Robert Edward Edmondson (born Dayton, Ohio in 1872, died Bend, Oregon April 12, 1959)

was a journalist, researcher, and a defendant in the Great Sedition Trial of 1944. He was a

delegate to the Pan-Aryan Anti-Jewish Union held in National Socialist Germany in the 1930s.

Edmondson was a prolific anti-Jewish researcher and leading propagandist.

He described himself as an American Vigilante Patriot.




Edmondson had roots that went back to the colonial days of Virginia and Maryland and

was primarily of Scottish descent. He father was Edward Edmondson an artist. Robert

Edmondson referred to himself as a Native American (not referring to Amerindians).





Edmondson had a 40-year career as a reporter, editor, author and publisher on economics.

He began his career as a journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio working as a reporter for the Cincinnati Post.

Later he moved to New York City and became a financial reporter for the New York Herald

and the New York Mail and Express. While in New York he became critical of argued Jewish

manipulation of America’s economy and started an independent financial news outlet,

the Edmondson Economic Service.[3]



Anti-Jewish researcher

Edmondson in the 1930s and 1940s wrote on Jewish influence in banking, the press

and media in a series of essays which numbered over 400 called American Vigilante Bulletins.

His research on Jewish influence in the entertainment media  was the forerunner to

Who Rules America? written and distributed decades later by Dr. William L. Pierce.


Edmondson was prolific in the number of broadsides and pamphlets that he issued each

month. Between 1934 and 1936 its been estimated he distributed over five million pieces of literature.


He believed President Franklin Roosevelt to be Jewish and published

the flier Roosevelt’s Jewish Ancestry to make his case.


He appears to be the author of the 1938 pamphlet B'nai B'rith: An International Anti-Christian,

Pro-Communist Jewish Power. The pamphlet was issued under the name John Merrick Church.




On June 11, 1936 Edmondson was indicted by a Jew-majority Grand Jury in New York City

and charged with “libeling all persons of the Jewish Religion.” In preparing his defense

Edmondson subpoenaed some of the most prominent Jews of the time: Bernard Buruch,

Henry Morganthau, Rabbi Stephen Wise, Samuel Untermeyer, New York City mayor

Fiorello LaGuardia, James P. Warburg, Walter Lippmann and Justice Samuel Rosenman.

In response, the American Jewish Committee petitioned the court to drop the charges against

Edmondson. On May 10, 1938 the judge dismissed all indictments claiming there is no group libel law.


In the early 1940s Edmondson was indicted along with 29 others on charges of sedition.

The Great Sedition Trial of 1944, as it became known, was

declared a mistrial and the charges were later dismissed.




Edmondson on Jews

"I am not against Jews because of their religion, as a race, a people or as individuals,
but because Jewish leadership [i.e. the bankers] is actively anti-American, is
attempting to jettison the American political philosophy and take over the Country,
and that I would continue to be anti-Jewish until Jewry repudiated such subversion.
Were the offender any other than the Jewish minority, my attitude would be precisely
the same. This problem is the biggest and most acute thing in the world today....
"Knowing that pitiless publicity is the only cure for public evils, in 1934 I started
on a campaign to expose Jewish Anti-Americanism and Talmudic Communism
which has been called the "Code of Hell": a "Rabbi Racket" that victimizes its
own followers; an international "Satanic System" subverting France, Britain, Germany
and Russia, causing the present depression and moving to take over the
United States through the Jewish Radical administration [of FDR.] " 



Later life

In 1939 Edmondson moved from New York City to Pennsylvania living in Stoddartsville and

Scranton. While in Scranton, Edmondson was designated President of the Sovereign

Council of the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem from 1944 to 1948.


In 1953 he republished some of his bulletins into a book, I Testify Against the Jews.


He moved to Grass Valley, California and in his later years he campaigned against the fluoridation

of drinking water in the Pacific Northwest. He settled in Bend, Oregon where he died on April 12, 1959.



