The history of the United States is complex and very diverse. Many movements and associations came and continue today. Some stayed and became prominent institutions, others faded away. One that faded away, thankfully, was the German American Bund.
The German American Bund or German American Federation (German: Amerikadeutscher Bund) was an American Nazi organization established in the 1930s. Its main goal was to promote a favorable view of Nazi Germany.
Bund march Manhattan 1939
In December 1935 Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess ordered all German citizens leave the Friends of New Germany (FOTNG), while also recalling all the group’s leaders to Germany. In March 1936, the German American Bund (AV) was established as a follow-up organisation for the FOTNG in Buffalo, New York. It elected a German-born American citizen Fritz Julius Kuhn, a veteran of the Bavarian infantry during World War I.
Fritz Kuhn on left
The Bund was one of several German-American heritage groups; however, it was one of the few to express National Socialist ideals. As a result, many considered the group anti-American. In the last week of December 1942, led by journalist Dorothy Thompson, fifty leading German-Americans including Babe Ruth signed a “Christmas Declaration by men and women of German ancestry” condemning Nazism, which appeared in ten major American daily newspapers. In 1939, a New York tax investigation determined 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 Wilhelm 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 during World War II.
No, this is not Berlin. Rally in Madison Square Garden 1939.
No, this is not Nuremberg. This is Chicago 1936. A Nazi youth rally.