reported on what was going into that ship, as you know, before it left New York, and that was in 1915.

00:25:23.220 --> 00:25:34.650 Kevin Fitzpatrick: yeah more than likely, I mean that there's there's three instances that lead us into the war, one is the sinking of the lusitania and the unrestricted you know German submarine warfare and the Zimmerman telegram which was.

00:25:40.710 --> 00:25:41.580 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Which one.

00:25:46.890 --> 00:25:48.570 Kevin Fitzpatrick: You access.

00:25:50.190 --> 00:25:51.810 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Exit you know.

00:25:54.570 --> 00:25:56.520 Kevin Fitzpatrick: So that would which then led him to.

00:25:56.850 --> 00:26:02.940 Jeff Goodman: Actually Kevin we had we had an unstable Internet connection, could you repeat what you said about this oven telegram you went a little blank after that.

00:26:02.970 --> 00:26:06.360 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Oh i'm sorry and so spies you know they're trying to.

00:26:06.390 --> 00:26:09.270 Kevin Fitzpatrick: attack to me through through verizon.

00:26:11.070 --> 00:26:27.570 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Zimmerman telegram was a cable that went from the Kaiser to Mexico City that was intercepted by the English and what it said was essentially as if Mexico joined with Germany to fight America on our southern border after Germany was victorious they would give them.

00:26:28.590 --> 00:26:42.060 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Back California Texas new Mexico and Congress is like what are you talking about so that was really something that really set us that you know that Germany is not being Honorable and we need to take action.

00:26:43.560 --> 00:26:50.400 Jeff Goodman: Well, this brings us to a major catastrophe that happened in New York harbor in 1916 black Tom.

00:26:51.540 --> 00:26:58.560 Jeff Goodman: What was the island of black Tom actually was a promontory wasn't really an island or wasn't an island what What was it and how did it get there and what happened there.

00:26:58.800 --> 00:27:12.150 Kevin Fitzpatrick: It was it was an island, and then it was landfill it's right where liberty state park is today, so if you are standing on liberty island in the back of the statue liberty and looking to New Jersey that's right, where it was easy to find.

00:27:13.440 --> 00:27:19.590 Kevin Fitzpatrick: what was happening is all the ammunition and munitions or manufacturing knighted States all over the country.

00:27:20.010 --> 00:27:40.380 Kevin Fitzpatrick: went on rail lines to that port to that part of New Jersey, then they would go on barges and as barge rather than go to steamships they'll go over to the allies to fight in in Europe, the day of the explosion July 30th 1916 there was 2 million pounds of ammunition on those docs.

00:27:42.690 --> 00:27:51.210 Jeff Goodman: And barges would take them to ships, the ships actually didn't unlike in hoboken to the West side of Manhattan they didn't actually docket blacktop they were taken out and barges.

00:27:51.870 --> 00:28:03.330 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Well, the the barges, would go around you know where we lock in is, and it would load them on from there, there was you know different kinds of pastors ships and commercial ships and transport ships.

00:28:03.960 --> 00:28:06.810 Jeff Goodman: who was responsible for it, what how did they how did they blow it up.

00:28:07.290 --> 00:28:17.700 Kevin Fitzpatrick: um one no one's ever caught no one's ever prosecuted, so in the middle of the night, a little after 2am a series of explosions went off and explosions lasted for three hours.

00:28:18.150 --> 00:28:29.190 Kevin Fitzpatrick: It was so loud, you can hear it in Boston and Philadelphia, and it shook the city like an earthquake and blew out windows all over the place shrapnel went into the back of the Statue of Liberty pierce the skin.

00:28:30.360 --> 00:28:43.350 Kevin Fitzpatrick: The pedestal took most of it, there was you know holes punched into the copper around the back, one of the myths is the arm was damaged and that's why you can't go up into the flame anymore, of the right arm it's not exactly true.

00:28:44.160 --> 00:28:51.810 Kevin Fitzpatrick: But it did cause significant damage seven men were killed, and it really level that whole part of New Jersey.

