It's about the America First Committee and will probably be a worthwhile read when it comes out.
There was a lot of infighting about tone -- think alt-lite vs. alt right.
There was apparently a lot of fighting between people like Lindbergh & people who thought they should promote fascism with a friendlier tone
Thousands of people were joining groups like the German American Bund. Americans sent kids to Nazi summer camps.
It suggests they didn't succeed in their grander plans (like swinging the US election) in part due to infighting.
But it suggests that the threat of a Nazi takeover was much more serious than many remember today. And that the US was always vulnerable to fascism.
This fucking country.
They even focused on turning US college students using...
As soon as I got to AP History, the curriculum turned right wing and racist.
My AP US History text said it was over state's rights and the economy. I knew better from my mom and from my elementary school teachers.
Is this common?
It was started by a Hollywood screenwriter turned fascist spiritualist cult leader...
THIS IS A THING THAT HAPPENED IN AMERICAN HISTORY.
And as you might guess, he didn't find much support.
But... Also there was reincarnation.
I can't... What. I... Given what the white settlers were doing...
He claimed he was divinely tasked with stopping a great war between Japan and the US.
That they were "out to destroy Christianity."
Which... By the way, Pelley's group was Protestantism but with reincarnation and Pelley as a prophet.
It had at least 15,000 members at one point and was well-armed.
I bet most of you did not know about the Silver Shirts as I did not.
It is available on NetGalley right now, though. That's how I got it.
A guy named Gerald Winrod ran (and lost) the GOP Senate primary in Kansas, but only because the state GOP organized against him.
He was a Nazi who helped run Winrod's campaign.
Maybe they were just Nazi sympathizers the whole time.
There's more to the story of Hitler and American Mennonites, I bet. The German branch in particular.
Maybe that's not because they were taking some righteous stand, but because they supported Hitler's regime.
So he wasn't just a radio anti-Semite. He had a militia.
It was the Catholic Church that ultimately intervened to shut Coughlin's radio show down.
In Social Justice, he claimed the attack on Pearl Harbor was a Jewish false flag event.
So anyway, there is nothing new under the sun.
When they discovered this, they started intercepting his communications with Berlin.
He was eventually arrested, and British intelligence officers testified against him.
That this history is largely forgotten made us vulnerable again.
But did you also know about a failed oil baron named William Rhodes Davis who got involved in a Reich plot to stop Roosevelt's reelection?
Business leaders were generally anti-Roosevelt and anti-intervention.
They naturally supported the Reich because it persecuted Communists.
A 1940 Fortune poll found that 44% supported business ties with the Reich should it win the war. 40% were opposed.
Wow, did they rewrite history.
I hope this "they had no choice" bullshit is edited out of the final draft.
Winkler-Koch Engineering of Kansas, owned by Fred Koch of that Koch family, was hired to build the refinery.
So a leftist labor leader ended up getting involved in the Nazi plot.
Lewis thought a war would be bad for organized labor, so he decided to join Davis to set up a meeting with Roosevelt and help personally broker peace with Germany.
They met, and it didn't work.
But. Davis started working directly with Hermann Göring in the election plot. He received $5 million directly from Germany to help turn the election.
When Davis failed to present a viable candidate, Davis and Lewis threw in with GOP candidate Wendell Willkie just because he wasn't Roosevelt.
He promised to resign as head of the CIO if Roosevelt won a third term.
That he was a registered German agent has been largely forgotten today.
German exchange programs brought Nazi officers into American universities, where they worked unchecked as propagandists. American students were sent to Germany to be indoctrinated in Reich propaganda.
But many university administrations enforced this unevenly, ousting anti-Nazi professors and keeping Nazi sympathizers.
Nazis also had a lot of support on California campuses like UCLA and Stanford.
Bode was an active Nazi Party member while in the US.
He wrote in favor of a Hitler figure taking over in the US. He worked with Viereck as a Nazi agent.
He was seen as an important conduit between the Reich and US academia.
The book was embraced by many American academics.
He went on to a successful career in academia, and his pro-Nazi organizing never really hurt him.
Madden's colleague and fellow pro-Nazi organizer William Oswald Shanahan also suffered no consequences and continued in academia.
Meanwhile, anti-Nazi intellectuals were not given the same access to platforms.
And it was started by a Yale student.
It started out as meetings between about 2 dozen concerned law students who wanted to turn national sentiment against Roosevelt.
But it also brought in hard core Nazis like members of the Bund and Coughlin's brownshirts who embarrassed the elites but made up the base.
The crowd was a little embarrassed and debated kicking him out, but ultimately decided he could stay.
So the Regnery family has supported generations of American fascists.
They involved dozens of business elites, and there was serious corporate money behind this. They hired a staff of 100 people.
So they started imposing rules so as not to offend corporate interests and elites.
-- and because the South was Democratic and saw this as a Northern GOP big business scheme.
I didn't know they were just Nazi sympathizers all this time.
British spies described him "untrained in democratic argument" and "politically immature." They said he had a "messianic view of politics" but...
So, he was a Trump figure.
While in Munich, he visited the Degenerate Art exhibition and said he was so disgusted by modern art and art by Jewish artists that he almost threw up.
