ST. LOUIS (Mar. 13)
Local members of the National Socialist Party of America called off a march and rally Saturday and a two-day Nazi “national” convention after they were pelted with snowballs, rocks, bottles and tomatoes by angry spectators.
According to Norman Stack, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis (JCRC), hundreds of persons lined up along the one-mile route of the planned Nazi march which was to be through a shopping district in a predominantly white working class section. The Nazis had planned to march to Gravois Park and hold a rally. They then planned a convention yesterday and today which would be open to anyone who paid a $10 registration fee.
But when the about 40 Nazis arrived aboard a flatbed truck dressed in various colored Nazi uniforms and carrying signs saying “White Power” and shouting “siegheil,” the crowd began pelting them, Stack said.
He said that among the anti-Nazis present were 20 red-helmeted members of the “Black and White Defense Committee,” a Trotskyite group from Chicago, who shouted “We hate Nazis.” Stack said he saw no signs of the Jewish Defense League but was told by the police that some 20 JDL members, mostly young people 15-17 years old, had come from out of town. Also present was Bonnie Pechter, the head of the JDL, and her “security officer,” Simon Greenstein. The JDL was unsuccessful in a last-minute effort late last week to secure an injunction to prevent the parade. Stack said the St. Louis Jewish community supported the recommendation of the JCRC to “quarantine” the march and not attend.
Maj. Joseph Kraft, who commanded the 175 police officers assigned to the demonstration, said that the decision by the Nazis to cancel their three scheduled events was made by the Nazis themselves. There were several arrests during scuffles but no injuries.