Comstock Spitzbub Stamp

In September of 1911, Anthony Comstock arrested Bertha Hussmann on the charge of having mailed to her husband, Rudolph Hussmann, a postcard in which he was described as a “spitzbub.” The New York Times noted, “Mr. Comstock held that the postcard came under the prohibition against the mailing of anything on which is ‘written and displayed matter of a defamatory, libelous and scurrilous character.’ He was not able himself, however, to translate the German word.” An authority on the German language said that the word meant “scamp.” The judge sent Mrs. Hussmann home, although the newspaper reported that she was “in hysterics by the time she was discharged.”


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