00:28:52.440 --> 00:28:57.570 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Today there's there's really no memorials to it there's no there's like I think one sign of liberty state park.

00:28:58.170 --> 00:29:13.710 Kevin Fitzpatrick: And there's a church in Jersey city that are late of chocolate church on sixth street has a really nice stained glass window dedicated to the blacktop explosion, but if anything came out of that it was don't bring high explosives through New York harbor any longer.

00:29:14.610 --> 00:29:19.950 Jeff Goodman: Can one still see remnants of blank Tom today are all if you go out there, can you any any remnants at all.

00:29:20.250 --> 00:29:31.710 Kevin Fitzpatrick: it's all underground they buried it, I mean that's why nobody lives there because there's so many toxins and chemicals and oh wow not such good stuff is just under the surface, but if you go into the park office.

00:29:32.490 --> 00:29:43.530 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Some Rangers found some public turned over to the ranger some people from the public, some piece of shrapnel and bits So you can see, you know a little bit of bits of it but there's nothing, nothing major left.

00:29:44.580 --> 00:29:47.670 Jeff Goodman: Well, interesting little fact one thing that may have complicated.

00:29:48.900 --> 00:29:51.420 Jeff Goodman: Our inability or we're not picking up.

00:29:52.740 --> 00:30:04.230 Jeff Goodman: People not finding out about this plot beforehand, is that at the time that black Tom went off there was no federal statute that prohibited espionage during peacetime.

00:30:04.620 --> 00:30:19.800 Jeff Goodman: Without even prohibited sabotage, I mean obviously they were there were laws against blowing things up and committing arson, but we didn't have any laws that prohibit in people from committing spying we're we're passing intelligence of if we weren't at war.

00:30:20.820 --> 00:30:26.220 Jeff Goodman: With any other significant saboteurs or spies in New York, after the explosion and black Tom Kevin.

00:30:26.790 --> 00:30:31.800 Kevin Fitzpatrick: There were there were a couple other you know smaller incidents, but that was really the major one.

00:30:33.600 --> 00:30:39.960 Jeff Goodman: All right, well, unfortunately we're at a time in our segment a Kevin Fitzpatrick thanks so much for being our first guest.

00:30:40.320 --> 00:30:46.590 Jeff Goodman: On this program about saboteurs spies the enemies within people who lived in New York, who were.

00:30:47.070 --> 00:30:56.040 Jeff Goodman: Evildoers we're trying to do in the United States or our allies, my first guest has been Kevin Fitzpatrick Kevin is an author editor and tour guide.

00:30:56.490 --> 00:31:02.040 Jeff Goodman: And he's the author of the book called World War one New York a guide to the cities and during ties to the great war.

00:31:02.730 --> 00:31:12.750 Jeff Goodman: we're going to take a short break and when we come back we're going to be speaking with our second guest about spies and saboteurs in New York during the Second World War we'll be back in a moment.

00:31:14.520 --> 00:31:14.880 Kevin Fitzpatrick: Thank you.

00:33:43.350 --> 00:33:43.860 Jeff Goodman: we're back.

00:33:44.880 --> 00:33:58.650 Jeff Goodman: Support for rediscovering New York comes from our sponsors to rock modi market strategist at freedom mortgage for assistance in any kind of residential mortgage cerrado can be reached at 718-210-1167.

00:33:59.430 --> 00:34:05.910 Jeff Goodman: and support also comes from Jacqueline hospital interior design specializing in residential and commercial renovation and decorating.

00:34:06.720 --> 00:34:19.560 Jeff Goodman: Jacqueline can be reached at 3474821 700 you can like the show on Facebook rediscovering New York with Jeff Goodman and you can follow me on instagram and Twitter my handle is there a Jeff Goodman nyc.

00:34:20.370 --> 00:34:26.550 Jeff Goodman: If you have comments or questions or if you'd like to get on our mailing list, please email me Jeff at rediscovering New York ny seen.

00:34:27.720 --> 00:34:32.280 Jeff Goodman: One of the note before we get to our second guest, even though the program is not a show about real estate.

