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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Police nab suspected German spy

Spokane police believed they had arrested Edward Loesch, a German spy, The Spokesman-Review reported on July 28, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Spokane police believed they had arrested Edward Loesch, a German spy, The Spokesman-Review reported on July 28, 1918. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Spokane police believed they had a German spy in their clutches.

“He said he was Charles Stromier, age 32, a native of Holland, but an investigation of his effects showed him to be Edward Loesch, a German, according to police,” said The Spokesman-Review. “Loesch has traveled from coast to coast, visited shipyards, passed through barred zones, worked in logging camps and performed other work that would enable him to obtain information for the enemy, according to papers found in his possession.”

He had been arrested at the Great Northern station as an alleged slacker (draft evader). He lacked the required papers as an enemy alien. He claimed that his papers had been burned while he was fighting forest fires.

Police found a photo in his papers that showed him in the uniform of a German naval officer and wearing a sword.

Police found employment tickets in his possession in which he went by the name of James, Edward and Charles Stromier.

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