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“Two Youths Surrender,” Toronto Globe. March 12, 1919. Page 05.

George and Tony Barberich Act on Advice of Their Friends

REMANDED FOR A WEEK

Will Face Charge of Desertion, Also That of Attempted Murder

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
Guelph, March 11. – While a great deal of excitement still prevails in New Germany and the country surrounding it because of the raid by the Dominion Police on Sunday morning, the residents are breathing a little more easily today. The chief cause of all the trouble on Sunday morning, and who managed to make a successful escape into the bush, came into the city and gave themselves up to the local police. They were very promptly locked up and will be kept under close surveillance until the charges against them have been finally disposed of.

Friends Advised Surrender.
The chief factor in their decision to surrender themselves was the arrest yesterday afternoon of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Barberich, the parents. When they were brought to the city their friends realized that the Dominion Police meant business, and, following an interview with them, it was decided to go back home, and if possible, find the fugtives and advise them that the best thing they could do would be to give themselves up to the officers of the law. There was no difficulty experienced in locating them. When they were arraigned in the Police Court they looked as though they had slept out in the bushes for some time, as their appearance was very unkempt.

Only Themselves to Blame.
George was charged with being a deserter under the Military Service Act, in that he did not report for military duty when ordered to do so. He did not appear to understand what was being said to him, but a plea of not guilty was entered, and Sergt. Wilson of the Dominion Police asked that the case be adjourned. Anthony Barberich was charged with the same offence as his brother. He also pleaded not guilty, and his case went over until to-morrow. To those who were present in the court-room it was apparent that neither one of these young men would have succeeded in passing a Medical Board even if they had reported, so that the trouble they are now in they have only themselves to blame for.

Whole Family Arraigned.
This afternoon Inspector Lane and Inspector Duncan came down from London, and the whole Barberich family were again arraigned before the Magistrate. The charge against the parents was that of harboring deserters under the Military Service Act. They were not asked to plead, but will be remanded for a week, cash bail of $5000 for each being deposited for their appearance. George and Tony were charged with being deserters, and Inspector Duncan asked that they, too, be remanded for a week, but the Magistrate ordered that they be kept in jail.

Real Deserter Surrenders.
When the Barberichs drove up to the Police Station they were accompanied by Joseph Bruder, also of New Germany. He is accused of being a real deserter. He did report for military service at London last fall, and was a member of the Western Ontario Regiment. He was given a short leave of absence on October 26, but as he did not return inside of 21 days he became a defaulter. He also gave himself up, and will be turned over to the military authorities at London, and will no doubt be brought before a court martial. An escort will come here for him to-morrow.

Charge of Attempted Murder.
In addition to the charge against the Barberichs’ for desertion. Constable Huber of Kitchener arrived in the city armed with a warrant for George and Tony on a charge of attempted murder. New Germany is in Waterloo county, and as the shooting too place in it, and is an indictable offense, this charge will have to be tried at Kitchener. However the authorities there will have to wait until the military authorities are through before the warrants can be executed.

Constable Geggin, the member of the Dominion Police who was severely wounded on Sunday, is doing well at the General Hospital.

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“Police Beaten By Absentees,” Toronto Globe. March 10, 1919. Page 01 & 02.

One Constable Shot Down in Desperate Fight at New Germany

TWO YOUNG MEN ESCAPE

Officials Are Determined to Apprehend All M.S.A. Defaulters

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
Guelph, March 9. – There is ample evidence that there are a large number of Germans still in Canada who remain yet undefeated. This fact can be proven by Inspector Wm. Lane of the Dominion Military Police, and the squad of men he took with him out to the village of New Germany, a small German settlement about nine miles from Guelph, and about the same distance from Kitchener, early this morning. As the result of this trip one of the Dominion Police constables, Geggin by name, is in the General Hospital here suffering from a severe wound on the top of the head, while some of the others are badly used up.