00:34:32.760 --> 00:34:39.240 Jeff Goodman: When i'm not on the air, I am D to real estate agent now amazing city where I help my clients buy sell lease and read property.

00:34:39.930 --> 00:34:51.660 Jeff Goodman: If you or someone you care about is considering a move into out of a within New York I would love to help you with those real estate needs, you can reach me and my team at 646-306-4761.

00:34:52.440 --> 00:34:58.830 Jeff Goodman: Our second guest on the show on saboteurs and spies is a returning guest to rediscover new Yorkers Robert Brenner.

00:34:59.550 --> 00:35:10.680 Jeff Goodman: Bob is in New York City tour guide he's a certified member of the guides association in New York City that's ganache for those not familiar with the acronym and he is a lifelong New York history buff and also an adventurous eater.

00:35:11.940 --> 00:35:21.690 Jeff Goodman: Bob started pig feet walking tours in 2014 because he was not able to find towards that covered the subjects that he's interested in and we'll be talking about a couple of those a little later.

00:35:22.200 --> 00:35:30.210 Jeff Goodman: Since creating the company, he is created and lead walking tours for a whole coterie of organizations, including the historic districts Council James walk.

00:35:30.630 --> 00:35:44.670 Jeff Goodman: The municipal art society of New York and the New York public libraries bob's published works have appeared in your magazine the huffington post's salon and many other publications Bob Brenner a hearty welcome back to rediscovering New York.

00:35:45.840 --> 00:35:49.860 Robert Brenner: Thanks thanks for having me back on I guess it didn't screw up the first session too badly.

00:35:50.160 --> 00:35:57.540 Jeff Goodman: know and hopefully this, no, no, you were a great cast and, by the way it was a fascinating conversation, it was about the.

00:35:58.470 --> 00:36:14.610 Jeff Goodman: Some of the more darker downtown streets in olden times we talked about the battery and alan's street and bobs insights into Allen street 100 years ago were very illuminating Bob home, is where the heart is and you live in Chelsea oh you're from New York originally.

00:36:15.120 --> 00:36:21.600 Robert Brenner: um no don't don't tell anyone but i'm going out myself, I was born and raised in nyack.

00:36:22.920 --> 00:36:30.360 Robert Brenner: For my first I started out there, I remember distinctly the day my parents told me that they had moved out of the city.

00:36:31.260 --> 00:36:49.500 Robert Brenner: To the suburbs to raise a family, I thought it was the stupidest thing i've ever heard and I spent most of my teenage years trying to get back into the city and i'm in the 1970s and I moved here permanently in the early 1980s when most most people were leaving.

00:36:51.210 --> 00:36:59.190 Jeff Goodman: Well, like some of us, you didn't leave you were here in New York was an exciting place in the 80s, although was gritty and lots of graffiti and.

00:36:59.820 --> 00:37:02.040 Jeff Goodman: was an interesting place an interesting time to live here.

00:37:02.970 --> 00:37:07.500 Jeff Goodman: i've actually referred people to a couple of shows i've had about punk in New York, that was more than seven days.

00:37:07.770 --> 00:37:18.630 Jeff Goodman: But then had a show about a month and a half ago on the new music scene in New York in the 80s it's at the archives it's worth it's worth listening to how did you first get interested in creating and putting together towards Bob.

00:37:19.260 --> 00:37:28.290 Robert Brenner: um well yeah I am a lifelong New York City history buff what I find a topic that i'm interested in I read everything I can about it.

00:37:28.680 --> 00:37:34.080 Robert Brenner: I was particularly interested in, you know more obscure aspects of New York City history.

00:37:35.010 --> 00:37:46.260 Robert Brenner: Where it seemed like I was the only one who really knew the details of it, and after you know, a certain amount of study you think like well I kind of like to share this information with somebody and.

00:37:47.700 --> 00:37:55.710 Robert Brenner: So I just sort of a lot founded pick the walking tours and then lo Behold people actually showed up for my tours and I was off and running.

