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American Nazis at Madison Square Garden, 1939 (theatlantic.com)
163 points by wyndham 42 days ago | hide | past | web | 83 comments | favorite



I thought it was common knowledge that support for Nazis in America was widespread all the way leading to American involvement in WW2.

Here's another sample: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-ross-nazis-of-los...

What Lewis did not anticipate is that local authorities would prove indifferent to — or supportive of — the Nazis and fascists.

Within weeks of going undercover, Lewis’ network of spies discovered a plot to wrest control of armories in San Francisco, L.A. and San Diego — part of a larger plan to take over local governments and carry out a mass execution of Jews. Lewis immediately informed L.A. Police Chief James Edgar “Two-Gun” Davis of the Nazi scheme to seize weapons and, as Lewis warned in a memo later, to “foster a fascist form of government in the United States.”

Lewis was shocked when Davis interrupted him to defend Hitler. The police chief, he noted in the memo, told him: “Germans could not compete economically with the Jews in Germany and had been forced to take the action they did.” The greatest danger the city faced, Davis insisted, was not from Nazis but from communists living in the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Boyle Heights. As far as Davis was concerned, every communist was a Jew and every Jew a communist.


> I thought it was common knowledge that support for Nazis in America was widespread all the way leading to American involvement in WW2.

It's certainly not common knowledge, and most school history books don't include it (at least when I was in school). They do cover the Jim Crow laws and the KKK but don't make a connection between those and Nazi ideology.

Even less common is knowledge of how much the Nazis themselves were inspired by American style racist laws and organizations:

http://www.history.com/news/how-the-nazis-were-inspired-by-j...

EDIT: wording


Hitler was highly inspired by Manifest Destiny


See also the industrialists who as well as aiding the Nazi's tried to overthrow the US Government in the 1930s:

>In 1936, William Dodd, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, wrote a letter to President Roosevelt in which he stated,

> > A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. I have had plenty of opportunity in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American ruling families are to the Nazi regime. ... A prominent executive of one of the largest corporations, told me point blank that he would be ready to take definite action to bring fascism into America if President Roosevelt continued his progressive policies. Certain American industrialists had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy. They extended aid to help Fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping to keep it there. Propagandists for fascist groups try to dismiss the fascist scare. We should be aware of the symptoms. When industrialists ignore laws designed for social and economic progress they will seek recourse to a fascist state when the institutions of our government compel them to comply with the provisions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Business_Plot


Was Henry Ford a part of this plot, considering he was a big fan of Hitler?


No, he was kind of an outsider nazi amongst the high profile banking, industry and press nazis those times. He was a newcomer and threatened the establishment with his success and unusual methods.

This clique of U.S. industrialists (the old fascists) were the leaders in banking, oil, coal, chemical, steel, press: JP Morgan, Hunt, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Vanderbilt, Du Pont, Hearst.


Read on Wikipedia 2 min ago that Rockefeller Foundation funded Nazi eugenics.


Not only that, but many policies we now regard as being Nazi were widespread and popular in the West in general. Eugenics, for example, was promoted by all sorts of celebrities, politicians, and everyday people and many Western countries engaged in highly unethical eugenics programs.

To think we fought Nazis because of their ideology is a mistake - the US, the UK, and many other countries weren't that different, in many respects, ideologically. In practice, the Nazis took horrific ideas and industrialized them.

In a way, we have Nazi military imperialism to thank for the fact that many horrible ideas are unacceptable today - otherwise there might never have been a backlash against them.


The US had active eugenics programs into the 1970s.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics_in_the_United_States


...yes, which is very unfortunate.

Without the moral baggage of WW2 and the unfortunate implementation history of eugenics programs in the 20th century, it may be easier for people to accept that encouraging the gradual improvement of the gene pool would actually be a positive thing for human civilization.

The one and only semi-acceptable eugenics practice in the modern West is the termination of pregnancies of Trisomy-21 fetuses. Any hint of extending that acceptance any further, and you're instantly a Nazi.


