NEW YORK (Jul. 22)
Rev. L.M. Birkhead of Kansas City in an interview today picked Rev. Gerald L.K. Smith of New Orleans, successor to Huey Long as head of the “share-the wealth movement,” as the most likely “potential American Hitler.”
He said following a survey of Fascist movements in seaboard cities that the East is “the ripest field for the spread of anti-Semitism” and that groups of a “Black Legion temper” are busy spreading it.
“One thing will head off Smith and the others like him, ” Rev. Birkhead declared. “It is pitiless publicity. In Germany last year German friends told me that the greatest mistake Germany’s liberal newspapers made was to ignore Hitler until it was too late.”
Asserting that anti-Semites were seeking a “strong leader,” Rev. Birk- head said: “My money is on Gerald Smith as the one man who has enough demagogic appeal to consolidate all these anti-Semitic and Fascist groups.”
He said he was struck by the fact that anti-Semitism in the East more than in the West was financed by people of means.