00:37:56.490 --> 00:38:01.440 Jeff Goodman: Well, speaking of offbeat tours and I have to share that i'm a real fan of intrigue and of spies.

00:38:02.010 --> 00:38:13.050 Jeff Goodman: sort of in the Cold War, but also, you know fighting the good fight back in the old days, how did you become interested in the history of spies in the United States and in New York during the Second World War.

00:38:13.650 --> 00:38:18.510 Robert Brenner: Well, this is yeah, this is actually kind of a personal i'm started with the.

00:38:19.560 --> 00:38:27.000 Robert Brenner: charlottesville and North Carolina and in 2017 you know you had all these sort of neo Nazis with with Tiki torches marching.

00:38:27.510 --> 00:38:36.060 Robert Brenner: In the streets yeah counting Jews will not replace us and people were shocked shocked oh my God, how can you be you know neo Nazis being marketing in.

00:38:36.630 --> 00:38:55.170 Robert Brenner: In in a major New York City, but I was not surprised my mother grew up on the lower East side Oh, I used to see Nazis marketing all the time in New York City up up in germantown up and but it's now called yorkville yorkville was a major German neighborhood.

00:38:56.370 --> 00:38:58.170 Robert Brenner: Prior to World War Two.

00:38:59.220 --> 00:39:08.790 Robert Brenner: they're actually more Germans living in in in germantown then in Berlin, at that time and, unfortunately, some of them, some of them were Nazis.

00:39:10.170 --> 00:39:11.850 Robert Brenner: Were big fans of out of Hitler.

00:39:13.350 --> 00:39:25.170 Robert Brenner: And this is again, one of these obscure topics that people don't like talking about you read some of the official histories of yorkville it stops in the 1920s and jumps to the 1950s, the 30s and 40s.

00:39:25.860 --> 00:39:32.940 Robert Brenner: Are skipped over and yet to me, this is a dark but fascinating captor in that in that neighborhood history.

00:39:33.510 --> 00:39:47.430 Jeff Goodman: That it is a little frightening you can see, there are photographs of these major marches on 86 street and, if you look at them, you can think Oh, is this going on in Munich and norenberg in Berlin and actually it was it was New York and the 30th.

00:39:49.710 --> 00:39:54.240 Jeff Goodman: Which brings us to to the neighborhood and also the German American book and.

00:39:55.530 --> 00:40:04.710 Jeff Goodman: let's talk about the German American Community that was centered in and around New York phil was there anything about it that made it potentially more prone to host.

00:40:05.130 --> 00:40:13.080 Jeff Goodman: spies and saboteurs than other places in New York, that also would have had German Americans and a German American Community living there.

00:40:13.830 --> 00:40:21.870 Robert Brenner: Well, first of all, it was the largest German neighborhood in New York City at the time, I think only ritual with it was a distant second.

00:40:22.800 --> 00:40:41.250 Robert Brenner: Second, of all the German Community had been through a lot in peace, even decades there was a lot of suspicion against Germans during World War one, of course, a, then you had prohibition in the 1920s, a lot of Germans worked.

00:40:42.360 --> 00:40:53.520 Robert Brenner: In the brewery or saloon business and suddenly that those businesses were wiped out more or they continue, they were now labeled criminals and then, of course, in the 1930s.

00:40:54.210 --> 00:41:00.510 Robert Brenner: Everyone was impacted economically and then of course in 1933 Hitler comes to power.

00:41:01.170 --> 00:41:16.110 Robert Brenner: In Germany, and he basically says kills the Germans and says hey you're not criminals you're not losers you, you are the master race and you can see, to us, you know sort of minority within the German community that might be an appealing message.

00:41:16.920 --> 00:41:18.690 Jeff Goodman: What was the German American Bund.

00:41:20.490 --> 00:41:29.760 Robert Brenner: So the German American been was founded in 1936 a they had about 100,000 members nationwide.

00:41:32.070 --> 00:41:43.680 Robert Brenner: And offices in about every major American city at that time, but there, but their national headquarters was right here in yorkville on East at fifth street.

