Nazi activities in this country have been brought to a head by the first open attack on the Jews of America by the Friends of New Germany, Hitler organization in the United States, which has proclaimed a boycott on the Jews. The following is the eleventh of a series of articles detailing the rise and growth of the Nazi-inspired anti-Semitic movement in this country in all its ramifications. The articles are based on an exhaustive investigation of Nazi propaganda activities in this country and in Germany for a period of over a year.
Congressman Louis T. McFadden, Republican of Pennsylvania, is idol of the Silver Shirts and otherwise the champion of anti-Semitism in the great legislative chamber of the United States Government.
In his office in the House Office Building at Washington McFadden denied to this reporter that he is “personally anti-Semitic.”
“Some of my best friends are Jews,” McFadden explained. In these words, which have become so familiar to the reporter, many of the world’s most violent anti-Semites have declared their friendship for the Jews. In precisely the same terminology the most bitter anti-Semite in the entire realm of Hitlerdom, Julius Streicher, the Nazi commissar in Nuremberg, told me that at the core he was a friend of Jews. Obernitz, his lieutenant, who has led many pogroms against the distressed Bavarian Jews, said the same thing. Baldur von Shirach, leader of the Hitler Youth Movement which frequently directs its operations against Jews, said he “personally is not anti-Semitic.”
And now McFadden. McFadden is a Republican, although he received the support of a large Democratic bloc at the last election. He hails from the eastern part of Pennsylvania, wherein many Germans live and exercise franchise. He was a successful banker before he came to Congress, having worked his way from office boy to the presidency of the First National Bank in Canton, Pennsylvania.
CONNECTION A MYSTERY
I do not know what, if any, official connection exists between McFadden and the Siver Shirts. If there should be any official connection it is maintained as a deep secret. McFadden himself denies that he is associated with the Silver Shirts, but on questioning he admitted that he knew Pelley, the clairaudient communicant with supernatural powers and leader of the Silver Legion.
During a recent visit in Washington I met two active members of the Silver Legion. One was in charge of the Washington bureau of the Silver Shirts, out of which confidential communications attacking the government are dispersed to a select list of subscribers. He told me his name was “Jones.” Another I overheard in a Washington restaurant. His bitter anti-Jewish attacks interested me, and when I introduced myself, he announced he was “Jones.”
On my second and last visit to McFadden’s office, I was in a hurry. The gentleman from Pennsylvania invited me to interrupt a conference with a lean, thoroughly “Aryan” looking fellow who questioned me quite closely on the Jewish aspects of the current political situation. The latter too, introduced himself as “Jones.”
When McFadden got off a particularly vitriolic blast against Jews and the “International Jewish Bankers,” Pelley would turn out extra copies of this section of the Congressional Record in his weekly Liberation and advertise their availability. McFadden is eulogized throughout the Silver Shirt press, and according to Jones in charge of the Silver Legion’s Washington bureau is “the one congressman worth his salt.”
McFadden’s anti-Semitic speeches have been widely distributed through the mails not only from his own office but from other distribution centers. Moreover, the United States government pays for the distribution of the speeches. Alexander Brin, publisher of a Jewish newspaper in Boston, recently asked that investigation of this practice be made to learn whether or not the congressman’s franking privileges had been violated. The publisher charged that C. F. Fulliam, who is connected jointly with the Germanischer Bund (German Alliance) as local leader and with George W. Christian’s Fascist Crusaders For Economic Liberty, had sent the speeches through the mails without postage.
McFadden told me that the above practice was quite in accordance with the law. He said that it was customary for members of Congress to have their speeches distributed from centers other than Washington and said that he frequently receives requests for batches of his speeches. Copies of the speeches are sealed in regulation envelopes, and unless the seal is broken and other material placed in the envelope, they may still be re-mailed free of charge, according to McFadden.
When McFadden said that he personally is not anti-Semitic, he was asked why he had read into the Congressional Record excerpts from the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, a document purporting to be the minutes of the First Zionist Congress in which a plan was laid for the “capture” of the world by international Jewry. The document, discredited and shown to be false so frequently during the last forty years that it has come to us as one of the most notorious forgeries of civilization, is used by Hitler in Germany, Pelley in America, and similar fanatics elsewhere in leavening the popular mind for ensuing outrage against Jews.
