- 47,99 zł
A book examining the strange terrain of Nazi sympathizers, nonintervention campaigners and other voices in America who advocated on behalf of Nazi Germany in the years before World War II.
Americans who remember World War II reminisce about how it brought the country together. The less popular truth behind this warm nostalgia: until the attack on Pearl Harbor, America was deeply, dangerously divided.
Bradley W. Hart's Hitler's American Friends exposes the homegrown antagonists who sought to protect and promote Hitler, leave Europeans (and especially European Jews) to fend for themselves, and elevate the Nazi regime.
Some of these friends were Americans of German heritage who joined the Bund, whose leadership dreamed of installing a stateside Führer. Some were as bizarre and hair-raising as the Silver Shirt Legion, run by an eccentric who claimed that Hitler fulfilled a religious prophesy. Some were Midwestern Catholics like Father Charles Coughlin, an early right-wing radio star who broadcast anti-Semitic tirades. They were even members of Congress who used their franking privilege—sending mail at cost to American taxpayers—to distribute German propaganda. And celebrity pilot Charles Lindbergh ended up speaking for them all at the America First Committee.
We try to tell ourselves it couldn't happen here, but Americans are not immune to the lure of fascism. Hitler's American Friends is a powerful look at how the forces of evil manipulate ordinary people, how we stepped back from the ledge, and the disturbing ease with which we could return to it.
"The threats posed by the American Nazi movement were far greater than we remember today" is the chilling conclusion that history professor Hart reaches in this well-sourced overview of American support for Nazism in the 1930s and 1940s. Hart opens with a 1941 speech by the best-known American Nazi sympathizer legendary aviator Charles Lindbergh who told an audience in Iowa that Jewish influence in Hollywood, the news media, and government "presented a unique danger" to the U.S. Though his anti-Semitic remarks were condemned widely, the America First Committee, for which Lindbergh was a spokesperson, also saw a "grassroots outpouring of support." Hart then steps back to detail lesser-known figures who aspired to bring Nazi ideology to the U.S. and to keep the country out of World War II, starting with the German American Bund, which held Fourth of July rallies honoring Hitler and Mussolini. That organization was brought low by John Metcalfe, a German-born reporter who had infiltrated it. Hart also gives credit to other journalists and government officials who "risked life and limb to expose plots against the United States." American Nazis were ultimately unsuccessful, but Hart intends his history as a cautionary tale, noting that "Hitler's American friends were successful for a time because they seemed to provide an alternative set of answers to those being offered by the political establishment." This illuminating history will interest anyone who wants to know how nationalist movements succeed or fail.