H. Keith Thompson

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H. Keith Thompson in 1954 from Exposé magazine
For the similarly named British nationalist see Keith Thompson

Harold Keith Thompson Jr. (September 17, 1922 - March 3, 2002) was a self-proclaimed American fascist, publisher, journalist, literary agent, author, and public relations executive. At age 19 he was recruited as an agent by German intelligence. After the war Thompson developed ties to several nationalist ideologues and authors in Europe, Africa, and South America. As a result he became the point-man in the post-war international National Socialist nexus, at times refered to as die Spinne (the Spider).[1]

Early life and education

Thompson was born in Orange, New Jersey. He was of Anglo-Saxon, German and Scottish descent--his father being Harold Thompson Sr. and his mother Caroline Thompson. He also had one sister, Elizabeth.[2] At age 14 he became interested in stamp collecting and befriended King Carol II of Romania who became a lifelong friend and political advisor.

He graduated from Columbia High School in South Orange, New Jersey in 1940 and attended New York University night school from June 1940 through June 1942.[3]

U.S. Navy and Yale

In June 1942 Thompson enlisted in the US Naval Reserve. He studied at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey and transferred to Naval ROTC at Yale University in 1944. Two years later he was commissioned as Ensign with a bachelor’s degree in history.

From December 1946 thru April 1947, Thompson served as a communications officer aboard the USS Mt. Olympus, the flagship of the Byrd Antarctic Expedition.

Court martial: sex scandal and political controversy

In December 1947 Thompson resigned from U.S. Navy and accepted a commission as Second Lieutenant in U.S. Marine Corps. He was dismissed from the U.S. Marine Corps by general court martial on June 22, 1950 for striking a man under his command. The prosecution team claimed he was spanking the man and implied this was a form of homosexual activity. Thompson was checked by a medical examiner and who reported he found no homosexual traits on the part of Thompson. However, released FBI reports often refer to Thompson as being a homosexual.[4] [5]

The handling of his case by the Navy was something of a national scandal and was reported in the New York leftist paper the National Guardian.[6] Thompson--for whatever reason at the time--was associating with leftists and promoting equality among the races.[7] The paper implied the Navy was harassing him for supporting Vice President Henry Wallace and the Progressive Party in 1948 and suggested he was being framed by the charges. Thompson had attended the national convention of the Progressive Party in Philadelphia in June 1948 and became one of its founding members.[8]

In the Fall of 1950 Thompson supported the candidacy and wrote speeches for Vito Marcantonio a member of the left-leaning American Labor Party.

Political activity and espionage

Thompson began his political career before America's entry into World War II when he campaigned against involvement as a member of the German American Bund and the America First Committee.[9] About this time he came to the attention of German intelligence and was recruited into the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) Overseas Intelligence Unit of the SS. He was a cousin to Dr. Hans Thomsen, the German chargé d’affaires in Washington before American involvement in the war.[10]

A document recovered after the war in Munich by the US Army confirmed Thompson's recruitment by the Germans on July 27, 1941. The document bearing Hitler’s signature was later filed with Interpol. [11]

Business

From 1946 to 1952 he was employed in New York City as a salesman with an interior decorating firm: E.M. Latson and Company. Later, Thompson became vice president and office manager of Cooper Forms, a company own by his father. In the 1950s he worked as a public relations and literary agent on Fifty-second Street near Madison Avenue in Manhattan.[12] As a publisher he represented several notable figures including fighter ace Hans-Ulrich Rudel, Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, and Romanian King Carol II, his early childhood friend.[13]

Post-war activism and associations

Thompson became a close ally of German general and politician Otto Remer. In 1951 he registered with the United States Department of Justice as the American representative for Remer's Socialist Reich Party of Germany. In 1952 Remer was jailed. Thompson set up a Committee for the Freedom of Major General Remer and began a campaign of press briefings, law suits and interviews to anyone who would help his cause. He also championed the release of other so-called "German war criminals."[14]

His political involvement brought him into contact with Francis Parker Yockey whilst both men were campaigning for Remer's release from prison during the 1950s. Thompson and Yockey remained close allies until the later's death in 1960.[15]

Around the same time he also became involved with the National Renaissance Party and its political front group the American Committee for the Advancement of Western Culture. In 1953 The National Renaissance Party announced Keith Thompson as a candidate for Congress from the Yorkville district.[16] The U.S. News and World Report reported this but had to issue a retraction after Thompson said he was never a candidate.[17] By August 1953 Thompson had terminated his association with the National Renaissance Party.[18]

In August 1954 Thompson wrote an article entitled 'I Am an American Fascist'[19] [20] [21] for Exposé magazine published by Lyle Stuart. The article was serialized in four issues where he praised Adolf Hitler's Third Reich and condemned the Nuremberg Trials as 'vicious and vilely dishonorable'.[22]

In 1956 Thompson along with German-American poet and propagandist George Sylvester Viereck started a congratulatory campaign in welcoming Admiral Karl Donitz whom they deemed the "legitimate president of Germany" on his release from prison as a convicted "war criminal."[23] [24]

In the 1950s Thompson was contacted by several White racist groups in the South soliciting his attendance at their meetings.[25] Thompson did not attend any of their meetings and refused to support their segregationist efforts.[26] [27]

International ties

Seeking to expand international contacts, Thompson visited Cairo in an attempt to forge links with the Nasser regime.[28] More concrete links were established with Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, and Johann von Leers (Omar Amin) as part of a wider policy of building up contact with the Islamic world.[29]

For a period Thompson was the Der Weg press correspondent to the United Nations in New York. Der Weg was a German language National Socialist newspaper published in Argentina.[13] As a UN journalist Thompson contacted the FBI with assurances that he would provide information on communist and "Jewish pressure group" activity that he deemed to be valuable to the government agency.[30]

Thompson was also the American representative for the Munich paper Die Andere Seite published by Dr. Rudolf Aschenauer.[31]

Republican Party activism

In later years Thompson was involved with the conservative fringes of the Republican Party. Independently wealthy, he contributed to the campaigns of right-wing figures in the GOP such as Jesse Helms, Oliver North and Pat Buchanan. The party accepted his support apparently unaware of his past international fascist ties. His monetary contributions to the party were such that he was awarded membership of their Presidential Legion of Merit as a result.[32]

Institute for Historical Review

Thompson later became a writer for IHR's Journal of Historical Review, his articles including Grand Admiral Karl Doenitz: Last President of a United Germany.[33] A subsequent book Dönitz at Nuremberg: A Re-Appraisal was also edited by Thompson. Thompson was offered a position on the board of policy of the Liberty Lobby--an IHR affiliate--if he was willing to take a loyalty oath. He turned the offer down stating that he only wanted to take one loyalty oath in his life, meaning National Socialist Germany when he joined the Sicherheitsdienst.[34]

In October 1987 at the Eighth International Revisionist Conference Thompson was able to pull some strings and bring his old mentor General Otto Remer into the US, presenting him as the "surprise mystery guest" at the IHR conference.[35]

Associations and interests

Thompson was a member of the Manuscript Society, the American Philatelic Society, the American Numismatic Association, the Civil War Round Table, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Biographical listings

H. Keith Thompson Jr.’s biography appears in Who’s Who in the East (Vol. XII), Who’s Who in Finance and Industry (16th-19th editions) and Dictionary of International Biography (4th edition, 1967).

Works

See also

Notes

External links

FBI files

Other links

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.