The following is the fifth of a series of articles, “This Fascist Racket,” by Mr. McGrady, exposing, from the inside, the workings of a typical Fascist organization here, and revealing, through publication of the Fascist “chieftain’s” correspondence, how and in what manner these racial rackets are operated. The series appears daily in the Jewish Daily Bulletin.
In the files of George W. Christians, commander-in-chief of the Crusader White Shirts, president of the Crusaders for Economic Liberty, etc., are many interesting letters from cranks of all sorts, revolutionaries and congressmen, economists, and leaders of obscure political, religious and social movements. There are letters to and from (for the most part to) Presidents of the United States.
Christians habitually writes without compromise. He feels that he has been destined to order, and order he does. No doubt his language occasions shocked resentment among the more sensitive of his correspondents but, as he explains it privately, he “burns ‘em up” partly for the fun of it and partly to startle persons into agreement.
He has a habit of circulating his correspondence. Letters received he frequently forwards to others interested in the movement with the notation that the letter is to be circulated indefinitely. He usually makes a number of copies of his own letters and sends them where he thinks they will do the most good.
Hence, he writes the following to Rabbi Abraham Feinstein in Chattanooga and sends copies of the same to Harold Loeb, of New York, The Jewish Daily Bulletin, the Jewish Advocate and the magazine Opinion: “Dear Rabbi Feinstein: You will see from the enclosed (copy of the Nazi paper, Weckruf) that the Nazis are breaking loose in Chicago.
“I believe we can handle this and keep it within reasonable limits, but we shall need some help from your side of the question to do it.” All these letters he signs, “Yours in the Fellowship of Freedom, George W. Christians, Commander-in-Chief, Crusader White Shirts.”
WOULD STAMPEDE RABBI
The purpose of this letter apparently is to stampede the good rabbi onto the side of Christians and to make him use his influence among the Jews for the promotion of the White Shirt movement. There were other letters of a similar nature to rabbis everywhere.
On the other side Christians has catered to the Nazis, as will be evidenced in the following exchange of correspondence, taken from the Christians file (with his consent) between C. F. Fulliam, 320 East Ninth street, Muscatine, Iowa, and the White Shirt Fuehrer. Fulliam it was who was accused of circulating anti-Semitic speeches of Representative Louis T. McFadden under the congressman’s frank. Fulliam, regional leader of the Germanischer Bund, which is now cooperating with the Friends of New Germany, denied the charges. But McFadden, with whom I talked at the time, admitted that it was his custom to send out batches of his speeches under sealed envelopes bearing the congressman’s frank. At public expense these attacks could be sent later through the mails from propaganda centers.
Fulliam’s relationship with Christians has developed into a beautiful friendship, as the letters will indicate. They are worth publishing because of the comedy elementâ€”the manner in which Christians has egged Fulliam into service is a masterpiece of strategy, which appeared to afford Christians no end of amusement.
Correspondence began, when on March 2, 1933, Fulliam wrote briefly as follows to Christians: “I note in this week’s issue of the Liberty magazine an article mentioning your organ. Being in sympathy with such a movement I would appreciate very much hearing from you in regard to same with the purpose in view of such an organization in this city and state. Yours very truly, C. F. Fulliam.”
Then followed one or two exchanges, in which Fulliam explained the purpose of the Germanischer Bund, which holds Hitler’s ideals as its prime policies. On March 10 Fulliam wrote in part:
“I am convinced of your sincerity in the great movement that you champion and God will bless you for your great fight to give the people economic liberty as well as political liberty…. I myself am convinced that the time for talk is past and the time for action is here. You speak of what you did at Warm Springs. What was that … I have written my congressman for copies of HR-11898 (the Christians-McFadden bill for Economic Liberty)…. It might interest you to know that Iowa farmers are in open revolt right now and they are a lot more aroused than the newspapers tell you. In Chicago, 200 miles from here, the people are rioting and running loose in the streets plundering food stores and fighting over garbage cans for tins of food but the papers tell you nothing of it. The population of this, my townâ€”Muscatineâ€”is a little over 16,000 and one-fourth or a little over 4,000 depends on the country for support. What’s going to happen, God knows.”
A SWEET REPLY
On March 13, 1933, Christians wrote this sweet missive to Fulliam: “Thanks very much for your highly intelligent and interesting letter of the 10th. You seem to realize something of the importance and magnitude of this movement (at this time there was scarcely a score of membersâ€”Editor)…. Roosevelt is moving just as fast as we can push him, no more. We made him listen to us for an hour at Warm Springs or face a demonstration of 6,000 of our crusaders from Columbus, Ga. We made him agree to our program, but he is in an impossible position….”
There was enclosed a sheaf of “General Orders,” the “Declaration of Economic Liberty” and other documents put out as propaganda by Christians.
Some time later Fulliam responded with Nazi propaganda, including a volume of Hitler’s Reichstag address of March 23, 1933, and outlines of the activities and purposes of the Germanischer Bund. On March 21 Fulliam wrote:
ENJOYS HIS LITERATURE
“Keep in touch with me and send me more of your literature. I read and enjoy it. Now I have a model 78 A. B. Dick Mimeograph and I sure know how to use it and if I can help out anyway with getting out literature let me know. Am going to run off a bunch of A. C. Hester’s letter and pass around. In your military organization when the time is ripe here will get things started. I served in the National Guard, was in the artillery on the Mexican border in 1916 and served in the infantry during the World War. Would appreciate a personal letter from you. Yours for economic liberty. Long live the Economic Revolution! Down with financial tyranny.”