A LA LIBERATION
McFadden replied that, whether the Protocols be authentic or fraudulent, they are, nevertheless, prophetic. He viewed the document as an accurate picture of present political developments throughout the world, in which governments are slipping into the hands of a scheming, destructive organization of Jews. McFadden saw the “new dealers” of the present administration as a part of this insidious Jewish plan, and prophesied that unless something influences the President to return to good Christian economics there will be a horrible reaction, a Fascist revolution perhaps, against the “Jewish controlled administration.”
Incidentally, when Dr. Wirt arrived in Washington to lodge his “serious” charges against revolutionists within the administration. McFadden became his champion. The congressman from Pennsylvania declared that he would counsel Wirt to say nothing whatsoever unless he were given a chance to report at length this dastardly plot against civilization.
A leading Washington editor expressed the opinion that McFadden is a “crank,” whose word counts for little. Another editor described the congressman as a lunatic. After two conversations with the man, I would entirely discount the latter critic’s assertion, but with regard to the former I can subscribe to the “crank” part but not entirely to the statement that his word counts for little. McFadden is neither wild-eyed nor erratic in action. At times he can be one of the most effective spellbinders on the House floor. I don’t know what incident in his life embittered him against the Jews, but I do know that he so cleverly combines his hatred with good rhetoric, that he is gaining some following.
SHADES OF HENRY FORD
In a speech delivered on May 29, 1933, entitled “In the United States Today, the Gentiles Have Slips of Paper While the Jews Have the Gold and Lawful Money,” McFadden read into the record an excerpt from the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. The excerpt was published in the Dearborn Independent some years ago, and was duly rescinded and apologized for at a later date-a fact which McFadden did not mention. After reading the various methods by which Gentiles will be left only with bits of paper, McFadden quoted:
“Article XII (Protocols): We hold in our hands the greatest modern power-gold; in two days we could free it from our treasuries in any desired quantities.
“The Jews are economists esoteric and exoteric: They have one system to tangle up the Gentile which they hope to install when ‘Gentile’ stupidity has bankrupted the world…. We will surround our Government with a whole world of economists. It is for that reason that the science of economics is the chief subject of instruction taught by the Jews.”
From this point McFadden went into a great dissertation on the necessity of checking up on the Jewish conspiracy. He ended in the following manner: “Do not force Americans to pay tribute to foreign rulers and potentates. Take back this country or perish in the attempt. Let this be our country again. Let us rebuild it for our own. Let us keep the Stars and Stripes floating over the roof of the capitol. Let us cling to the Constitution of the United States. This is the way to freedom and prosperity. The way of repudiation is madness. Remember, Mr. Chairman, that the Ship of State has women and children aboard. Do not, therefore, guide it into uncharted waters. Do not allow the great Democratic Party to steer it onto the rocks while the world waits for it to founder and go down so that the international salvage crews may set to work on the wreck of it.” There was applause.
MCFADDEN A PERIL
I quote the speech at length, because it was an eloquent speech. I believe that such sentiments so adequately expressed would inspire many patriots to rally around McFadden’s banner. I believe it requires more than average intelligence to precipitate the vicious essence of intolerance from the hollow, inspirational parts of the speech. I believe that for this reason McFadden’s anti-Semitic utterances circulated through the mails at public expense and carried by the fanatical and reactionary press at the expense of civilization, is more to be feared than the scurrillous but ill-phrased attacks on Jews which one may now find scribbled on the walls of subways and public lavoratories. It is far more dangerous than the anonymous chain-letters now being sent through the mails, which in their composition damn themselves as the product of evil, unwholesome persons.
If the American Nazi revolution should ever come, bearing with it restriction of the personal liberties of all and death, humiliation, and physical and mental torture of the Jews, McFadden may well petition for a place high among those being rewarded for leading the revolution.
(To Be Continued Tomorrow)
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.