United States v. Kramer

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
Citation262 F. 395
Docket Number3453.
Decision Date23 December 1919

The United States, through the United States attorney, brought her bill against Herman Kramer, formerly a subject of the German emperor, to cancel his certificate of citizenship issued to him on December 30, 1912, on the ground that it was fraudulently and unlawfully obtained.

The bill showed that Herman Kramer had been admitted to citizenship by the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, in which court the bill was filed and was then residing within the jurisdiction of the court and further substantially alleged that Kramer, at the time he was admitted to citizenship, declared under oath that he would obey the Constitution and laws of the United States and bear true faith and allegiance to same; that he then and there renounced forever all allegiance to any foreign sovereign, particularly the emperor of Germany; that the court relied on the truth and good faith of his representations and admitted him to citizenship; that the said representations were false, in that he did not in truth and in fact renounce his allegiance to the emperor of Germany, but falsely declared that he did so for the purpose of obtaining the rights, privileges, and protection of American citizenship, without assuming, or intending to assume, any of the duties thereof.

Annexed to the bill was an affidavit of one A. H. Rebentish, stating that on May 25, 1917, Kramer told him that he would do all he could against the United States; that any information he could get from soldiers at the aviation field he would get for him (Rebentish), same to be sent to Germany; that when this war was over he would either go to Germany or Mexico to live, as he did not care to live in this country any longer that on May 31, 1917, Kramer stated to him that he could report to Germany that the aviation service of the United States did not amount to anything.

To this the defendant filed a pleading, which he termed an answer but which was more in the nature of a general demurrer, and also a motion to dismiss the bill. These pleadings are too lengthy and diffuse to be briefly stated, and it is unnecessary to do so, in view of what subsequently transpired.

Without any action on the pleadings, the case went to trial, and the evidence of two witnesses, Secret Service agents, was heard on behalf of the government. One of these witnesses was the affiant, Rebentish, and the other was one Wyndelts. The evidence of these witnesses shows that defendant was repeatedly guilty of disloyal remarks similar to those set out in the affidavit above quoted; that he was keeper of a saloon near the United States aviation field at San Antonio; that it was his intention to return to Germany after the war; that his sympathy was entirely with Germany in the war, and he expected her to be successful; that he was in close accord with one Ludwig, a soldier in the United States army, stationed at the aviation field; that the witness Wyndelts visited Kramer's place on May 11, 1917, in company with said Ludwig, and Ludwig made certain disloyal remarks of which Kramer seemed to approve; that they sang German songs; that Ludwig would tell Kramer what was going on at the aviation field, and Kramer would question him about it; that on one occasion Wyndelts, Ludwig, another soldier, and Mr. and Mrs. Kramer were in the saloon, no one else being present, and Ludwig said they trusted Rebentish, who was posing as a German spy, and they said, 'If he is a German spy, we will help him all we can. ' There was much more testimony to the same effect.

The government also introduced in evidence the order admitting the defendant to citizenship. The government then rested. The defendant introduced no evidence at all. There was nothing to discredit or impeach the testimony of these witnesses for the government. After the evidence was in, the defendant filed an amended motion to dismiss the bill of complaint, by...

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20 cases
  • In re Vasicek
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • 12 Marzo 1921
    ...States v. Morena, 247 F. 484, 159 C.C.A. 538; United States v. Ginsberg, 247 F. 1006, 159 C.C.A. 665; United States v. Kramer (C.C.A.) 262 F. 395; Gerrard v. United States, 43 Ct.Cl. 67 (note that the stream of crime flowing from any relaxation of this rule is well illustrated by the cases ......
  • United States v. Kusche, Civil Action No. 2425-PH.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
    • 13 Giugno 1944
    ...book. 56 F. Supp. 216 (b) Amounts to Fraud Alone: Darmer 5/10/18 DC WD WASH 249 F. 989 Refused to buy Liberty Bonds. Kramer 12/23/19 CCA 5 262 F. 395 Spy information for Herberger 4/2/21 DC WD WASH 272 F. 278 Wrote unpatriotic letter to sister. (c) Does Not Amount to Fraud: Woerndle 4/2/23 ......
  • United States v. Orth, Civil Action No. 881.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • 4 Settembre 1943
    ...U.S. 319, 38 S.Ct. 118, 62 L.Ed. 321; Maney v. United States, 278 U.S. 17, 49 S.Ct. 15, 73 L.Ed. 156. In United States v. Kramer, 5 Cir., 262 F. 395, 397, it is said: "American citizenship is a priceless possession, and one who seeks it by naturalization must do so in entire good faith, wit......
  • United States v. Bregler, Civ. A. No. 3197
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • 16 Giugno 1944
    ...been held that citizenship may be revoked for mental reservation of allegiance or even a divided allegiance. In United States v. Kramer, 262 F. 395, at page 397, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit stated: "American citizenship is a priceless possession, and one......
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