Sure, but there are a lot of grey areas. Would you want your loved ones removed from the gene pool because they have peanut allergies, or what about asthma from living near a coal plant? What if some governing body determined that you're unfit for reproduction because of your height or facial structure?

Moreover, genes are not binary in the sense that there are "good" or "bad" traits. It depends on the time and place like sickle cell anemia, which gives you immunity to malaria, but has the obvious downside of making you anemic.

And there are those naturally immune to diseases like smallpox or even AIDS [0], even diseases we have no knowledge of right now.

I once had a fellow coworker who hinted at the fact that he was pro-eugenics (semi-jokingly) as he was a varsity athlete from a good college in good health. I had to remind him that just a bit over 100 years ago the US signed the Chinese Exclusion Act and that Hitler would not have considered him to be anything close to a true Aryan.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Innate_resistance_to_HIV


The problem is that there's not always a clear consensus on what is considered an "improvement." Back then (as well as today in many non Western societies), for example, homosexuality was considered a genetic flaw that was targeted for elimination in the gene pool.

So one person's improvement might be another's worsening. And we've seen our opinions evolve over time.

As a consequence there's a serious ethical concern. As flawed human beings I don't think any of us can say with certainty how we should manipulate the gene pool. Allowing Nature to do it herself has worked reasonably well thus far, if you consider the evolution of Homo Sapiens to be a positive outcome.


> homosexuality was considered a genetic flaw that was targeted for elimination in the gene pool.

I don't wish to come across as callous, but wouldn't homosexuality self-eliminate itself from the gene pool nowadays because there is no societal pressure anymore on homosexuals to maintain appearance of heterosexual couples?


If I understand correctly homosexuality is (relatively?) common in other species as well, and I would be surprised if there's societal pressure there.

Of course, if I'm correct in my assumptions, it's fascinating why homosexuality exists.


By that logic, Lasik is ethically dangerous because some people have regarded brown eyes as inferior in the past.

That slope isn't anywhere near as slippery as you're trying to make it out to be.


So much suffering is caused by genes, from physical to mental illnesses. It's hard to imagine what would be wrong with a world where no one got cancer, became schizophrenic, or perhaps, even suffered from depression. The big danger I guess is that we end up deciding there is only one (or perhaps a couple) valid human "types", and eccentric perspectives that create value (in any sense) are lost, not through extermination, but because they just are never created to begin with.

The gradual improvement of the gene pool will likely happen anyway, as parents choose to use new technologies to improve their future children in various ways.


Well, Tay-Sachs is also prevented through similar measures sometimes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prevention_of_Tay%E2%80%93Sach...


I'm confused by that logic. If they were communists, then how would they represent such a threat economically to Germans?

Were rich jews re-distributing a large portion of their wealth to other jews, too, so they are better off?

I just don't understand how he made the connection "those guys do so much better than us economically -> they must be communists!"


Good job being confused by nonsense! Antisemitism (and similar styles of racism) has always been based on a level of double-think: that the enemy race (in this case, the Jews) are both strong enough to be mortally threatening, and weak enough to fall to the first solid blow.


Not only was there widespread support of the Nazis in America, but the Nazis' views on race were inspired by the "science" of Eugenics, which was also widespread in America, and by the American KKK.

After the war, prominent Nazis were hired by the US government.


Common knowledge? No that chapter was glossed over.

One funny is story is how the US put a trade embargo on Japan (leading to them launching Pearl Harbour attack) while at the same time allowing US companies trade oil and other resources with the Reich. The Nazi blitzkrieg ran on US oil... Greatest generation indeed.


if every white american spent a week as another race, i don't think a single one would be 'shocked' or 'flabbergasted' about any of this.


I wish "Black Like Me" were mandatory reading in public schools:

Black Like Me, first published in 1961, is a nonfiction book by white journalist John Howard Griffin recounting his journey in the Deep South of the United States, at a time when African-Americans lived under Racial Segregation. Griffin was a native of Dallas, Texas, who had his skin temporarily darkened to pass as a black man. He traveled for six weeks throughout the racially segregated states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia to explore life from the other side of the color line.

