Determine what the spy network of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was able to accomplish against the German-American Bund. The information will be used for a media materials.
Anti-Defamation League and the German-American Bund
- During the 1920s, there were several individuals in the US, who are members and supporters of the Nazi Party.
- These people were recent German immigrants who built small organizations in the urban areas where they are residing.
- They are waiting for "der Tag," or their day of return to their transformed German homeland.
- In 1933, when Adolf Hitler rose to power, these scattered Nazi groups rapidly formed a centralized national organization called the "Friends of the New Germany."
- The objective of the group was to promulgate "National Socialism and fascist" notions across the country to get ready for the anticipated "Hitler Revolution" in the US.
- On March 1933, FNG established an Aryan Bookstore in Los Angeles.
- Nazi memorabilia and anti-Semitic printed matters were sold in the bookstore.
- Some of the books in the store were about the Jewish-Bolshevik danger in the US, the potential of National Socialism, and the "Hitler Miracle" in their home country.
- The movement also held public gatherings and hosted weekly sessions to entice new members during the spring and summer of that year.
- Around 50,000 individuals also went to an FNG public event in the Madison Square Garden.
- The group also aimed to attract US veterans to their ideals.
- They contacted the members of the American Legion and other similar groups in the area.
- The initiative to invite American veteran members got the attention of Leon Lewis.
- He is a Jewish lawyer, a veteran, and a former "first national executive secretary of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)."
- In collaboration with various veteran groups in the city, he rapidly and secretly enticed non-Jewish veterans to penetrate the FNG ranks.
- He set up a rudimentary code for the FNG locations in various cities.
- For example, the Los Angeles base of FNG was code-named as 9-Minus.
- He also established reporting protocols.
- The spy veterans quickly found out about the shady political intentions of the FNG.
- Lewis'spies gave eyewitness reports of clandestine gatherings among FNG leaders and Nazi Party officers.
- These gatherings were done inside German merchant marine ships in the Los Angeles port.
- The spies also found out that there are a huge pile of cash that are being smuggled.
- There is also a report of the secret "importation of thousands of pounds" of Nazi-themed publications from Berlin.
- These printed matters were earmarked for distribution around the US.
- The most devastating discovery was the formation of a secret brown-clad militia training in "urban street-fighting techniques."
- The spies also found out that they held shooting events in the Holywood hills area.
Proposed next steps:
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Our initial research provided some details on the work of the ADL against the German-American Bund. Given that there are available resources on this, we propose continuing the research to identify five organizations similar to the ADL. We will provide a landscape of each of these organizations, alongside the ADL, comparing each of their values, location, primary area(s) of focus, how they've addressed or fought antisemitism, and any work they did during the 1930s specifically.
We also recommend undertaking additional research to determine 5-7 additional insights on the ADL's work against the German-American Bund to provide more details on this group.