00:41:44.100 --> 00:41:59.700 Robert Brenner: um, and this was founded by a guy by the name of Fritz coon he was the the bundle theater of the German American button and 1936 he he visited the Munich Germany to attend the Olympics.

00:42:00.510 --> 00:42:12.960 Robert Brenner: He met with adolphe Hitler personally and Hitler gave him his blessings and the purpose of the German American been was basically to promote the Nazi perspective.

00:42:13.830 --> 00:42:21.120 Robert Brenner: on the situation in the Europe because everyone by 36 saw the storm clouds gathering.

00:42:21.780 --> 00:42:33.510 Robert Brenner: And what the Nazis were very concerned about was keeping the United States neutral as long as possible, they did not want the United States to enter the war or they did enter the war, they wanted.

00:42:33.900 --> 00:42:43.350 Robert Brenner: them to enter the war on the side of the axes, and so the been was very active in promoting promoting this perspective they're most notorious.

00:42:44.400 --> 00:42:55.740 Robert Brenner: for having this massive rally in Madison square garden and 1939 I think some of you may have seen this documentary that came out a few years ago called a night at night at the garden.

00:42:56.730 --> 00:43:09.090 Robert Brenner: That was work of the been to promote basically the Nazi perspective and to push for us to stay neutral and stay out of the coming war huh.

00:43:09.570 --> 00:43:19.890 Jeff Goodman: What before we take a break, but I wanted to ask you what kind of other legitimate and legal one of their legitimate, but at the legal activities to the been to undertake before the US enter the war.

00:43:21.150 --> 00:43:32.910 Robert Brenner: One of the things the bandwidth most of the stories about that was running summer camps They ran They ran summer camps all over the United States, they had one out of.

00:43:33.420 --> 00:43:34.650 Jeff Goodman: Jewish summer camps, I went.

00:43:34.680 --> 00:43:55.860 Robert Brenner: No, no, no, no, these were not the summer camps, these are basically places for Kenya excuse to go to be a doctrine, aided and Nazi ISM and learn useful skills like marking shooting guns making bombs street fighting things things that things that so that's sort for the for the coming conflict.

00:43:56.730 --> 00:43:57.570 Jeff Goodman: bombs to.

00:43:57.630 --> 00:43:58.470 Robert Brenner: yeah making bombs.

00:43:59.580 --> 00:44:00.360 Jeff Goodman: plain old archery.

00:44:01.020 --> 00:44:04.470 Robert Brenner: This is way way back this was not, this was not an archery class.

00:44:05.970 --> 00:44:20.610 Robert Brenner: The button felt that you know, at some point Germany would invade the United States, and at that point they wanted to be ready to rise up and as support the Nazi invasion, they were they were fifth colonists wow well.

00:44:22.050 --> 00:44:31.050 Jeff Goodman: School most terrifying to think of it um anyway um it's a strange place to take a short break but take a short break, we must.

00:44:31.740 --> 00:44:45.930 Jeff Goodman: When we come back we're going to continue our conversation with Bob Brenner on this episode called saboteurs and saboteurs and spies the enemy within, and they really some of these folks didn't do sound like they were the enemy within we'll be back in a moment.

00:47:16.020 --> 00:47:16.590 Jeff Goodman: we're back.

00:47:16.770 --> 00:47:22.920 Jeff Goodman: And you're back to rediscovering New York, this is episode 123 saboteurs and spies the enemy within.

00:47:23.310 --> 00:47:36.420 Jeff Goodman: People who work for the enemy, who lived in New York during wartime my second guest is Bob Brenner Bob is the founder of pig feet walking tours and Bob is fascinating as our topic is, I want to take a little.

00:47:37.020 --> 00:47:49.560 Jeff Goodman: detour and talk about pig feet, the name of the company could conjure up all kinds of thoughts, what are what are a few of the tours that you offer that are your favorites and that you're even the most proud of.

00:47:51.090 --> 00:47:58.620 Robert Brenner: Well, you know it's like asking what is your favorite favorite child, you know all of my tours are unique all of them are our products.

