Well, cant say i didnt learn anything today since Savage brought this up:
The German American Bund or German American Federation was a fraternal American organization established in the 1930s as a merger of two older organizations, the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) and the Free Society of Teutonia, both of which were small groups with only a few hundred members each. NSDAP member Heinz Sponknobel eventually consolidated the two groups into Friends of New Germany. Its main goal was promoting peace and friendship between the United States and Germany, and preventing another war.
Soon after their formation, the Friends came under attack from two fronts. The first was a Jewish boycott of German goods in the heavily German neighborhood of Yorkville on the Upper East Side of New York City. The second came from Jewish Congressman Samuel Dickstein, a Democrat who represented New York City.
The Friends of New Germany tried to counter this boycott with their own propaganda. Simultaneously, an internal battle was fought for control of the Friends in 1934; Sponknobel was ultimately ousted from the leadership. At the same time, the Dickstein investigation concluded that the Friends supported a branch of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party in America.
After the investigation, Hitler advised all German nationals to withdraw from the Friends of New Germany. On March 19, 1936, Hitler placed an American citizen, Fritz Kuhn, at the head of the party, hoping to gain some degree of American favor. The group's name was then changed to the German-American Bund.
After taking over in 1936, Kuhn started to attract attention to the Bund through short propaganda films which outlined the Bund's views. Later that year, Kuhn and some fifty Bund members boarded a boat to Germany, hoping to receive personal and official recognition from Hitler during the Berlin Olympics. However, according to historian Charles Higham, Kuhn was one of the last people Hitler wanted to meet. Hitler wanted the Bund to remain non-aggressive and relatively obscure. However, Kuhn, after briefly meeting Adolf Hitler during a reception before the opening ceremonies, later falsely reported to other Bund members that he had met with Adolf Hitler and that the German chancellor had recognized him as the American f?hrer.
Arguably, the zenith of the Bund's history occurred on President's Day, February 19, 1939 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Some 20,000 people attended and heard Kuhn criticize President Franklin Delano Roosevelt by repeatedly referring to the president as ?Frank D. Rosenfeld?, calling his New Deal the "Jew Deal", and espousing his belief in the existence of a Bolshevik-Jewish conspiracy in America. Most shocking to American sensibilities (and arguably creating more animosity toward the Bund), were outbreaks of violence at the gathering, between protesters and Bund storm troopers.
The Bund was one of several German-American heritage groups in existence in America; however, it was one of the few to express National Socialist ideals. As a result, many considered the group anti-American. In 1939, a New York tax investigation determined that Kuhn had embezzled money from the Bund. The Bund operated on the theory that the leader's powers were absolute, and therefore did not seek prosecution. However, in an attempt to cripple the Bund, the New York district attorney prosecuted Kuhn. New Bund leaders would replace Kuhn, most notably with Gerhard Kunze, but these were only brief stints. Martin Dies and the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) were very active in denying any Nazi-sympathetic organization the ability to freely operate in the U.S. during World War II.
With the start of World War II most of the Bund's members were placed in internment camps, and some were deported at the end of the war. The Bund itself failed to become a major force in American politics and eventually died out. However, its influence is still felt in a number of American neo-Nazi groups.
07-02-2007, 03:53 PM #1
1939 Madison Square Garden German-American Bund? (yes American Nazis)
07-03-2007, 09:15 AM #2
There is actually an interesting documentary on the History Channel about this. It airs every now and then. They did crazy stuff like try to equate people like George Washington with Nazi ideology.Science is like a blabbermouth who ruins a movie by telling you how it ends. There are some things we don't want to know. Important things.
-- Ned Flanders
... I'd feel like a caveman, if they existed ... and they didn't ...
- Ned Flanders
07-03-2007, 10:32 AM #3
A lot of the Bund supporters, like their German Nazi counterparts, switched to Marxist/Leninist/Trotskyist parties when political tides turned. There is something to be said about how effortlessly hordes of brainwashed individuals could switch between two supposedly "diametrically opposed" ideologies, fascism and communism.
Also, check out the American government propaganda that was disseminated during WWII to boost the profile of the Russian commies. With the vice-president at the time, this is not surprising...