It's short and fascinating.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Like_Me


or...you could read something written by an actual black person?


You're on this site, so I hope you recognize the stereotyping and assumptions of character in your statement.

I am white, ~25% Filipino also, but light skinned so historically I have been taken as a white male. I'm not shocked or flabbergasted at all by this because I am an American and part of our laws that we hold very dear allows us to publicly espouse views that are repugnant.

I heard the speaker saying terrible things about Jews, which no thinking person would ever support. I did not hear him inciting or suggesting attacks against them though, which would be illegal. At one point someone tried to rush the stage, though we don't know his motivations. That person was beaten, which should have resulted in the arrests of everyone involved.

Other than that, he can say or think whatever he wants to say or think. When he raises his hand or asks another to do so against a fellow human being is where the line is crossed.


> At one point someone tried to rush the stage, though we don't know his motivations. That person was beaten, which should have resulted in the arrests of everyone involved.

The person who rushed the stage was Isadore Greenbaum. All he did was shout "Down with Hitler!" and knock down a microphone[1]. He was the only one arrested and was further charged with disorderly conduct[1]. None of his assailants were charged or arrested.

1. http://www.historynet.com/made-in-america-americans-in-suppo...


Could a reasonable person think that he intended to harm someone on the stage? If so that was the correct legal outcome no matter how unfortunate.


I made no judgement - I merely stated the facts.


read my post again carefully. my point is actually that _no_ non-white american people would be shocked.

i'm not really talking about white people at all, because obviously there are some who would be and wouldn't be shocked at widespread racism by white people.

this is a subtle point that you are missing, which is ironic because you are 25% asian, i imagine you have seen quite a bit of anti-asian racism (it's just a joke bro! don't you love being the butt of jokes? who doesn't love that!) from white people because they have no idea you have asian family.

and i'll just pre-empt your next point: i'm not saying only white poeple can be racist, that's obviously not the case if you've ever been overseas, and anti-white racism also happens a lot in america.

i'll generalize my point for you, so that you may understand:

no person of a minority race would be shocked that the majority race harbors a not-insignificant subpopulation with vehement racist views against other races. if every single majority race were to spend a week as a minority, that would likely dispel any notions they had of the contrary.

^ this works for all races.


Did you just "white privilege" and undercover citizen trying to expose Nazi's ~80 years ago because he was shocked at how widespread support was? Your point is that if he'd been black he wouldn't have been shocked by Nazi support?


Well, I find it unlikely that a Chinese, Mexican or African-American would have been surprised that a high ranking law enforcement officer was openly supportive of the people terrorising their communities in those days.

To be honest I'm a little surprised that a Jewish person would be that naive either, particularly a lawyer that helped found the ADL.


Do you disagree that being white, on average, causes one to be less exposed to racism? I don't think that is a particularly radical concept.

I also think that being a male, on average, causes one to be less directly exposed to cat-calling and other everyday-sexism. Do you take offense at my suggestion of male privilege?


On average? You going to measure that in a lab and show me your margin of error, or is this now a political discussion?

And "male privilege" is dumb. Measure it - show me your science. Otherwise I'll think about how many men die on the job versus women, how women receive more lenient sentences for the same crime, or how women now receive the majority of degrees, and a women who never has kids or marries, will make significantly more money over her life than a similar man, and I think "Weird, it's like biology strangely enough, affects our culture in all sorts of crazy ways that having nothing to do with some nut job conspiracy theory about male patriarchy."


Cool, thats about what I expected but I wanted to make sure before I put much time into an argument. Good to see you aren't a hypocrite and provide sources for your highly specific claims as well.


1)Male Deaths: http://articles.latimes.com/1995-08-04/business/fi-31566_1_w...

2)Female sentences: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/11/men-women-prison-s...

3)Women get more degrees: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/in-a-first-women-surpass-men-in...