Kristallnacht happened a few months later, and Lindbergh's diaries from this period reflect how ignorant he was about everything. "It seems so contrary to their sense of order, and their intelligence in other ways."
Where has this happened before?
He was denounced in the press but also drummed up a lot of public support.
A 1940 poll found that 51% of Americans had read the radio address. 24% agreed with him and 56% disagreed.
Not unlike the 30% who support Trump today.
But 26% wanted him appointed to a high public office like war secretary.
He got a worshipful reception. And he liked it.
Just as H*imbach and his ilk attended the Trump rally, so did more militant Nazis attend the Madison Square Garden rally.
So American First had to tow a line. They couldn't openly root for the Nazis, so it was all about peacemaking and non-intervention.
There has always been a core 30% of dedicated fascists.
He said that should America enter the war, Jewish people would "be among the first to feel it's consequences."
"But we weren't talking about religious tolerance/freedom!"
He had stopped dog-whistling and was instead making direct threats.
The theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, who supported intervention, called on the Committee to "clean its ranks of those who would incite to racial and religious strife in this country."
Around LA, "Adolf loves Lindy" posters popped up.
They made America Firsters testify back to back with members of the Bund.
So the media would actually de-platform sometimes back then.
Lindbergh was barred by Secretary of War Henry Stimson from serving in the war because of his political activities.
He would oversee the Nazi spy operation throughout much of the Western Hemisphere.
As president of Friends of the New Germany, he also worked as a spy.
He got in trouble for embezzling funds from the US Army, and he ended up with a job as a spy because no one else would have him.
He wasn't low profile. He did features in Life magazine and had his mistress Princess Stephanie von Hohenlohe of Vienna stay with him.
The offer was rejected. British and US intelligence did not think it was sincere.
A German-American, he was approached by the Gestapo on a visit to his mother. He was ordered to go back and work as a German agent, or harm would come to his family.
This ring was pretty successful. It stole the Norden bombsight. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norden_bo…
But Sebold's sting operation brought the ring under FBI surveillance and led to arrests and imprisonment of dozens of German agents.
This chapter is one big list of German-American spies. And to think we started interning Japanese-Americans in 1942.
They were given false identities, and they just showed up via U-boat on the coast of New Jersey with a bunch of explosives.
One of the people involved turned himself in and decided to cooperate with the FBI.
I mean, these white people just showed up in the coast of New Jersey with boats of explosives...
They were tried by military tribunal, ruled "enemy combatants." 6 of the 8 were executed. Other 2, 30 yrs and life.
It asks, what if McCarthy had instead investigated past Nazi allegiances and advocacy?
He was tangentially connected to the Goldwater campaign, but most politicians wanted nothing to do with him. He died in 1977.
When he got out of prison, he continued as a spiritualist/cult leader and got into UFOs and alien abductions.
His Nazi writing is still read and cited by today's Nazis.
He got involved in a crusade against traditional medicine and promoted herbal "cures" for cancer. He started an anti-science group called the Christian Medical Research League.
A group he started early in his life to battle against the teaching of evolution -- Defenders of the Christian Faith -- is still with us.
He was pushed into retirement in 1966 and started critiquing Vatican II. He never really changed his views after getting out of politics and died in 1979.
Some lost seats. Those who did blamed communists, of course.
He traveled to Germany and interviewed Nazis himself. He made a list, but Attorney General Tom Clark prohibited making it public because he had friends on the list.
So Rogge started traveling the country, speaking and writing about his findings. He stated that law enforcement was withholding the information because it named American Nazi collaborators.
Later he became an attorney and did some work with the ACLU. He was prohibited from publishing his full report on Nazi collaboration until 1961.
Coca Cola got away with it because the Reich turned against it in the last days of the war and threatened to send the head of the German operation to a concentration camp. He was now seen as a hero.
Ford used a bunch of Vichy-captured forced laborers at their factory in France. The US Air Force tried to bomb this factory in 1944 but hit the laborer barracks instead.
So Ford retired and died in 1947. His grandson took over and said some words condemning anti-Semitism. No consequences for the company.
Ford and GM both started voluntary compensation programs in the late 1990s. They paid out a few million dollars.
A GOP rep leapt to his defense and called him "a man of proven patriotism."
They got all the money that had been held in Germany during the war out. GM only compensated former enslaved laborers out of a fund that totallled $15 million. In the 1990s.
He was mired in controversy for the rest of his life, and stayed with the UMW until 1960. Died in 1969.
He did finally join in 1944 and took part in combat missions against Japan.
In 1942, 82% of Americans viewed him unfavorably, 10% favorably.
20 years later, 52% of Americans viewed him as a hero.
He corresponded with Henry Regnery, who now finances Richard Spencer, about commissioning an official history of the group in 1963. Nothing came of that.
He did abandon his Nazi beliefs.
The students didn't really see any consequences at all. They just went on to privileged lives.
Then she became a journalist of sorts and managed to interview both JFK and LBJ. She died in 1972.
He was denazified by paying a 2,000 Deutschmark (about $6,000 USD in 2018). Princess Stephanie helped him write his memoirs and he died in 1970.
Strength of institutions, principled leaders in both parties and courageous leadership blah blah blah...
I think it was luck.