Friends of the New Germany

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Not to be confused with the earlier group Society of American Friends of Germany

Friends of the New Germany (German: Bund der Freunde des Neuen Deutschland) also known as the The American League of the Friends of the New Germany and League of the Friends of the New Germany) was an American National Socialist political group formed in Chicago in July 1933.[1] Many of the members of this group who were American citizens joined the German-American Bund in 1936 after Friends of New Germany was dissolved. The others who were German citizens living in America formed the German Bund[2] A Canadian section was also started in 1933.

The Friends of the New Germany increased its membership between October l933 and March l934 from four hundred to four thousand members.[3] On May 17, 1934, the group drew 50,000 to a rally at New York City's Madison Square Garden to promote the expansion of their counter-boycott organization DAWA.

Contents

Organization

Some of the original membership of Friends of New Germany came from the Teutonia Association which had disbanded a year earlier and the "Volkischer Bund" . The former Teutonia members in 1932 and 1933 began forming independent National Socialist German Worker's Party units in a several American cities including, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Cincinnati.[4] German officials Rudolf Hess and Robert Ley intervened and found it necessary to form Friends of New Germany in 1933.[5]

German-born pastor Heinz Spanknoebel became the early leader of the new organization winning the support and approval from Hess.[6] Other leaders in quick succession were Dr. Ignatz Griebl, Fritz Gissibl, Dr. Reinhold Walter, and Hubert Schnuch. Fritz Kuhn was the last leader before the group dissolved.[7]

The group’s military auxiliary was know as the Stahlhelm or Steel Helmets. A youth camp was organized in Griggstown, New Jersey named Camp Wille und Macht (Will and Might).[8]

A court called the Uschla was used to enforce discipline. Those found in violation of certain rules or precepts were subject to social ostracization from the German-American community. However directives from the Uschla were at times ignored and those condemned often found members of the community who remained friendly.[9]

They published Das Neue Deutschland and Deutscher Beobachter.

Influence

In 1934 they had a huge rally at a Chicago stadium and drew a crowd of 30,000.[10] On May 17, 1934 they held a rally at Madison Square Gardens in New York.[11]

In 1935 the group had about 10,000 members, most of whom were German citizens. Links were established with similar like-minded groups, such as William Dudley Pelley’s Silver Shirts.

Officers and leaders

Notes

  1. House Investigation of Un-American Propaganda Activities in the United States (1943) Page 60
  2. Testimony of Fritz Kuhn, August 6, 1939, before the House of Un-American Activities Committee, page 3728
  3. Americans from Germany: A Study in Cultural Diversity by Robert Henry Billigmeier, page 159
  4. House Investigation of Un-American Propaganda Activities in the United States (1943) Page 71
  5. Encyclopedia of White Power, by Jeffrey Kaplan, page 131
  6. Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn and the Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund, by Arnie Bernstein, page 25
  7. Helluva Town: The Story of New York City During World War II, By Richard Goldstein, page 208
  8. Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn and the Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund, by Arnie Bernstein, page 35
  9. "This Fascist Racket" JTA July 31, 1934
  10. House of Representatives Investigation of Un-American Propaganda Activities in the United States, page 1212
  11. State of Emergency, By Nate Braden

See also

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