4)Never married women earn more: http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/apr/09/...

Everything above is (somewhat) common knowledge. Notice how I picked mostly progressive liberal publications as initial sources, to avoid right-wing partisanship bias.

I don't want to come across as condescending, but were you honestly questioning the parent poster's assertions?


No actually I expected those were more than likely correct or at least supportable, I was being snide because the parent poster was being an ass about simple analogy.

>On average? You going to measure that in a lab and show me your margin of error, or is this now a political discussion?

Is he fucking serious? We're talking about Nazi's, of course its political. If someone is seriously going to demand laboratory tests on catcalling, that screams totally out of touch mens-rights "activist" to me. Not only that, I was making an analogy and he had to dredge up whataboutisms that have nothing to do with the conversation occurring. Before this becomes an issue of why I'm not talking about men being catcalled, anecdotally speaking I don't know if I've ever known any men (even the most handsome people I know) to get yelled at by passing cars, told to smile more at professional conferences etc. I'm not saying it never happens because I'm sure it does but its an issue that disproportionately affects women just like nazi's are an issue that disproportionately affects minorities.

Claiming that its white-privilegey to say that minorities might be more aware of nazi/neo-nazi roots in America is needlessly defensive (and he had to be the one to say white-privilege, which is like Popeye spinach for angry white men I'm convinced). Yes, minorities are going to be more aware of nazi's in America because they are targeted by them.

I'll try to put a think-tank of the worlds best minds together to study these revolutionary claims I'm making.


Maybe you never talked to any relatives from that period, but I did. And to claim they weren't aware of Nazi dangers in the US because of their race is not only by definition racist, but insults their memories. You can't just piss all over an entire race/gender of people and then whine about being insulted back.


i didn't make any of those points, but you just did, and then ascribed them to me, which is pretty typical of online discussions. it's called a straw-man argument.

the reason it's so widespread is it's so easy to do. all you have to do is come up with a bunch of stuff you dislike, and then accuse me of being/doing that stuff.

and there's nothing i can really do about it, because these ideas exist only in your head, not mine.



There are two sort of contradictory views of nazism that I was exposed to as a child.

The first one is the “banality of evil” view. The nazis were nothing special. One of many populist and racist parties. One of many hateful ideologies. The only thing that stands them out is the results. They actually won power through weirdness of politics in that time and place. They actually started a massive war (lucky timing). They actually went on the massive genocidal campaign implied by their rhetoric.

Normal people. Normal (if somewhat distasteful) party. Abnormal actions. It’s kind of related to the “one damn thing after another” theory of history.

The other (more intuitive, and unavoidable) view is the pure evil view. Hitler & Eichman were uniquely evil people. The SS were evil people. They had an evil doctrine, evil symbols, evil political methods. Evil resulted. Watch out for this sort of thing. Know the devil when you see her. Never Again!

Anyway, in 1939 I’m not sure nazism stood out as a unique evil different in some way from domestic far right movements like the kkk. It’s historical perspective that gives it the symbolic meaning that shocks us today.


Pure evil can in fact pass for normal, banal politics in certain times and places. That's the problem. Normal, banal people learned not to think thoughts like, "Are we the baddies? We've got skulls on!" and, "But what would I think if they were doing this to me?"

Remember, the late 1930s also had Stalinism, Japanese Imperialism, the British Empire sponsoring things like the Bengali Famine, and various American imperial/colonial efforts as well.

There was a lot of evil to go around.

The proper advice is: know the Evil Impulse when it appears in yourself, and then you can have a good idea of how to spot it in others.


“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956


>And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

Well, anyone with a measure of decency, of course.


The Jews fleeing the country, the ghettos, the concentration camps had all started. The night of the Long Knives had already happened.

Don't know if they were unique, or worse than the KKK (when the KKK had any power they killed a lot of people). But they were definitely, obviously, way evil.


Kristelnacht happened around that time, concentration camps (the final solution) came later. I imagine that from a foreign/non-jewish perspective nazi militarism and expansionism (Czechoslovakia, Poland & Austria) were way bigger deals than racism.

