Fascism spread in 1930s America. It could spread again today. Fred Trump and the KKK
August 17, 2017 Comments Off on Fascism spread in 1930s America. It could spread again today. Fred Trump and the KKK
Charles Lindbergh went so far as to praise Adolf Hitler as “undoubtedly a great man.”
As late as July 1942, a Gallup poll showed that 1 in 6 Americans thought Hitler was “doing the right thing” to the Jews.
The careers of anti-Semitic celebrities such as Catholic Rev. Charles Coughlin reflected the popular appeal of fascist ideas….enjoyed the second-largest radio audience in the country frequently quoted Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, and praised the Nazi quest for racial purity.
Newspaper clips obtained by VICE suggest the Republican frontrunner’s father (Fred Trump) may have worn the robe and hood of a Klansman in 1927.
Fascism spread in 1930s America. It could spread again today.
By Seva Gunitsky Special to the Washington Post August 16, 2017
The violent white nationalist rally in Virginia has reawakened simmering fears of American fascism. But the roots of these feelings — and the militant organizations that promoted them — did not begin with the election of President Donald Trump. The last time fascism was brazenly embraced was in the 1930s. The lessons of that crucial decade bear increasing relevance for modern American life. The three big factors that drove the spread of American fascism at that time are still relevant for America today.
Fascist ideas were quite popular in 1930s America
In the 1930s, fascist ideas were increasingly accepted. This was reflected in the energetic growth of Nazi organizations. Ku Klux Klan rallies were common and numerous; Trump’s own father was reportedly arrested at one such rally. A 1941 book found that more than 100 such organizations had formed since 1933.
The appeal of fascist ideas extended far beyond the fringe, reaching prominent citizens such as Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh. Lindbergh went so far as to praise Adolf Hitler as “undoubtedly a great man.” In 1940, Lindbergh’s wife published a bestseller that called totalitarianism “The Wave of the Future” and an “ultimately good conception of humanity.”….
At the time, Jews served the same role for U.S. fascists that immigrants, Muslims and other minorities serve today: a vague but malicious threat they believed to be undermining America’s greatness. Surveys of U.S. public opinion from the 1930s are a startling reminder of just how widespread these attitudes became. As late as July 1942, a Gallup poll showed that 1 in 6 Americans thought Hitler was “doing the right thing” to the Jews. A 1940 poll found that nearly a fifth of Americans saw Jews as a national “menace” — more than any other group, including Germans. Almost a third anticipated “a widespread campaign against the Jews” — a campaign that 12 percent of Americans were willing to support.
The careers of anti-Semitic celebrities such as Catholic Rev. Charles Coughlin reflected the popular appeal of fascist ideas. Father Coughlin, as he was known, enjoyed the second-largest radio audience in the country (after President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats), frequently quoted Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, and praised the Nazi quest for full employment and racial purity. He broke with Roosevelt in 1934, forming his own party, whose 1936 candidate received nearly 1 million votes. Coughlin was finally silenced by the Catholic Church in early 1942…..
Fred Trump – Donald Trump’s father
In 1927, Donald Trump’s father was arrested after a Klan riot in Queens
By Philip Bump February 29, 2016
….On Memorial Day 1927, brawls erupted in New York led by sympathizers of the Italian fascist movement and the Ku Klux Klan. In the fascist brawl, which took place in the Bronx, two Italian men were killed by anti-fascists. In Queens, 1,000 white-robed Klansmen marched through the Jamaica neighborhood, eventually spurring an all-out brawl in which seven men were arrested.
One of those arrested was Fred Trump of 175-24 Devonshire Rd. in Jamaica.
This is Donald Trump’s father. Trump had a brother named Fred, but he wasn’t born until more than a decade later. The Fred Trump at Devonshire Road was the Fred C. Trump who lived there with his mother, according to the 1930 Census….
It’s not clear from the context what role Fred Trump played in the brawl. The news article simply notes that seven men were arrested in the “near-riot of the parade,” all of whom were represented by the same lawyers. Update: A contemporaneous article from the Daily Star notes that Trump was detained “on a charge of refusing to disperse from a parade when ordered to do so.”
All the Evidence We Could Find About Fred Trump’s Alleged Involvement with the KKK
Mike Pearl Mar 10 2016
Newspaper clips obtained by VICE suggest the Republican frontrunner’s father may have worn the robe and hood of a Klansman in 1927.
Late last month, in an interview with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, CNN host Jake Tapper asked the candidate whether he would disavow an endorsement from longtime Ku Klux Klan leader and white nationalist celebrity David Duke. Trump declined. “I don’t know anything about David Duke,” he said. Moments later, he added, “I know nothing about white supremacists.”
Trump has since walked back his comments, blaming his hesitance to condemn the Klan on a “bad earpiece.” The matter has now been filed away into the ever-growing archives of volatile statements Trump has made about race and ethnicity during the current election cycle—a list that includes kicking off his presidential campaign by calling Mexicans rapists, calling for the “‘total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” and commenting that perhaps a Black Lives Matter protester at one of his rallies “should have been roughed up.”
But the particulars of the David Duke incident call to mind yet another news story, one that suggests that Trump’s father, the late New York real estate titan Fred Trump, once wore the robe and hood of a Klansman.
Versions of this story emerged last September when Boing Boing dug up an old New York Times article from May of 1927 that listed a Fred Trump among those arrested at a Klan rally in Jamaica, Queens, when “1,000 Klansmen and 100 policemen staged a free-for-all,” in the streets. Donald Trump’s father would have been 21 in 1927 and had spent most of his life in Queens….
Moreover, three additional newspaper clips unearthed by VICE contain separate accounts of Fred Trump’s arrest at the May 1927 KKK rally in Queens, each of which seems to confirm the Times account of the events that day. While the clips don’t confirm whether Fred Trump was actually a member of the Klan, they do suggest that the rally—and the subsequent arrests—did happen, and did involve Donald Trump’s father, contrary to the candidate’s denials. A fifth article mentions the seven arrestees without giving names, and claims that all of the individuals arrested—presumably including Trump—were wearing Klan attire….