On March 24 Christians gave his Nazi aide a little more salve, as follows: “Your letter of the 21st is very gratifying. It is rarely that we gain a recruit who has the intelligence to comprehend our movement as you have, combined with the courage to fight, striking right and left with all the power I have for nearly two years, and if I have an active enemy anywhere I don’t know it. Indifference and ignorance are our only obstacles. Cut loose on them. Start a rebellion of your own. Maybe it will be bigger and better than ours. Let’s hope so.”
Fulliam, in a letter written March 29, surrendered body and soul to Christians’ movement. He didn’t want to work alone on his own movement as the White Shirt chief had so generously suggested. He wrote, “I would prefer to work under your guidance and instruction, because you have provided for everything and your organization is functioning…. Today we are headed towards the Fascism of Italy and Germany because our financial kings will choose a Fascist regime because such a regime would maintain an attitude of implacable hostility towards any efforts of the people of this country to obtain economic liberty. There are plenty of good substantial reliable citizens I can get interested, the kind of people that you would wantâ€”farmers and urban workers. But the trouble would be the financial end of it…. How are we to overcome the financial end of it?”
ENTER, THE MONEY PROBLEM
Ah ha, the touch. Christians is no one to spend much money in promoting his movement, and there is little evidence in his files of aiding the hundreds of down-and-outers that appeal to him for help. Unfortunately, the next few letters are missing from the file, but it is safe to assume that he urged Fulliam to work the movement up to a paying basis and clip the coupons. On March 30, however, there is a note, Fulliam to Christians, asking how to extend the movement, and then, apparently following advice, Fulliam wrote a few days later to Edward Arps in Modesto, Cal., as follows:
“The Crusaders for Economic Liberty, Mr. Christians, you and I may be instruments in laying the foundations for an American Fascist movement â€” vastly different from that of Italy.” There was a postscript, “I am very much interested in the book ‘Hidden Hand’ you mention in your letters. Would you care to send it to me to read. Would return it after reading. Would be glad to send you a book I have on the same subject published by the Dearborn Publishing Company.”
One may be privileged to presume here that the latter book is that well known and now repudiated compilation of anti-Jewish articles published some years ago by Henry Ford.
MORE “BANANA OIL”
On April 7 Christians applied a little more banana oil to the Fulliam cog in his machine. It follows: “Yours of the 1st and 4th with enclosures received. I can’t help patting myself on the back every time I think of you. Please send me copies of everything you get published. (Apparently Fulliam had announced his intention of going into big-time propagandaâ€”Editor). I can use them on newspapers and in other places and on the politicians in Washington. I would suggest that you leave my name and the organization out of these published articles for the present and build up McFadden and HR11898, scientifically managed money and, most important, negative interest rates. McFadden is Okay. I wish you would write him. He has plenty of brains and courage but he realizes the political situation and knows that he must have some popular support before he can cut loose in Congress.”
Fulliam apparently differed with Christians on what makes good publicity, having hit on the personality of the Fuehrer as surefire copy. He enclosed a copy of an article he had written for publication in the columns of the Chattanooga Times. (It did not appear in print). Fulliam’s article began in this manner:
“Permit me through the columns of your newspaper to pay tribute to a great southern gentleman living in Chattanooga. He is known, loved, and revered throughout America. I refer to the Hon. George W. Christians, founder and national president of the Crusaders for Economic Liberty. He is a great American, a great patriot, a great thinker. He will go down in the history of America as one of the Great Ones of the ages and”â€”etc., etc., for three or four typewritten pages.
The above was written on April 19. Three days later, Christians wrote his admiring general in Muscatine: “Acknowledging your letter of the 19th with enclosures. They are splendid. If you don’t set your part of the country on fire I miss my guess. You certainly know how to put words together. The letter about me to the Chattanooga Times fell on barren ground. It is run by a dumb Jew. I would suggest that you send it to the Fallon Eagle and the Fallon Standard of Fallon, Nev. They have broken out with Economic Liberty through the efforts of another good crusader, L. O. Wisler. You might also send it to Liberty Magazine and the New York Times. They probably will not publish it, but they will think hard about it. Things are breaking into the open everywhere.”
While the Chattanooga Times did not run Fulliam’s masterpiece, it was printed on May 8 in the Birmingham Post. It seems that the Fascist prophet was unknown to the editors of that paper.
On May 4 Christians wrote: “Your letter of the Second enclosing your address received. It is fine. The papers describing your riot are good. I am sending them to Arps. Wish I had more. I wish you would try to contact with Milo Reno. He is a McFadden man, but I don’t think he knows Economic Liberty. I think you will find him plenty smart and easy to convert, especially if you tell him that McFadden is leading our fight in Congress.”
A number of letters from Fulliam to Christians of which I have heard much are missing from the Christians files. It is possible that, as is his custom, he has sent the letters along to be further circulated to enlighten and perhaps amuse interested parties. There was, for instance, the letter forwarded to Harold Loeb of the Technocracy group in New York, in which Fulliam described the international importance of the Germanischer Bund (said to have branches in all countries) and concluded with: “Let me salute you as you will be saluted in days to come. Hail! Christians.”
Christians was later given an honorary membership in the Germanischer Bund by the national president, Oscar Pfaus of Chicago, whose enlightening correspondence will be revealed in later articles. It appears that the cooperation between the White Shirts and the Germanischer Bund is quite as strong as that between the latter and the Friends of New Germany. About six weeks ago the Germanischer Bund and Friends of New Germany vowed eternal cooperation for the ideals of the latter, which are the ideals of the Hitler Government.
To Be Continued Tomorrow