Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The America of Trump’s Father: an Aspirational Fascism Reigned in New York

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One might have been confused about America’s actual loyalties during the brewing years of World War II if they happened to live in the greater New York City region. New York and its suburbs in Long Island and New Jersey had a vibrant community of first- and second-generation German Americans, the latter having included Fred Trump, Sr., a rising star in real estate and retailing.

Also active in the New York-New Jersey region was the German American Bund or “Amerikadeutscher Bund,” an organization that supported Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party and the goals and aspirations of the “New Germany.” The Bund had been created in May 1933 on the orders of German Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess. The first Bund leader was German immigrant Heinrich “Heinz” Spanknöbel, who initially called his group the “Friends of New Germany.” In fact, the “Bund” was nothing more than an overseas extension of the German Nazi Party and it took its orders directly from Berlin.

The Bund only accepted as members Americans of German descent. In 1936, the Friends of New Germany morphed into the German American Bund in Buffalo, New York. The group’s leader or Bundesführer was Fritz Julius Kuhn, a German immigrant and Nazi Party member, who received US citizenship in 1934. The general belief is that Kuhn was one of many Nazi members dispatched abroad in the 1930s by the nascent German Nazi Party to act as Nazi “eyes and ears” in the United States, Canada, and other countries. These recent immigrants, who would become Bund leaders across America, were later involved in espionage for the German Gestapo and military intelligence Abwehr before and during World War II.  (more...)

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