Anti-jewish state action and/or thuggery was relatively commonplace. Kristelnacht is just another pogrom without the historical context making it the symbolic first blood of the holocaust.


Just a quibble, the concentration camps didn't start out as part of the Final Solution. They started out as a place to confine dissidents, etc.


There's a terminology problem here. Scholars call the "final solution" camps extermination camps. They started after the invasion of Poland. Concentration camps in general began the moment the Nazis took power.


Exactly. The Germans referred to the initial camps as "Konzentrationslager" or "Arbeitslager" designed primarily around slave labor. They weren't overly concerned about prisoner death, but that was a byproduct in their minds. They wanted to work the Jews and other groups they considered Untermenschen until they dropped dead.

Some camps were two-part; comprising a slave camp and an extermination camp. Auschwitz is a good example of this, though Treblinka also had a small work camp connected to its extermination camp. The work camp was primarily to support the vernichtungslager.

In contrast, the sole goal of the extermination camps (Vernichtungslager) was the expeditious murder of "undesirables."


Not only did it not stand out as especially evil before the beginning of the war, but a lot of politicians/personalities were speaking very highly of Hitler at the time.

Also, he was often seen as the real hope to defeat communism, which on the contrary was immediately called "evil".

To add to your first paragraph, I think that another thing that stands out is that it happened in what was one of the most civilized and culturally evolved countries in the world at the time.


Good point. I actually tried to work it into the banality paragraph.

My Grandad’s view (he was interned in Czechoslovakia within months of this rally) was exactly this. Even in the most civilised country on earth… rather than because “germans.” He saw nazism as something that afflicted germany, almost arbitrarily.

Somehow, he didn’t even have a particular dislike of germans, at least when I knew him. He visited in the 70s and enjoyed speaking german when he had the chance.

Incidentally, he also thought communists were evil even though he fought for a communist militia eventually (he escaped in 41/42). He equated Communism to fanaticism, a unique level of fanaticism.


Related is the debate of functionalism vs intentionalism:

The debate on the origins of the Holocaust centers on essentially two questions:

Was there a master plan on the part of Adolf Hitler to launch the Holocaust? Intentionalists argue there was such a plan, while functionalists argue there was not.

Did the initiative for the Holocaust come from above with orders from Adolf Hitler or from below within the ranks of the German bureaucracy? Although neither side disputes the reality of the Holocaust, nor is there serious dispute over the premise that Hitler (as Führer) was personally responsible for encouraging the anti-Semitism that allowed the Holocaust to take place, intentionalists argue the initiative came from above, while functionalists contend it came from lower ranks within the bureaucracy.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functionalism_versus_intenti...


"If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."

-Lyndon Johnson.


That's a spot-on quote that captures one of the fundamental tensions of US History. Johnson is a enigmatic figure, as he grew up experiencing this, and did great things to bring justice to people, yet had his own personal and policy failings that stand in jarring contrast.

Much of the institutional racial and policy oddities in this country stem from this form of control, which was used to make and keep slavery an institution and keep the lower classes in check. One of the rallying cries of the draft riots (that is uncomfortably close to the modern Trump-ist white nationalist rallying cry) is that slaves were valued more ($1,000 for a slave) than the Irish ($300 to avoid war service) and were on the rise, and that rise would drag down wages when freed slaves flooded New York labor markets.


This is not an apples to apples comparison. The slaves were already in the US. Illegal immigrants are not.

I don't see much arguments from the right that it's the blacks and not illegal immigrants who are driving down wages, given the fact that black unemployment has gone WAAAAY up since the 50s. Black teenagers had a better employment rate than white teenagers back in the day.


Sorry, but you’re dead wrong on this. The US and its predecessor colonies imported slaves by the shipload well into the 19th century.

You can literally go back to the original Virginia colony, where the landowners didn’t like the high costs and turnover (due to malaria and AWOL) of indentured servants from England. So they started importing African slaves, who didn’t need to be paid, didn’t have a term contract, and often were resistant to malaria.