Police Come Out Second Best.
From the accounts of the attempt to arrest a number of young men who are alleged to be Group Two absentees under the Military Service Act, there was a regular pitched battle fought in this quiet country district just as the day was about to dawn, the result of which was that the police came off second best, with one casualty. It appears that there have been previous attempts to round up these young fellows who absolutely ignored the terms of the Military Service Act, in declining to report for medical examination when ordered to do so, but very little success has been achieved. The police, however, were not to be outdone, and they planned a raid on a fairly large scale, but the details were kept a secret, and on Saturday the local Military Police were reinforced by a number of men sent down from London by the Provost Marshal.

Little Trouble at Hummell’s
The weather was just about the stormiest of the whole winter, and the snow was almost a foot deep, when four autos with three men and a driver in each one sallied forth at 4.30 o’clock this morning on their mission. Two of the cars went direct to New Germany, while the others went on farther to St. Agatha, St. Jacob’s and the disctrict in the vicinity of Kitchener. It was the first two crews which met with resistance. They drove direct to the home of Joseph Hummell, situated just on the edge of the village of New Germany. Here they did not have much difficulty, although the police had to make threat before their parties gave up. They placed under arrest Joseph Hummell, his son, Charles, and Linns Zinger, his son-in-law, the latter having only just recently been married, and these are in the police cells here to-night.

Hot Reception by Mrs. Berbluch
From the Hummelt home the police drove about half a miler farther to the Berbluch farm house. Here they were after Tony and George Berbluch, two young men of whom it has been said they would never be taken, and so far they have made good in this respect. It was shortly after 5 o’clock when they arrived, and Constable Geggin, who was armed with the necessary papers which entitled him to make a search of the house, went to the front door and rapped. His companions were close behind him. There was no response to the knock, and as the door was unlocked the officers unceremoniously walked in. They were heard Mrs. Berbluch, a woman who is above the average size, and she gave the men a decidedly hot reception. She was in her nightclothes, but she lost no time in calling them robbers and other names, which would not look good in print, and produced a copy of a newspaper which declared that the armistice had signed and the war was over.

This kind of argument had no effect on the men, however, who proceeded to do their duty. They started to find the door leading to the stairway, but Mrs. Berbluch slammed that shut, and when one of the men attempted to force her away she doused him with the liquid contents of a vessel, which temporarily caused his retreat.

Constable Shot Down.
However, the door was forced open and Constable Geggin, closely followed by Constable Forsythe, started to go upstairs. The noise which had been made downstairs, however, had been heard by Tony and George upstairs, and they were prepared for emergencies. When Geggin gout about half way up he saw of the boys standing at the top with a rifle in his hands aimed directly at him, and then followed a report. Geggin fell backwards with a wound in the forehead, and as he fell carried Forsythe with him. In the meantime Constable Gowdy, Inspector Lane and the other officers were taking care of the others in the house, Berbluch Senior being kept in bed. Geggin was so severely wounded that he had to be cared for at once, and he was assisted out to the car, which was some fifty yards away.

Young Men Escape.
After he had been put into the car, Inspector Lane saw one of the Berbluch boys fire a rifle at it, but the bullet went wild, and it was then seen that both of the Berbluchs had made their way safely out of the hoyse. They started to run across a big field with several of the police after them, and rifle and pistol shots were exchanged, but no person was hit. The fugitives made directly for the bush, and as another member of the police became exhausted, it was considered unwise to pursue them into the bush which they knew so well. The officers made their way back through the snow to their cars, and as they did so saw the father sitting on the front doorstep with a rifle in his hands. There was no further trouble, however, the police hurried back to the city with Geggin, as his wound was a severe one. At the hospital it required eight stitches to close it, and tonight a special nurse was required to watch him.

Police Are Determined.
Late to-night the Berbiuch boys are still a large, but the police determined to apprehend them, and it is also possible that the father and mother may be arrested. It is rumored that some of their friends have endeavored to persuade them to give themselves up.