Works - Books

  • The Edmondson Case: Jews vs. Christian in court: the record, cold facts, both sides :
  • allegations as to the international menace of the globe-encircling "Jewish nations." (1936) 65 pages

  • I Testify Against the Jews (1953)

  • The Rape of the Press: American Free Speech Subversion Unmasked :
  • Democracy Propaganda Fraud "Exploded" 









Great Sedition Trial of 1944


The Great Sedition Trial of 1944 was a political show trial engineered by the

American Jewish Committee, ADL, and B'nai B'rith with the purpose of imprisoning

anti-communist patriots who opposed FDR and his schemes to bring the country into

World War II. The Smith Act of 1940 was used to prosecute the defendants. The case

was designated as United States v. McWilliams where the defendants were charged with

conspiracy to aid in establishment of a National Socialist form of government within the

United States and attempting to demoralize the armed forces of the United States. A conviction

carried a $10,000 fine and ten years imprisonment. The entire case was declared a mistrial

after the presiding judge suddenly died. Months later another judge dismissed the

charges against the defendants and called the case "a travesty on justice."



Grand jury indictments


The trial was staged in Washington DC thanks to Dillard Stokes an investigative reporter

working for the Washington Post. Before the indictments Stokes solicited allegedly seditious

publications from the defendants and had them mailed to his residence in the District of Columbia.

This tactic allowed the government to put the defendants on trial in one location and to

break them financially, removing them from their employment, family, and homes.


In total 42 people and one newspaper, The New York Evening Enquirer, were indicted by

three separate grand juries. The first two indictments issued in 1942 and 1943 failed to come

to trial. By the time trial began on April 17, 1944 with the third indictment, there were 30

defendants: 28 men and two women. The trial was held in Washington's Federal District Court

building in a small air conditioned courtroom (40 x 38 ft.) and lasted seven months.



Jewish Pressure


Jews played an instrumental role in pressing for the indictments. A United Press report

stated, Under pressure from Jewish organizations, to judge from articles appearing in

publications put out by Jews for Jews, the new indictment even more than the first was

drawn to include criticisms of Jews as "sedition." It appeared that a main purpose of the

whole procedure, along with outlawing unfavorable comments on the administration, was to

set a legal precedent of judicial interpretations and severe penalties which would serve

to exempt Jews in America from all public mention except praise, in contrast to the traditional

American viewpoint which holds that all who take part in public affairs must be ready to accept

full free public discussion, either pro or con.


The first indictment was a total Jewish affair with prosecuting attorney William P. Maloney

in constant contact with the ADL and coordinating the investigations.


First indictment: July 21, 1942

Court Asher, David J. Baxter, Otto Brennemann, Howard V. Broenstrupp, Oscar Brumback,

Prescott F. Dennett, C. Leon de Aryan, Hudson de Priest, Hans Diebel, Elizabeth Dilling,

Robert E. Edmondson, Elmer J. Garner, James F. Garner, William Griffin, Charles B. Hudson,

Ellis O. Jones, William Ernest Kullgren, William R. Lyman Jr, Donald McDaniel, Robert Noble,

William D. Pelley, Eugene Sanctuary, Herman M. Schwinn, Edward J. Smythe,

Ralph Townsend, James C. True, George S. Viereck and Gerald B. Winrod


Second indictment: January 4, 1943

Court Asher, David J. Baxter, Otto Brennemann, Howard V. Broenstrupp, Oscar Brumback,

Prescott F. Dennett, C. Leon De Aryan, Hudson de Priest, Hans Diebel, Elizabeth Dilling,

Robert E. Edmondson, Elmer J. Garner, James F. Garner, William Griffin, Charles B. Hudson,

Ellis O. Jones, William Ernest Kullgren, William R. Lyman Jr., Donald McDaniel, Robert Noble,

William D. Pelley, Eugene Sanctuary, Herman M. Schwinn, Edward J. Smythe, Ralph Townsend,

James C. True, George S. Viereck, Gerald B. Winrod, Frank W. Clark, George E. Deatherage,

Frank K. Fernenx, Paquita de Shishmareff (Leslie Fry), Lois de Lafayette Washburn and

The New York Evening Enquirer. In addition, twelve other publications and thirteen

organizations were named, but unindicted, on a list of "agencies employed."


