July 17, 1939– American Nazis and Fascists had their convention at Madison Square Garden in support of Adolf Hitler. The building was covered in symbols of the Third Reich and the stage featured a giant picture of George Washington, “The Original American Nazi!”
The event was for the Bund Party, and it wasn’t a fun party. It was established by the viciously racist American Fritz Julius Kuhn. The Bund Party was to be Hitler’s “Fifth Column” and they urged USA politicians not to intervene in the war in Europe. Officials later claimed they had instructed organizers not to cover the arena in Swastikas, but apparently the Nazis didn’t get that memo. A huge banner was hung from the rafters that read “Stop Jewish Domination Of Christians.”
Kuhn was a former German World War I veteran who came to the USA and brought along his strong hatred of Jews and Blacks. He settled in Detroit and worked at a hospital owned by Henry Ford. The hospital Kuhn worked for, the Henry Ford Hospital, had a policy against hiring Jewish and Black doctors or admitting Jews and Negros as patients. Can you imagine? NO JEWISH DOCTORS?
Kuhn joined the Friends of New Germany, an American Pro-Hitler organization with direct ties to Germany’s Nazi party. When that organization came under scrutiny, the charming Kuhn created the American Bund Party and appointed himself: Bund Führer.
The group began to stage Pro-Hitler rallies around the country, culminating in this 22,000+ person event at Madison Square Garden, under police guard while demonstrators protested outside.
The reason why a George Washington picture was featured and not the other Founding Fathers, was because Fascism, as an ideology, emphasizes action over intellectualism. This is why Hitler’s ideal Aryan was a strong, handsome, and physically fit person rather than someone with a brain for civics. I wonder who that sounds like in our own era?
Kuhn repeatedly referred to President Franklin D Roosevelt as “Frank D. Rosenfeld”, calling his New Deal the “Jew Deal” and denounced America’s leadership. Most shocking to American sensibilities was the outbreak of violence between protesters and Bund storm troopers.
We can all be thankful that this movement died when the USA entered WW II in 1941, and that any sort of Fascism would be an impossibility in today’s rational America.