The cars which went to St. Agatha did not get back until 5.30 to-night, and they brought along one prisoner, Anthony Rumig of Jordansburg. The news of the trouble at New Germany spread around the country like wildfire, and the greatest excitement prevails. There are still a large number of young men in this district who have evaded the M.S.A., and the authorities are going right out after them.

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“Reeve Weber Heavily Fined,” Toronto Globe. February 25, 1919. Page 02. 

And Gets Month in Jail at Hard Labor for Uttering Sedition

SCATHINGLY DENOUNCED

Magistrate and Judge Alike Rebuke Neustadt German and Warn Him

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
Owen Sound, Feb. 24 – One month in jail and a fine of $4,500 was the sentence pronounced on Reeve Joseph Weber of Neustadt here to-day. In default of payment of his fine Reever Weber would be imprisoned for three years in the Provincial Penitentiary, but he chose to pay the fine. Besides he has to pay all the costs of the proceedings, amounting to approximately $300.

The trial was held in Owen Sound on February 12 and 13 before Police Magsitrate A. D. Creasor, with N. F. Davidson, K.C., of Toronto, acting for the Crown, and D. O’Connell and F. W. Callaghan of Toronto for the accused.

The charge was laid under the War Measures Act of 1914, whereby Weber was charged with making seditious statements likely to hinder recruiting. It was based on words used by Weber to Arthur Mutton, when he is supposed to have said: ‘The _______ British are licked, and they know it. Before either of my sons go to fight, they will die in the hardware store. If they want any fighting let them come to Neustadt and they will get it.’

Magistrate Creasor found Reeve Weber guilty on this charge and remanded him for sentence. An application for a stated case made by counsel for the accused was withdrawn.

Pleads Guilty on Second Charge
On a second charge before the local Police Court Reeve Weber pleaded guilty to making seditious statements likely to cause disaffection. This also was based on the conversation with Mutton, and on it Weber received a sentence of $4,500 fine and one month in jail, this sentence to be concurrent with the previous one.

In sentencing him Magistrate Creasor said that Reeve Weber was a man born in this country, who had lived here all his life. In times of danger he had used disloyal expressions and had possibly influenced his sons to be disloyal also. When he was through with his sentence the Magistrate hoped that he would remember that everyone living in Canada was supposed to be loyal.

Sentenced Suspended on Other Charge
Reeve Weber also came before Mr. Justice Lennox at the Spring Assizes in Owen Sound this afternoon on four charges. Weber pleaded guilty to one charge and is on suspended sentenced pending his good behavior. The charges against him were the only ones in the docket, and were laid under the Military Service Act.

The first charge was of attempting to resist or impede the operation of the Military Service Act by a written communication to Judge Widdlefield, a member of the local Appeal Tribunal. In this letter Reeve Weber offered to give $500 to patriotic funds if his son, Elmer Joseph Weber, were exempted, and the second charge is of offering a consideration directly or indirectly to a member of an appeal Tribunal. The second indictment was based on written and oral communications by Reeve Weber to secure signatures for his son’s exemption.

Admits Guilt, Stay Granted.
On the first charge of the Widdifield indictment the Grand Jury brought in almost immediately a true bill, and Reeve Weber pleaded guilty. Crown Prosecutor Davidson requested a stay of further proceedings on the second count of this indictment and on the second indictment, and also asked for a suspended sentence. These were granted.

Seething Denunciation.
The denunciation by Mr. Justice Lennox of the Neustadt Reeve was most scathing. He said that disloyalty was one of the gravest offences, and there was no ground or excuse for anyone in Canada being guilty of disloyalty. Reeve Weber was a public man and a leader of the people in his district, yet he was stirring up disloyalty and encouraging his two songs to evade the service of their country. He had also made threats of grave bodily harm. In connection with the war and in defiance of the duties of citizenship, Mr. Justice Lennox said, Reeve Weber displayed some of the worst characteristics of a bad citizen. His father had come to this country to better his condition, and he had prospered here! New citizens were welcomed and encouraged, but they had to behave. The only alternatives were to get in behind the prison bars or to get out of the country. In conclusion the Judge said that if after he was released Reeve Weber was a man of good behavior toward his neighbors and the Corwn his sentence would be suspended. If, however, he showed any intimation of relapsing, he would be brought before a Judge to receive a heavy sentence.