Third indictment: January 3, 1944

Garland Alderman, David J. Baxter, Howard V. Broenstrupp, Frank W. Clark, George E. Deatherage,

Prescott F. Dennett, Lawrence Dennis, Hans Diebel, Elizabeth Dilling, Robert E. Edmondson,

Ernest F. Elmhurst, Frank K. Fernenx, Elmer J. Garner, Charles B. Hudson, Ellis O. Jones,

August Klapprott, Gerhard Wilhelm Kunze, William R. Lyman Jr., Joe E. McWilliams,

Robert Noble, William D. Pelley, Parker Sage, Peter Stahrenberg, Eugene Sanctuary,

Herman M. Schwinn, Edward J. Smythe, James True, George S. Viereck,

Lois de Lafayette Washburn and Gerald B. Winrod.


Notably absent from the indictments were two popular and influential clergymen both known

for their anti-Semitism: Reverend Gerald L. K. Smith and Father Charles Coughlin.

Smith was investigated three times by the FBI finding no apparent foreign "fascist" connections.

Also missing from the indictments were any Italian-American Fascist or Ku Klux Klan leadership.


The strategy the prosecution decided to use was to prove all of the defendants had psychologically

joined Germany’s National Socialist movement. The intent of the prosecution was to show

things said by the defendants were similar to things said by the "Nazis"; therefore they were

part of the world conspiracy.




The defendants were a collection of American nationalists, isolationists, socialists, pacifists,

nativists, anti-Semites, and German American Bund leaders with an ideological attachment

to the New Germany. The final indictment included five groups of individuals. One group

consisted of Washington lobbyists and registered agents for Germany. Another group

were authors who had written books in support of fascism or political treatises that connected

the Jews to Communism. Publishers were another group--some with a small newsletter circulation,

others such as the magazine The Defender had a monthly readership of over a hundred

thousand. Also indicted were the leaders of various nationalist organizations -- again some

with limited influence, but groups like the Silver Legion of America lead by William Dudley

Pelley were well organized on a national level. The final group was the German American Bund

members, the two top leaders Kunze and Klapprott, along with three from the California

branch on the west coast. Elizabeth Dilling's lawyer quipped the Germans

were added to give the jury a “sauerkraut” flavor to the trial.


With the exception of Lawrence Dennis, Prescott Dennett, and George Viereck all were

anti-Semites to one degree or another. James True, Frank W. Clark, and Lois de Lafayette Washburn

favored the death of Jews. Others like William Dudley Pelley favored restricting Jews to

certain geographical areas within America or isolating them to one city per state. Reverend

Winrod saw “bad” Jews who should be condemned and “good” Jews who could be converted.[13]

Most of the defendants viewed the Jews as untrustworthy and carriers of the political virus of Communism.


Several of the defendants Ellis Jones, Robert Noble, William Dudley Pelley, George Viereck,

Franz K. Ferenz and Gerhard Wilhelm Kunze were in prison for previous sedition convictions

or violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. At the time of the trial, Hans Diebel and

Herman Schwinn were being held as enemy aliens. One elderly defendant, Elmer J. Garner,

died three weeks after the start of the proceedings. James True and David Baxter were

severed from the trial due to health reasons and physical ailments. Robert Noble was severed

from the trial for unruly conduct. The trial lasted 119 days with a two-week summer break.



Defense lawyers

All but four of the twenty-four lawyers who represented the defendants were court appointed

and unpaid. A few of the defendants wanted to act as their own lawyers. The trial became a

chaotic farce with defense lawyers competing among themselves with objections. The

judge denied about five hundred motions for a mistrial. Seven defense lawyers were fined

over one thousand dollars for contempt and two lawyers were thrown out of court.


One of the defendants, Robert Edmondson, would go on to call these twenty court-appointed

lawyers "The Twenty Immortals…who went far beyond the Call of Duty in behalf of The

Constitution." The defense lawyers put their lives and livelihoods on the line when they took

the case of their clients. Attorneys St.George and Little were fired upon when a bullet passed

through the windshield of their car. Attorney Powers was beaten by five thugs and placed

an hospital for four days. Attorney Henry Klein removed himself from the case a few

months into the trial after receiving a number of death threats from fellow

Jews. Other attorneys saw their legal practice begin to fade away.


