Long Island waiter admits he's agent of Nazi Germany (4-18-41)

The Pittsburgh Press (April 18, 1941)

Confesses duty is to send German-Americans back to Reich
Riverhead, NY, April 18 (UP) –
Authorities said today that Bruno Johannes Valiansky, 31-year-old waiter, had confessed under questioning by federal investigators that he was an agent of the German Gestapo commissioned to persuade German-Americans in this area to return to the Reich and fight.

Valiansky was quoted as telling FBI agents:

You got me two months too soon.

Valiansky’s undoing, sheriff’s officers said, was a swastika brand on his arm. The brand was noted after the waiter’s arrest some 10 days ago on a minor robbery charge. At first, he said German seamen had placed it there, but later told questioners he cut it into his skin himself with a razor blade because he admired Adolf Hitler.

Branded by Gestapo

Still later, however, Valiansky was quoted as saying that the swastika was branded on his left arm after he joined the Gestapo.

The investigation started by discovery of the swastika resulted in Valiansky’s arrest on charges that he overstayed his time after entering the country 14 months ago.

A representative of Sheriff Jacob S. Dreyer said Valiansky, who claimed to be a native of the once-free city of Danzig, denied he had committed or directed any acts of sabotage against United States defense industries. His function, he said, was to influence men of German extraction to return to Germany. He made the necessary arrangements for such trips by way of Japan, Valiansky was quoted as saying.

In Canal Zone

In a statement Valiansky was said to have made to authorities, he admitted he was in the Panama Canal Zone prior to his coming to Long Island.

Valiansky’s fingerprints were sent to Washington and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation came here to question him. After more than eight hours of questioning ending at 6 a.m. today, it was said, Valiansky confessed.

He functioned chiefly in the Central Islip area of Long Island, Valiansky said. As a cloak for his activities, he got a job as waiter in Frank’s Hotel at Central Islip.

Immigration officers joined in the investigation, and William H. Marshall, assistant district director of the immigration and naturalization at Ellis Island, sent William Stochel, warden of the Suffolk County Jail, an order for Valiansky’s detention.

Cites Nazi convention

In his statement, Valiansky detailed his early life in Danzig, his conversion to National Socialism through the persuasion of a girlfriend, Clara Schroeder, in 1930-31, his subsequent training for the Gestapo at Braunschweig, Hanover, Germany, and his work as a spy upon Jews and German malcontents.

As a Nazi trooper in Danzig, he said, he took an oath of allegiance to Hitler and was equipped with “brass knuckles, rubber truncheons and pistols.”

As a Gestapo agent, he received a black-and-brown uniform, a machine gun and a Nazi dolch, or short sword, Valiansky said. One of his duties was to protect high Nazi dignitaries, from Hitler down, when they visited the area.

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