Reeve Most Dejected.
During the rebuke of the Judge Reeve Weber stood in the prisoner’s box with his head bowed, and supported himself with one hand on the railing. He appeared most dejected, both in the Assizes and when receiving his sentence in the Police Court, and his face showed considerable emotion. With hardly a word of his counsel, he was led slowly off to the cells in the county jail.

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“Reever Weber Again Remanded,” Toronto Globe. February 21, 1919. Page 16.

Stated Case Asked For As A Precedent, To Know If Order Retroactive.

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
Owen Sound, Feb. 20. – Reeve Joseph Weber of Neustadt was again remanded to Monday next when he came up before Police Magistrate Creasor here this morning. At his trial Tuesday and Wednesday of last week he was found guilty of uttering seditious language and remanded for sentence. On Monday he also appears before Mr. Justice Rose of Toronto at the Assizes in this town on four charges under the War Measures and Military Service Acts.

The reason for the further adjournment was that Weber’s counsel, Messrs. D. O’Connell and F. W. Callaghan of Toronto, have applied for a stated case as a precedent. The proceedings against Weber were under an order in Council, and there is some doubt as to whether it is retroactive or not, for the time for the laying of information was up for some months before this order in Council was passed. Bail was taken for the same sum as before, $10,000 personal bond and two sureties of $5,000 each.

Before the train which Reeve Weber was on arrived in Owen Sound, Mrs. Weber called up Chief of Police Foster on long-distance telephone to ask him to meet the train. The Chief assured her that there would be no recurrence of mob law against Weber here, and that he need not fear as to his personal safety.

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“Pte. Elmer J. Weber Gets 10-Year Term,” Toronto Star. February 5, 1919. Page 04.

Sentence Read Before Battalion at Exhibition Camp To-day.

Standing before his regiment in hollow square and apparently indifferent to his fate, Elmer J. Weber, son of Reever Weber, of Neustadt, Ont., was at the Exhibition Camp today sentenced to ten years servitude on a charge of desertion.

The original sentence passed by the court-martial which took place two weeks ago was fifteen years, but this was reduced by order-in-Council. The sentence was read by Capt. R. A. Plato, Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion, Canadian Garrison Regiment, to which the prisoner belonged. Weber took his sentence without a quiver, and now waits at the Exhibition detention room for the escort to take film to Kingston Penitentiary.

The following is a certified copy of a report of the Committee of the Privcy Council, approved by His Excellency the Governor-General on the 30th January, 1919:

‘The Committee of the Privy Council have had before them a report, dated 27th January, 1919, from the Minister of Militiar and Defence, stating that before a general court-martial held at Torontoon the 14th day of January, 1919, No. 3810998 Private Elmer Joseph Weber, 2nd Battalion, Canadian Garrison Regiment, was tried on the charge of having, when on active service, deserted His Majesty’s service.

Was Flagrant Breach of M.S.A.
‘It appeared from the evidence that this was a particularly flagrant case. The accused lived in a German settlement, and his whole course of conduct from the time the Military Service Act went into operation, indicated determination to evade the military service. He applied for exemption, which was disallowed and appealed. His father, who was in business, with the accused and one other son, got up petitions for his exemption, and under threat of boycott, induced manufacturing firms with which he was dealing, to write to the Military Service authorities on behalf of his son. When exemption was refused, money was furnished the accused whereby he went West and lived there for a long time under an assumed name. He was finally apprehended in the Province of Saaskatchewan. It was clear from the evidence that the accused and his family were the centre of a disloyal German community, and it was a clear case of deliberate desertion. The evidence brought forward on behalf of the accused did not cast any doubt on the truth of the facts above enumerated.’

Reduce Sentence.
‘The court found the accused guilty of the charge, and sentenced him to undergo penal servitude for fifteen years.