During the trial and its aftermath the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)--which at the

time was essentially a Communist front organization--did nothing to aid the defendants.

Ironically, one of the defendants, Ellis Jones, was an Executive

Committee member of the southern California chapter of the ACLU.



The press and public opinion

The trial started with 40 reporters covering the proceedings, but as it dragged on fewer of

them appeared in the courtroom. The Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune initially

had their reporters at the trial. In addition, two communist and far-left

newspapers the Daily Worker and PM covered the proceedings.


However by July, the third month of the trial, many of the major papers considered the

proceedings a circus and withdrew their reporters from the courtroom. By October only

a handful were in attendance. Representatives from the Washington Star , United Press

and International News Service were the few who remained reporting on the trial.


Public opinion began to turn in favor of the defendants. Newspaper editors like Joseph Patterson

of the New York Daily News openly defended the accused seditionists and

said they were just "publishers of small anti-Administration sheets."


A few Washington officials were untroubled by the hostile press coverage and openly

supported the defendants. Senator William Langer of North Dakota visited the

defendants often in jail and escorted Elizabeth Dilling to and from the courtroom.




The presiding judge, former Iowa Congressman Edward C. Eicher, died suddenly of

a heart attack on November 29, 1944. Bolitha Laws, a federal judge in the District of Columbia,

took over and asked the prosecutor, O. John Rogge, if he wanted to start a new trial.

Realizing the prosecutor had no real evidence to prove sedition, Judge Laws

declared a mistrial on December 7, 1944.


On June 30, 1947 the Circuit Court of Appeals for the

District of Columbia affirmed the dismisal of the indictments.




The Sentinel an English-Jewish paper in Chicago was sued by ten of the

defendants in 1947 for libel. Four of them collected $24,100 in damages.



The 30 defendants

Below is a list of the organizations, publications, and books associated with the defendants

up to the time of the trial in 1944. Those after 1944 associated with the defendants are not

listed. Known attorneys representing the defendants at the trial are listed as well

as attorneys representing the defendants in the 1946 motions to dismiss.



Washington lobbyists

Name ↓ Organizations ↓ Publications ↓ Books ↓ Attorneys ↓
Prescott Dennett Make Europe Pay War Debts Committee,

Islands for War Debts Committee,

Citizens Committee to Keep America Out of the War

Frank J. Kelly
George S. Viereck German American Fellowship Forum Today's Challenge, The American Monthly
Ben Lindas

Author's group

Name ↓ Organizations ↓ Publications ↓ Books ↓ Attorneys ↓
David Baxter Social Republic Society
The Corporate State: A Practical Plan for American Nationalists W. Hobart Little, Ira Chase Koehne
Lawrence Dennis
Weekly Foreign Letter, The Awakener, Is Capitalism Doomed?, The Coming American Fascism, The Dynamics Of War And Revolution himself as attorney and Floyd Lanham, Joseph C. Turco
Elizabeth Dilling Patriotic Research Bureau
The Red Network, The Roosevelt Red Record, The Octopus Floyd Lanham, Dellmore Lassard, Albert Dilling J. Austin Latimer
Ernest F. Elmhurst Pan-Aryan League
The World Hoax Ira Chase Koehne, James J. Laughlin, W. Hobart Little, M. Edward Buckley, Orville Gaudette, John Hillyard
Eugene N. Sanctuary American Christian Defenders Tocsin Publishers The Roosevelt Saga, The Talmud Unmasked, * Are These Things So? Henry H. Klein, M. Edward Buckley, Marvin F. Bischoff, George B. Fraser

Publisher's group

Name ↓ Organizations ↓ Publications ↓ Books ↓ Attorneys ↓
Robert E. Edmondson Edmondson Economic Service American Vigilante Bulletin
Ethelbert B. Frey
Elmer J. Garner
Marvin F. Blachoff
Charles B. Hudson
America in Danger
Frank H. Meyers, Elizabeth R. Young, James A. Davis, Thomas X. Dunn
Joe McWilliams Christian Mobilizers, American Destiny Party The Christian Mobilizer The Serviceman's Reconstruction Plan Maximilian St.George, W. Hobart Little
Edward J. Smythe Protestant War Veterans Association Our Common Cause
James J. Laughlin, Ethelbert B. Frey, M. Edward Buckley, John B. Gunion
Peter Stahrenberg American National-Socialist Party National American
James True America First, Inc. Industrial Control Reports
J. Austin Latimer
Gerald B. Winrod Defenders of the Christian Faith The Defender
E. Hilton Jackson, John W. Jackson, George Siefkin

