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Sedition Trial of 1944: Case Card 1

On January 3, 1944 thirty opponents of American involvement in the war against Germany went to trial for charges of violating the Smit Act of 1940. The charges stemmed from their involvement in fascist movements and from cooperation with German forces. The defendants opposed war against Germany and espoused rabid anti-Semitism. A high percentage of the defendants came from California, including Noble, Jones, Schwinn and Diebel.

The trial began April 17, 1944, but the prosecution had a difficult time proving specific intent to undermine the morale of the armed forces or to cause armed revolt. The defense attorneys denied the government's contention of an overall Nazi plan to undermine the military's morale. This trial led to the reexamination of our freedoms and our responsibilities. Left wing liberals supported the trial but later this attempt to suppress civil rights undermined their fight for freedom of speech and press. The trial ended in tragedy and farce. Public opinion turned in favor of the defendants and due to the death of the judge, a mistrial was declared November 29, 1944.

American Nationalist Confederation: The News Bulletin (newsletter)

American Nationalist Confederation: The News Bulletin (newsletter)

True Bill of Indictment for the Sedition Trial (legal document)

True Bill of Indictment for the Sedition Trial (legal document)

The Seditionists -- Photo Montage (photograph)

The Seditionists -- Photo Montage (photograph)

Committee On Un-American Activities (photograph)

Committee On Un-American Activities (photograph)

From John Rogge to Joseph Roos (letter)

From John Rogge to Joseph Roos (letter)

From J. Edgar Hoover to Joseph Roos (letter)

From J. Edgar Hoover to Joseph Roos (letter)

America First, Last, and All The Time (handbill)

America First, Last, and All The Time (handbill)

A Trial on Trial: The Great Sedition Trial of 1944 (book)

A Trial on Trial: The Great Sedition Trial of 1944 (book)

Liebesbriefe aus dem Engadin (handbill)

Liebesbriefe aus dem Engadin (handbill)

Nazi Paraphernalia Seized in Raid of Aryan Bookstore in L.A., 1942 (photograph)

Nazi Paraphernalia Seized in Raid of Aryan Bookstore in L.A., 1942 (photograph)

Bulletin: Friends of Progress, v.8 no.13 (newsletter)

Bulletin: Friends of Progress, v.8 no.13 (newsletter)

Continental Book & Art Shop -- Advertising Piece (card)

Continental Book & Art Shop -- Advertising Piece (card)

Why has President Roosevelt Ignored the Real Solution of Unemployment for 7 years? (handbill)

Why has President Roosevelt Ignored the Real Solution of Unemployment for 7 years? (handbill)

WANTED: William Dudley Pelley (poster)

WANTED: William Dudley Pelley (poster)

Ellis O. Jones and Robert Noble (photograph)

Ellis O. Jones and Robert Noble (photograph)