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On this day in History we Remember Antisemitic Nazi Rally at Madison Square Garden

Sunday, February 20th, marks the 83rd anniversary of the Nazi rally at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

Before World War II, the German-American Bund was notorious for its antisemitic pro-Nazi organizations in the United States. On February 20, 1939, American Nazis gathered at Madison Square Garden for a mass rally for “true Americanism," denouncing Jewish conspiracies, President Roosevelt, and others.

The rally, attended by 20,000 supporters and members gathered amidst a flurry of American and Nazi imagery. Huge crowds of anti-Nazis protested the gathering while held back by 1,500 NYC police officers.

Banners at the rally had messages like “Stop Jewish Domination of Christian Americans” and “Wake Up America. Smash Jewish Communism.” When the Bund’s national leader, Fritz Kuhn, gave his closing speech, he referred to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as “Rosenfield,” and Manhattan District Attorney Thomas Dewey as “Thomas Jewey.”

“We, with American ideals, demand that our government shall be returned to the American people who founded it,” declared Kuhn. “If you ask what we are actively fighting for under our charter: First, a socially just, white, Gentile-ruled United States. Second, Gentile-controlled labor unions, free from Jewish Moscow-directed domination.”

The American fascist movement in the 1930s and early 1940s, until recently, was arguably the most organized attempt to bring Nazism to the forefront of American society.

Later in 1939, the House Un-American Activities Committee held hearings investigating the German American Bund which showed clear evidence of its ties to the Nazi government. After the United States entered World War II in December 1941, the US government outlawed the German American Bund.



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