‘The Judge-Advocate-General reports that the proceedings are regular, the finding properly made and the sentence authorized by law, and Militia Council is of the opinion that the finding and sentence should be confirmed.

‘The Minister, therefore, recommends accordingly.

‘The committee concur in the foregoing, recommendation, subject to the reduction of the sentence to ten years and submit the same for approval.’

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“Neustadt Reeve Begs For Mercy From Mob,” Toronto Star. January 31, 1919. Page 14.

Joseph Weber Now at Home After Being Ejected From Owen Sound.

Special to The Star.
Owen Sound, Jan. 31 – Reeve Joseph Weber of Neustadt, who was sent out of town last night by an angry mob of returned soldiers and their friends, has reached his home in Neustadt. Evidently Weber proceeded by foot to one of the stations on the Grand Trunk outside Owen Sound and there got aboard the early morning southbound train for Neustadt, for according to a telephone message from taht place he reached there on the train this morning. There was considerable anxiety in Owen Sound as to the whereabouts of the man this morning, as there was a heavy snowstorm during the night, and Weber is a man well up in years. Shallow Lake is the nearest station to Owen Sound, and it is presumed he spent the night there.

Chief of Police W. O. Forster told The Star to-day that he knew nothing of the disturbance until an early hour to-day.

The chief declared that no action would be taken against the citizens. ‘He will be safe from any rough handling, too, when he comes back for his trial next Wednesday,’ declared the chief.

Made to Sing National Anthem.
A mob of returned soldiers and their sympathizers about two hundred strong went to the Comely House where Reever Weber was staying about ten o’clock last night and demanded that he be produced. The crowd got round him and made him kiss the Union Jack and sing the National Anthem. They then decked him out with flags in his hat and invited him to get his grip. He was then escorted by a cheering crowd and marched through the streets toward the Grand Trunk station where he was told to proceed to his home town, Neustadt. There being no train until this morning, Weber appealed to the crowd to be allowed to stay over, or to hire a conveyance to take him but they would not be satisfied by anything less than to proceed at once. Weber started off down the Grand Trunk tracks, grip in hand. Part of the mob followed him a considerable distance to see that he got out of town. When last seen Weber was proceeding on the Grand Trunk tracks in the direction of Neustadt, which is about fifty or sixty miles from here.

The local police were powerless to prevent the mob, but they did not at any time threaten him with personal violence. Weber was very much afraid and during the singing of the National Anthem broke down and pleaded for mercy.

Reeve Weber was arrested here on Tuesday afternoon on two separate warrants charging him with breach of the War Measures Act and the Military Service Act. The request for his arrest came from the headquarters of the Dominion Police of this district and they were executed by P.C. Thomas Carson at the Comely House.

Mr. Weber was taken to the Police office and latter allowed out on bail of $2,000, half of which was given by Reeve Holm, and the other half by Reeve Schenk, of Normandy, and the charges will be heard next Wednesday. Mr. Weber arrived on the noon G.T.R. train on Tuesday and attended the first meeting of the County Council at the Court House. He returned to the Comely House and was placed under arrest.

The arrest of Neustadt’s reeve has caused quite a sensation in town and amongst the county councillors here.

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“Reeve Arrested While At Council,” Toronto Globe. January 30, 1919. Page 14.

Joseph Weber of Neustadt is Accused of Sedition and Impeding M.S.A.

(Special Despatch to The Globe.)
Owen Sound, Jan. 29 – Reeve Joseph Weber of Neustadt was arrested here last night of five charges of using seditious language and of attempting to impede the operation of the Military Service Act. Weber came here to attend the County Council, and was arrested on two arrants after the first day’s session. He is now out on $2,000 bail, funished by Reeve Holm and Ex-Reeve Schank of Normandy, but will come up before Police Magistrate Creasor of Owen Sound on Wednesday next. Witnesses are being called from Neustadt, Hanover, and Harriston, and the case is arousing great interest in this district.

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