Menu JTA Search

This Fascist Racket-

Download PDF for this date

The following is the seventh 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.

It was not until C. B. Fulliam, minister of propaganda for the Crusaders for Economic Liberty as well as regional leader of the Germanischer Bund, and George W. Christians, head of the Crusaders, had ripened their friendly cooperation over a period of a year that Oscar C. Pfaus, national leader of the Germanischer Bund, wrote from Chicago expressing an interest in joining the “Holy Crusader,” as Fulliam so aptly put it.

On February 7, 1934, Christians opened correspondence with Pfaus. He cast his line, weighted with high-sounding phrases, and the German leader nibbled briefly, asking about Christians’ “Aryan” ancestry, before swallowing the works.

Christians first wrote: “Mr. Fulliam has forwarded me your letters to him of November 23 and December 2. Most of my people are of German and Dutch extraction. Naturally I have an attachment for them and many German friends, not, however, to the extent of exluding other Americans. I think that Hitler is doing a wonderful job in Germany and look forward to the day when America has a similar National Conscientious and Spiritual Regeneration. However, I do not intend to use them or any other precedent. I don’t think you have anything to fear from association with our movement. In fact, it should help you to get recognition. We have today by far the most powerful organization in the country. We have friends as high as you want to go in Washington and almost as high in New York. Nothing can stop us.”


A short time later, Pfaus gave Christians the following startling information: “The red propaganda in the United States is increasing. Read the leaflet enclosed herewith and see for yourself what the Jews here dare to do. Nobody is protesting this treason. MacMillan ought to become a good supporter of your movement, he is sincere and true and full of idealism. You need men like him.” Pfaus ended with Hail Christians! He enclosed a throwaway advertising the motion picture, “Soviet Youth; or Soil is Thirsty—Human Life Improves in New Russia.” There was no mention of Jews in the bill. Pfaus had underscored the phrase, “Children, Ten Cents,” no doubt to show to what extent the “Reds” would sacrifice to implant the seed of Communism in the American youth.

Christians’ reply must have revived the courage of Pfaus. He wrote soothingly: “Yes, the Communists are busy, but so are we and we are three jumps ahead of them. I am sending Fulliam a bundle of the enclosed bulletins for immediate distribution in the Chicago district. Mr. Wisler is now in Washington setting up a lobby for HR4747 and we expect things to pop in the House any day. The whole country is pounding them for action.”


The fact that Christians had sent Pfaus’s subordinate officer in the Germanischer Bund pamphlets for distribution in his territory must have sprung Pfaus into immediate action. His next letter was written on May 28 and went like this:

“Too bad that I am not an American citizen, I could do real work if I was. But just the same I love America and will try to help this country as good as I am able to do and I never forget that I am an American ex-soldier and that I swore allegiance to the United States. Some day a friendly administration might do me the honor to make me a full citizen of our U. S. Your work is followed with great interest in G. They ask me all kinds of questions about you and the movement, and you may be assured, that I do my best to make it known. Please answer the following questions: “Are you of German descent? If so, from which part of Germany did your people come? Do you speak German? Give me full information please, because I want to write about you and the movement for a German magazine. They asked me about this for they take your work serious and think that you are the man. I am glad they think so, for I too have full confidence in you. Thanks for the leaflets. I send you with the same mail the requested bulletins. Hail!”


Christians, at one fell swoop, then snared Pfaus into the fold of his White Shirt. He wrote on May 30: “I am delighted to see that things have cleared up for you. So you are now coming out into the open. As for my ancestry, I regret that I have never paid much attention to my family tree. My father was born in Germany or Holland, I am not sure which.”

As I understand it, as a result of this, Pfaus awarded Christians with an honorary membership into the Germanischer Bund and then promptly began working for the White Shirt chief. Meanwhile, Fulliam, the original Germanischer Bund agitator for Christians, dropped out either because he was peeved or because he became frightened at the Congressional committee investigating Nazi operations in this country. So mystifying was the silence pervading the Muscatine office that on June 1, Christians, after having tried vainly to get in touch with Fulliam for some weeks, wrote Pfaus: “What kind of a jam is Fulliam in? I haven’t heard from him in three or four weeks, and I am afraid he may need some help.”