00:48:00.030 --> 00:48:00.720 Robert Brenner: Individual.

00:48:02.040 --> 00:48:15.780 Robert Brenner: Great research um I suppose that most part of this this this one of your fill in the 93rd because it's probably I think the most politically and motivated of my tours and and and and the most personal.

00:48:17.430 --> 00:48:39.960 Robert Brenner: I really am concerned about the rise of you know, fascist elements within the United States, and I wanted to point out to people that this is nothing new, there is, unfortunately, always been this element in the in the US, at least at least since the 1930s, they may go underground periodically.

00:48:40.980 --> 00:48:42.990 Robert Brenner: But they also periodically rear their ugly heads.

00:48:43.380 --> 00:48:44.850 Jeff Goodman: Well it's not been someone to ground lately.

00:48:45.060 --> 00:48:45.720 Robert Brenner: Now now now.

00:48:45.900 --> 00:48:46.800 Robert Brenner: Now it has not.

00:48:48.450 --> 00:48:52.170 Jeff Goodman: When you're doing a tour of New York film anytime soon.

00:48:52.530 --> 00:48:58.560 Robert Brenner: Well i'm going to be doing a webinar on Tuesday August I basically have suspended physical tours.

00:48:59.820 --> 00:49:02.880 Robert Brenner: During the pandemic i've been doing, however webinars.

00:49:05.160 --> 00:49:09.210 Robert Brenner: For New York adventure club I just did one on Allen street.

00:49:10.350 --> 00:49:14.310 Robert Brenner: Last week, that was very successful i'll be doing one on.

00:49:15.000 --> 00:49:31.530 Robert Brenner: On Nazi and yorkville a neck this coming Tuesday and the following Tuesday, since, since you mentioned punk in the 1970s 1980s i'll be doing New York City in the 1970s and the 80s fear city and we'll get we'll get into all of that as well.

00:49:32.010 --> 00:49:38.100 Jeff Goodman: A lot of simpatico between my personal interest in your tours How can people find out about about your programming Bob where can they go.

00:49:38.760 --> 00:49:41.790 Robert Brenner: The simplest thing is just Google pixie walking tours you'll either.

00:49:42.930 --> 00:49:53.580 Robert Brenner: Go to my website or you'll find my Facebook page my Facebook page just because I updated almost daily is it's probably more more current data my website at this point.

00:49:54.180 --> 00:50:02.520 Robert Brenner: But either either those are useful and, of course, going to New York adventure club and just looking for my name Brenner you'll you'll see my latest webinars on there.

00:50:03.030 --> 00:50:12.540 Jeff Goodman: Alright well back to the Bund and back to fritsch Kuhn and New York in the 1930s i'm Kuhn was actually a naturalized American.

00:50:12.930 --> 00:50:24.600 Jeff Goodman: He was born in Germany he fought in the first war, the First World War in Germany and immigrated here, I think, in the late 20s he was actually stripped of his citizenship and deported to Germany, after the war, why what happened.

00:50:24.630 --> 00:50:32.550 Robert Brenner: Oh, I love the whole story with companies, yes, he was born in Germany fought on the side of Germany during World War one.

00:50:34.590 --> 00:50:41.040 Robert Brenner: sometime in the 1920s, he joined the Nazi party, although he did not tell the US that when he immigrated here.

00:50:42.630 --> 00:50:54.000 Robert Brenner: But he did come to the United States, both for a better economic opportunities and but also to forward the message of Nazi ISM in the United States.

00:50:55.500 --> 00:51:03.480 Robert Brenner: After this 1939 rally in Madison square garden the store these rated the headquarters of the button.

00:51:04.110 --> 00:51:12.450 Robert Brenner: They thought they might be able to get a get Kuhn on on income tax evasion Oh, you know do an alka Al Capone on him.

00:51:12.750 --> 00:51:27.270 Robert Brenner: But they found something even better they found out that he had been embezzling funds from the Bund to keep it mysteries he had a mystery his name Florence COMP, of course, the all the tabloids go to Florence mind calm and he had been embezzling.

00:51:28.740 --> 00:51:33.090 Robert Brenner: been money and boy and blowing it out on this tootsie he had on the side.

00:51:34.650 --> 00:51:42.600 Robert Brenner: Is legal Defense was that as been a theater he could he could spend the buns money on anything you wanted, including mistresses.

00:51:43.500 --> 00:51:51.000 Robert Brenner: The jury did not agree, he was a he was convicted of embezzlement he went to prison he set out the war in prison.

00:51:51.390 --> 00:51:58.710 Robert Brenner: After the war he was stripped of his citizenship because he lied about being a member of the Nazi party and he was supported back to Germany.

00:51:59.010 --> 00:52:09.090 Robert Brenner: And he spent the rest of his life basically telling anyone who would care to listen, how he could have been a future of the United States if only things that played out differently.

00:52:10.290 --> 00:52:11.310 Jeff Goodman: Was Walter Cup.

00:52:12.780 --> 00:52:17.190 Robert Brenner: Welcome, he was another member of the German American bond.

00:52:18.510 --> 00:52:25.890 Robert Brenner: He seemed to have some kind of falling out with Kuhn, you know all of these guys were sort of like would be hitler's and imagine getting a bunch.

00:52:26.220 --> 00:52:39.960 Robert Brenner: of others in the same room, you know they would get on each other's nerves a cop return to Germany and, but that was not the end of his activities, he was responsible for recruiting.

00:52:41.190 --> 00:52:44.100 Robert Brenner: saboteurs for something called Operation best stories.

00:52:46.200 --> 00:53:07.260 Robert Brenner: He was Germany by 4142 United States and enter the war thought it was not going to stay neutral knighted States wanted to launch sabotage attacks on on the United States and COP was recruited to find people like himself Germans who spent lots of time in the United States.

00:53:08.280 --> 00:53:23.730 Robert Brenner: spoke English fluently were well versed in American culture and could pass as Americans, and these were the but i've gone back to Germany, and these were the people that he recruited to be these saboteurs for operation pistorius.

00:53:25.110 --> 00:53:35.040 Jeff Goodman: I do want to talk about one chap who was originally a spy but he turned out to be a double agent work for the FBI do you want to talk about William see ball.

00:53:35.550 --> 00:53:51.960 Robert Brenner: yeah yeah I do because we MC ball is blue this unsung hero of World War Two i'm like coon he was born in Germany he fought on the side of Germany during World War one he moved.

00:53:52.980 --> 00:53:57.210 Robert Brenner: To the United States after the war he became a naturalized citizen.

00:53:58.830 --> 00:54:05.850 Robert Brenner: But he took his he took his citizenship very, very seriously, because of our sensitive very seriously, he was an American as far as he's concerned.

00:54:06.540 --> 00:54:18.780 Robert Brenner: And then he made the mistake, though a returning in 1939 to Germany to visit his mother who still lived still lived in Germany at the time he wanted to see you know how he was doing.

00:54:19.890 --> 00:54:22.380 Robert Brenner: At that point, the Nazis grabbed him and said hey.

00:54:23.790 --> 00:54:32.520 Robert Brenner: You speak English fluently without an accent you look like an American you talk like American and Oh, by the way, you are all he also had a background in radio technology, he was a.

00:54:32.790 --> 00:54:43.440 Robert Brenner: He was a radio engineer by trade said we want you to spy for you spy for us, and if you don't bad things can happen to you and your mom you'll never you'll never leave Germany alive.

00:54:44.580 --> 00:54:57.150 Robert Brenner: And cboe thinking fast he slipped away he spoke to the American console the American council's said, what do I do, what do I don't want to spy for the Nazis, but you know i'm a scam your counselor said.

00:54:58.020 --> 00:55:08.460 Robert Brenner: keep calm play along when you return to the United States somebody for the FBI will contact you that's what he did he stayed in Germany.