Nationalist leaders

Name ↓ Organizations ↓ Publications ↓ Books ↓ Attorneys ↓
Garland Alderman National Workers' League Nationalist Newsletter
Harry A. Grant, of Washington DC
Howard V. Broenstrupp Silver Shirts The Gentiles' Review
Ira Chase Koehne M. Edward Buckley
Frank W. Clark National Liberty Party, League of War Veteran Guardsmen

himself as attorney and M. Edward Buckley, Ira Chase Koehne
George E. Deatherage Knights of the White Camellia, American Nationalist Confederation, National Workers' League News Behind the News
J. Austin Latimer
Ellis O. Jones National Copperheads,

Friends of Progress

Copperhead Notes
himself as attorney
William Lyman National Workers' League

Frank J. Meyer, Elizabeth R. Young
Robert Noble Friends of Progress

James J. Laughlin
William D. Pelley Silver Shirts The Galilean, Liberation, Roll-Call
William J. Powers, T. Emmett McKenzie, W. Hobart Little
Parker Sage Black Legion, National Workers' League Nationalist Newsletter
Harry A. Grant
Lois de Lafayette Washburn National Liberty Party, National Gentile League, American Gentile Protective Association

Ira Chase Koehne, M. Edward Buckley

German American Bund leaders

Name ↓ Organizations ↓ Publications ↓ Books ↓ Attorneys ↓
Hans Diebel German American Bund
Aryan Bookstore Claude Thompson, William A. Gallagher
Franz K. Ferenz German American Bund
Hitler Joseph H. Bilbrey, Rees B. Gillespie
August Klapprott German American Bund

Charles E. Morganston
Gerhard Wilhelm Kunze German American Bund

P. Bateman Ennis, Arthur Carroll
Herman Schwinn German American Bund

Claude A. Thompson, William A. Gallagher

Government witnesses


  1. "FDR's patriot purge", The New American, June 16, 2003
  3. Newsweek May 1, 1944
  4. The Sedition Case, page 122
  5. "U.S. At War: The Curtain Rise", Time, May 1, 1944
  6. The Smear Campaign by Joseph P. Kamp
  8. 'The Truth About Gerald Smith: America’s #1 Fascist, page 15
  10. A Trial on Trial, pages 105, 106
  11. Trial on Trial: The Great Sedition Trial of 1944, page 181
  12. Right-wing populism in America: too close for comfort, by Chip Berlet and Matthew Nemiroff Lyons, p. 133
  13. American Political Trials, by Michal R. Belknap, page 185.
  14. Newsweek December 11, 1944, p 44
  15. A Trial on Trial, page 13
  16. AMERICAN JEWISH YEAR BOOK 1945/1946 page 271
  18. I Testify Against The Jews, by Robert Edmondson, page (D)
  19. The Sedition Case, page 88
  20. The Sedition Case, page 89
  21. Confronting Right-wing Extremism and Terrorism in the USA, by George Michael, page 137
  22. "U. S. Indicts Its Two Top Fachists", Life, January 17, 1944, Vol. 16, No. 3, page 15
  23. Free speech in the good war, By Richard W. Steele, page 148
  24. American Political Trials, by Michal R. Belknap. pages 181, 191.
  25. A Trial on Trial, page 22
  26. The Propaganda Battlefront, April 29, 1944
  27. Our Own Felicity: We Make Or Find, By C. L. Corey, page 85
  28. [1]


  • The Sedition Case: Jews vs. Gentiles in court in the District Court of the United States for the District of Columbia by George E. Deatherage (1944)
  • A Trial on Trial: The Great Sedition Trial of 1944, by Lawrence Dennis and Maximilian St.George, (1945) National Civil Rights Committee, (1984) Institute for Historical Review

See also

External links



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