1942 : Detroit Resident Found Guilty of Treason

When:
July 2, 2018 all-day
2018-07-02T00:00:00-04:00
2018-07-03T00:00:00-04:00
Image result for max stephen detroit

On July 2, 1942, Max Stephan of Detroit was found guilty of treason for assisting a Nazi prisoner.

A German prisoner-of-war escaped from Canada to Detroit in April 1942 and was introduced, by a former American pen pal, to Stephan, a leader in Detroit’s German community. Stephan gave the Nazi POW a several-day tour of Detroit evening entertainment spots then sent him by bus to Chicago.

Image result for max stephen detroit

Convicted of aiding and abetting the enemy in wartime, Stephan was the first American sentenced to execution since George Washington’s administration. President Franklin Roosevelt commuted Stephan’s sentence to life in prison.

Source: Michigan History magazine

For more information, see

Time, July 13, 1942.

“Guilty of Treason”, Lawrence Journal World, July 3, 1942.

“Max Stephan Sentenced to Hang for Treason”, Ludington Daily News, August 6, 1942.

“Max Stephan, Traitor, Has Life Saved by Mr. Roosevelt”, Star and Sentinel, July 10, 1943.

Detroit’s “Nazi Underground Railroad”: The Max Stephan Case, courtesy of Mythic Detroit.

Gerald J. Senick, “The Expert Witness: The Odd and Curious Case of Max Stephan“, LegalNews.Com, April 17, 2013.  Part One.

John Sese with Gerald J. Senick, “The Expert Witness: The Odd and Curious Case of Max Stephan“, LegalNews.Com, May 15, 2013.  Part Two.

George Bulanda, Books: ‘No Ordinary Crime’, Author James R. Wilson’s true story of a Nazi in Detroit during World War II

No ordinary crime : an authentic tale of justice influenced by war hysteria / James R. Wilson. Swartz Creek, Mich. : Broadblade Press, c1989.

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