00:55:09.210 --> 00:55:18.720 Robert Brenner: For all the 1940 training and all kinds of you know spies the secret codes all that kind of jazz he turned to the United States, he was contacted by somebody from the FBI.

00:55:19.140 --> 00:55:25.410 Robert Brenner: And they set him up in an office special office in Times Square wired for sound.

00:55:26.070 --> 00:55:41.040 Robert Brenner: And for most of 1941 every spy in the tri state region every Nazi spies tri state region came to meet with him sebald ostensibly to pass along their secrets in Nazi Germany and in reality they were being secretly recorded.

00:55:42.240 --> 00:55:43.020 Robert Brenner: By the FBI.

00:55:43.590 --> 00:55:54.390 Jeff Goodman: Well, and you mentioned before we went on the air that he had to go into the equivalent of the witness protection program, which is where he lived until the end of his life.

00:55:55.230 --> 00:56:08.520 Jeff Goodman: Bob we're almost at a time they were other they were Americans who were enemies within Henry Ford was a German sympathizer Charles lindbergh, of course, one I want you to talk about very briefly was Father conklin who was him What did he do.

00:56:09.390 --> 00:56:13.620 Robert Brenner: He was sort of the Alex Jones of a period had a very popular.

00:56:15.420 --> 00:56:31.050 Robert Brenner: Radio program that had like 30 million listeners it's a time when you know radio was really, really before television, radio, was really, really big and what he would do was every week would rail against the Judeo Bolshevik menace.

00:56:32.730 --> 00:56:35.760 Robert Brenner: Basically, there was this worldwide conspiracy.

00:56:38.490 --> 00:56:43.950 Robert Brenner: Jews and Communists who we're going to we're seeking to take over the world and.

00:56:45.240 --> 00:56:51.660 Robert Brenner: As far as a confident with certain people who are doing anything about it with the Nazis, so he you know he advocated on.

00:56:52.920 --> 00:57:13.020 Robert Brenner: The part of the Nazi he also had a group a group called the Christian front, who in 1940 a attempted to stage a coup in the United States, they were going to we're going to basically seize control and trying and trying to install a fascist government didn't work out for them, but.

00:57:15.000 --> 00:57:15.630 Robert Brenner: They did try.

00:57:16.020 --> 00:57:26.340 Jeff Goodman: No wow well on that note Bob we're out of time Thank you so much for being on this show saboteurs and spies on rediscovering New York.

00:57:26.670 --> 00:57:34.320 Jeff Goodman: our guests have been Kevin Fitzpatrick and also Bob Brenner Bob is the founder of pig feet tours big feet walking tours.

00:57:35.070 --> 00:57:44.640 Jeff Goodman: Very fascinating tours you can find him online if you have comments or questions about the show if you'd like to get on our mailing list, please email me Jeff at rediscovering your pet nyc.

00:57:45.180 --> 00:57:51.120 Jeff Goodman: You can like the show on Facebook and you can also follow me on instagram and Twitter my handle is there a Jeff had been nyc.

00:57:51.570 --> 00:57:58.590 Jeff Goodman: Once again i'd like to thank our sponsors to rock modi market strategist freedom mortgage and Jacqueline hospital interior design.

00:57:59.070 --> 00:58:05.700 Jeff Goodman: One more thing, before we sign off i'm Jeff Goodman a real estate agent or brown hair Stevens in New York City and whether you're selling buying leasing or renting.

00:58:06.060 --> 00:58:14.730 Jeff Goodman: My team and I provide the best service and expertise in New York City real estate to help you, with your real estate needs, you can reach us at 646-306-4761.

00:58:15.630 --> 00:58:23.490 Jeff Goodman: Our producer is Ralph story or or engineer this evening is Emily showman and we wish her well in her new venture after she leaves the station.

00:58:24.030 --> 00:58:37.350 Jeff Goodman: Our production assistant is Eric Nelson or special consultant is David Griffin of landmark branding stay tuned today PM right here on talk radio that nyc for coffee talk excel with Kevin Barbara thanks for listening, everyone will see you next time.

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