FRICKE, OTTO L. (1886-4 June 1951), a lawyer who supported GERMANS and German-Americans, was born in Germany, came to the U.S. in 1909, and graduated from Cleveland Law School. He worked as a clerk, bookkeeper, auditor, and treasurer before entering real-estate. By 1926 he established a law practice with Joseph C. Calhoun, Jr. and Henry W. MacLeod.
Active in German-American organizations, Fricke was president of the national German-American Congress, and was national secretary of the German-American Natl. Alliance of Philadelphia. Locally, he was for 10 years president of the German Central Organization, and a founder and first president of the Cleveland Stadtverband.
Fricke's identification with his heritage made him controversial in the 1930s and 1940s. Speaking at a German Day celebration in June 1940, Fricke attacked newspapers, politicians, and all "who foment hatred against Americans of German descent," asserting "Americans of German stock are Americans first, last and all the time." Yet Fricke was counsel to the German consulate in Cleveland until June 1941; was chairman of the Cleveland chapter of American Aid for German War Prisoners; and represented Karl Zanzinger, the only Clevelander arrested in the 1941 national roundup of suspected German agents accused of recruiting skilled craftsmen to work in factories in Nazi Germany. In 1945 the WAECHTER UND ANZEIGER published his letter urging German-Americans to protest Allied postwar policies as detrimental to Germans and Germany's future. Fricke married twice: first to Lucy Fricke (d. 1926) with whom he had two children: Alex L. and Robert O.; and then to Serena Cooks (d. 1973). Fricke is buried at Lakewood Park Cemetery.