They started having problems with slaves escaping and joining up with frontier communities of former or escaped indentured servants. That's where the racial supremacy stuff started -- to keep people at odds and under control.

The illegal immigrant issue isn't the same, but isn't totally different either. There's a demand for cheap labor without normal labor protections, and demand for life outside of third world countries.


> African slaves, who didn’t need to be paid, didn’t have a term contract, and often were resistant to malaria.

You still needed to pay someone to guard them and feed them. According to Larry Elder only 5% of whites in the US today can trace their lineage to slave owners. Majority of whites migrated into the country after the slavery.

And even with regards to whites owning slaves, most only owned 1 or 2 because they were expensive, plantation owners were the ones who owned majority of slaves.


A couple of points of context.

The rally was organized by the "German American Bund," an organization that Nazi Germany had distanced itself from before the Madison Square Garden rally:

On March 1, 1938 the Nazi government decreed that no Reichsdeutsche [German nationals] could be a member of the Bund, and that no Nazi emblems were to be used by the organization. This was done both to appease the U.S. and to distance Germany from the Bund, which was increasingly a cause of embarrassment with its rhetoric and actions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_American_Bund

This was not a mass movement by any stretch, but seemed instead to be centered around a group of German-American immigrants.

The video depicts a Pledge of Allegiance ceremony that lacks the phrase "under God" because it was added in 1942:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance_(United_S...


Correction: "under God" was added in 1954, at the instigation of the Knights of Columbus. The Bellamy salute was retired in 1942, though.


Wait, so this group was too Nazi for the Nazis?


And if you heard Chomsky he describes how growing up there were beer parties in US when Paris fell to the Nazis.

Those things was quickly swept under the rug later, and not talked about much. Also the involvement of American companies in supporting the Nazi effort including Ford and IBM and probably others.

I grew up hearing about Nazis. For the Soviet Union it was _the_ big war, a war of survival basically. Both of my grandfathers fought in the war. One drove them all the way to Berlin. Got wounded by them. I also heard stories from teachers about the horrible atrocities they've experienced. One jarring one was how their Jewish childhood friend was raped, dismembered and buried in the backyard by German soldiers. They watched through the fence in the back of the garden hiding in the bushes.

That is why it is grating to hear everyone use "Nazis" like a joke. "You are such a Nazi", "Everyone who doesn't agree with my political views is a Nazi". "The store clerk is a fascist cause they made me wait too long", etc.


Another weird moment in history:

Nazis attend the Nation of Islam summit, 1961 - https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-CbcE6rSSouc/WAL8t2PEfHI/AAAAAAAAL...

Black nationalists and white nationalists coming together. Bizarre stuff.


Moar context: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/dpwamv/when-malcolm-x-met...

Apparently the Nation of Islam was in favor of racial separation, and had a highly-placed anti-semite, which made alliance with the nazis possible.


> Apparently the Nation of Islam was in favor of racial separation, and had a highly-placed anti-semite

I'd be pretty surprised if the Nation of Islam had only one highly-placed anti-semite.


I clicked on this and saw that there is a man that bears a striking resemblance to Obergruppenführer John Smith from "Man in the High Castle."


Not too bizarre, both groups were Nationalists, so I presume that they saw that cooperating on their common objective (total racial segregation) was more useful in the long term.

Interestingly, both George Lincoln Rockwell and Malcolm X were assassinated by members of their own parties (a former one in Rockwell's case, though). Sadly, I don't know much else about them.


Horseshoe politics at its finest; when you’re extreme enough, the people like you are those who manage to be equally extreme. By then the underlying ideologies have converged on the same basic notions of rejecting the mainstream and revolution.


(This is a tangent unrelated to the topic)

Three years after this rally, Pearl Harbor happens, which results in the US entering into the already-running World War II.

Virtually all people of Japanese ancestry are forcibly relocated from the West Coast and incarcerated in internment camps - around 115,000 people, 62% of which were US citizens. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internment_of_Japanese_America...