Pfaus replied on June 4: “No, I don’t know what has happened to Fulliam. He didn’t answer my last letter, but I believe that he is in some trouble as they gave him some unfriendly publicity in the papers. The case should be looked into immediately. I can not do anything as I am just starving slowly myself and am in no position to go to Muscatine. Burns was here yesterday and showed me his credentials from you. Now my dear Mr. Christians, I am going to have to ask a great favor and I wish you will be so good to see my point of view. I’ll have to give up my home (I am without an income) and change my address. The people who offered me a place to stay are very kind but they are afraid of political things. So please be so kind and send me your letters in plain envelopes, if you write to me, and not the ones with the Fascist letterheads. I can’t afford to lose this home. I wouldn’t know what to do so please grant me my request. It means so much to me. I am not afraid of anything, but I can’t help you much if I am on the street. Please write me as soon as possible and let me know if you’ll send me your mail in plain envelopes. My article on the American Fascist movements is on the way to Europe. As soon as I get the copies I’ll send you one and you’ll see then, that I didn’t forget Economic Liberty this time. I’ll pay more attention to it in the future. Your book opened my eyes. Please excuse this writing. I am in a hurry. Hail!”


Christians, ever ready to remit—consolation—to a friend in need, responded on June 6: “Received your letter of the 4th and am mailing this in a plain envelope as you request. Things may get a little rough for you for a few days, but don’t worry, they’ll straighten out and you will be surprised at the support you get. Another of our roving agitators, George Shea, or Seers, may call on you in the next few days. He is about the wildest revolutionary agitator in the country. Usually has to land in jail and then has to leave town. I got him from the Communists. If he shows up steer him into the Communists, without telling him so, and stay clear because something will happen. Things are certainly popping. Anything can happen in the next few days.”

About this time Christians must have written Pfaus that he had been contacting Jews for help, for on June 7, Pfaus wrote: “Be careful with the Jews, if our Germans find out that you do accept the help of these enemies of our Aryan cause, they will not pay much attention to your work. The Germans are getting better organized every day, and you’ll need them in your final fight for E. L. We have confidence in you, dear Mr. Christians, and look to you for help, and we see a friend of our country and people in you. It will take a lot of hard work, but if you—as the real American friend—crash the ring of our slandering enemies and come to our defense, they’ll never forget it. I know my people, they are grateful for every little prove of friendship. A German institution (in Germany) asked me to write a short article on Fascist movements in the U. S. and requested me not to forget you. I wrote the article and gave you the credit of being the present leader of the only important movement in America. I mentioned E. L. as the program of the economic and national-social (not national-socialistic) salvation for the U. S. I also mentioned that you are of German Dutch extraction. They’ll be immensely interested over there, for their information is very scant. I’ll write the article for E. L. soon. So please send me a short write-up on the subject in easy understandable English. I’ll translate it for the purpose of getting it into my Pittsburgh paper. Write in a few but powerful sentences on E. L., its aims and purposes, etc.


“It would be a good thing if you would take a stand against the boycott movement. You can do that easy, as you know as well as I do that this movement is run by a bunch of racketeers. Now they are stirring up trouble in Chicago again. I don’t know if I’ll be in it too, but I will be last if they again frame me, for what does my word count, compared with the Almighty American Jews. I believe that they know that I’m for you. As soon as I can afford a visit to the World’s Fair I’ll go there to distribute your pamphlets. I lay them in the Hall of Science and the Hall of Religion for there the people like to take up reading matter. I found that out last year, and my bulletins were gone and in no time read by a surprised crowd. You should have seen the faces of the officials and Jews who were curious enough to stick their noses into the commotion. They withdrew at once, though. And their faces showed, and they didn’t like it one bit. Well I did.

“I wonder if you could get me a small part-time position in Chicago, my dear Mr. Christians. I would be perfectly satisfied with a small part-time position. Just so I do not have to starve to death like a dog. The Germans haven’t any pull in this city any more, the Jews run everything, therefore it is mighty hard for me to find work. Things are so bad at present that I will have difficulties to appear in good clothes before the investigating committee if I should get summoned. It is especially difficult for me to obtain a position, as I am not an American citizen, although I served in the U. S. regular army in 1924.’


Pfaus continued: “One copy of your books I’ll send to Dr. Hjalmer Schacht, the President of the German Reichsbank, the other to the Ministry of Public Enlightenment in Berlin and the third to the Foreign Institute in Stuttgart. The general orders I’ll distribute at the World’s Fair as soon as I can afford to go there. What do you know of the Anti-Communist League of the World? Their headquarters are in Salt Lake City, Utah, and they seem to do good work. Anybody opposed to Communism is my friend. I am sorry that I didn’t inform people at my old address about the new address (so that they might refer Shea there). They are stool pigeons as I found out to my sorrow.

“I send you a copy of the already famous May number of the German anti-Semitic paper, Der Stuermer of Nuernberg. This issue contains the facts about the ritual murders committed by Jews. They are the facts because the paper publishes only the protocols of various German and other courts, etc. Send this copy to the most prominent Jewish institutions and watch them throw a fit. They’ll gladly come to terms with you if you tell them that you studied the paper and that you are much concerned about it, etc.”

Incidentally, Christians sent the copy of Der Stuermer to me, but he neglected to indicate concern.

To be continued tomorrow

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund