Thus, I look with more than passing interest on the shenanigans of today’s Nazis. I wonder. How do they compare to Hitler’s minions?
The first iteration of American Nazis were the ones to which my father belonged in the 1930s when Hitler first rose to power. They were distant admirers rather than acolytes. In time they met in enclaves to share news of progress in Germany and complain about American politicians who failed to bring such relief to their desperate lives. Interestingly, President Franklin Roosevelt was as much a socialist as Herr Hitler, possibly more so, but socialism wasn’t the Fuhrer’s principal attraction. He focused more on giving his people a scapegoat. I think that is why my father despised Roosevelt. I suspect that he wanted the President to be more like the Fuhrer in placing the blame for the nation’s ills on some identifiable minority, blacks or Jews, more so than even curing the economy.
When the war broke out, American Nazis and their sympathizers scattered like cockroaches in the kitchen when the light is switched on. Some even joined the fight against the Nazis. My father didn’t. He found work in the war industry that sheltered him from the draft.
The second iteration of the American Nazis came in 1959. It was an actual political party founded by George Lincoln Rockwell. Originally known as the World Union Free Enterprise National Socialists, he renamed it the American Nazi Party in 1960. Thank God. Is there anything more confusing than “Free Enterprise...Socialists”. It’s an oxymoron. They claimed to adhere to Hitler’s ideals and policies, but that “free enterprise” think must have given them trouble. In any case, the American Nazi Party disbanded in 1967 when Rockwell was assassinated. (It seems unfair to elevate his murder to the level of an “assassination”.)
Since the late 1960’s there have been several other iterations of the American Nazi Party. Although their focus shifts to reflect their personal prejudices, they tend to remain enamored of the German Nazi iconography, especially the swastika, and uniforms.
- The American Nazi Party of today bears little resemblance to earlier iterations and almost none to the Third Reich. Indeed, if one of today’s American Nazis met a member of the Third Reich they would likely wet themselves.
- The American Nazi Party of today is not a socialist organization.
- The American Nazi Party of today is primarily a racist organization preferring swastikas and brown shirts to white sheets.