At the same time, "the government examined the cases of German nationals individually, and detained relatively few [11,000 out of the 1.2 Million born in Germany and 5 Million with two German parents]. To a much lesser extent, some ethnic German US citizens were classified as suspect after due process and also detained." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internment_of_German_Americans

Of the 695,000 ethnic Italians in the US at the time, only 1,881 nationals were detained. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internment_of_Italian_American...

The justification of rounding up all ethnic Japanese into camps was "we're at war, we will do anything to protect our country". But that same logic was never applied to the Germans or Italians, even though their countries were bigger threats than Japan.

A government commission found the treatment of ethnic Japanese to have been racially motivated, and actually paid reparations to those that were interned. But even so, this practice was never made illegal.

I find this especially interesting since a certain US President seems to have some strong feelings toward certain ethnicities and religions. In the event we went to war with a country with such an ethnicity, we would probably see these camps again, because no law has made it illegal, and there is legal and military precedence for it. It's also a near-certainty that no Supreme Court will go against a President during wartime.


I would like to point out that the raised hands / sig heil was normal American reverence to the flag, and had nothing exceptional to do with the event depicted.

It was an inspiration to the Nazi Germany sig heil just like a few other aspects of American culture.

The ritual around the pledge of allegiance was subsequently changed to simultaneously be distinctive from fascists and communists.


Yes, it's known as the Bellamy salute: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellamy_salute


If you squint at the Reichskriegflagge- you can see the Coca-Cola Colours.


is that intended to be an absurdity in relationships?


Wow, the swastika besides a giant George Washington is a really impressive image. Sure you can use the words freedom and justice for anything.

Who is the guy talking in the lectern? The one who is despised as a demon by the "jewish controlled media"?


When the Pledge of Allegiance is being recited at the beginning, there is no "under God." I knew that it had been added in 1954 but it's interesting to hear it so clearly missing here given that the event occurred in 1939.


That's kinda a freakish alt history look there with George and nazi activity.


it seems amazing that it isn’t a stock part of every high school history class. This story was likely nudged out of the canon, in part because it’s scary and embarrassing. It tells a story about our country that we’d prefer to forget.

Everyone is outraged that the 5 things they're passionate about aren't taught (enough) in school. The problem is that they're never same 5 things as the next guy.

Everything that follows the word "likely" is this guy crafting a narrative that fits his world view and appetite for rage much better than the more realistic answers: teacher's priorities pulled in a million directions at once and schools somehow have to fit as much as possible into an education program bounded by funding, timing, and classroom sizes.


That's a quite novel way of whitewashing the kind of whitewashing of official school (and even academic) history that countries usually do and has been studied and documented by historians and activists time and again.

No, topics like the Native American concentration camps or the history of the Japanese Americans in WWII, the gory details of the US racial and labour history, and other such things were not historically kept away from school books for decades on end because "too many things to teach, too little teaching time".

The same reason the Japanese don't keep their WWII doings in China out of their books because they have so much other stuff to cover.


The ugly parts of our country's history are under-taught, especially the closer you get to the present. This is an anecdote that points to a categorical problem.


You can say that to excuse all sorts of revisionism.


There seems to be some kind of issue with the video between 2:08 and 2:10. You can see the flags going back and forth as if someone rewind the footage. Maybe it's an editing error?


It's all fun and games until 6 million jews die.


Please don't post unsubstantive comments here.


I’m sick and tired of articles like that popping-up on this site. This is not Twitter. Why is irrelevant political content not flagged immediately.


The mandate of this site is intellectual curiosity. Take a look at the first paragraph of https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html.

I'd say this video footage easily qualifies as gratifying intellectual curiosity (it did mine, anyhow), despite the provocativeness of the material. Had the discussion gone haywire we'd have downweighted the thread, but it isn't too bad.

Actually we've downweighted it a bit, but before that we turned off an automatic software penalty that applied. Balancing act.




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