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The Nazi Hydra In America - The 1930s Part 5: Congressmen & Seditionist

Part 5: Congressmen & Seditionist


In regards to their enemies, the Roosevelt and Clinton administrations have several similarities. Clinton was plagued by the vicious smears inspired by Richard Mellon Scaife while it was Irene du Pont hatching the plots against FDR. Both Presidents faced a hostile press for the most part. Additionally, both faced bitter opposition from the Republicans. Neither enjoyed bipartisan support in any notable sense of the word. In fact, the Republicans many of whom were openly pro-fascist opposed every effort of Roosevelt to prepare for the coming war.

Roosevelt had numerous bitter enemies within Congress. Some were openly pro-fascist. The Nazis in Germany sought throughout the 1930s a cause by which they could ignite the native fascists in America and prevent the U.S. from entering the war. The American Bund was first proposed as such an element in which all Americans of German extraction would rally behind.

The relationship of the American Bund with the Nazis in Germany was more of a love/hate relationship of a jilted lover. Hitler's top priority was to keep the United States neutral and to maintain at least an amicable diplomatic relationship. The Bund's rallies with the bellicose speeches and stormtroopers with swastika armbands attacking anyone that challenged the organization was seen as detrimental to these aims by the high officials in Berlin, especially since most Americans regarded the Bund as financed by and controlled by Berlin.

Hitler ordered that the Bund should receive no aid from Germany. Despite Hitler's ban, the Bund did receive aid from Germany as the Bundeslieter, Fritz Kuhn proved to be adept at pitting one Nazi organization against another to receive funds. Hans Dieckhoff the German ambassador to the United States was one of the Nazis who viewed the Bund as a hindrance to German-American relations. Dieckhoff was also the brother-in-law of von Ribbentrop. Acting on instructions from Berlin, Dieckhoff ordered all German citizens to withdraw from the Bund as a measure to improve diplomatic relations. He was infuriated to learn that Kuhn had obtained funds from SS Lt Gen Werner Lorenz's organization, Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle. While the Bund remained a force it was largely ineffectual as a rallying point for German-Americans. Most German-Americans chose to be loyal to their adopted country.

Next, the Nazis thought with the great racial and ethnic differences in the U.S. could be exploited for the same purpose. Again it failed. This does not mean that the Nazis were not successful in provoking anti-Semitism and even race riots after the Bund and Klan united. However, it was a failure in generating a split wide enough to prevent the U.S. from entering the war.

At its peak, the Bund probably consisted of no more than 6,500 activists and another 20,000 sympathizers. About 1,500,000 Americans were German-born. The Bund was clearly a failure as a rallying point for German-Americans. The one thing the Nazis in Germany did find in which they could unify the opposition behind was "Get Roosevelt." 

Opposition to Roosevelt does not necessarily imply the congressman was a pro-fascist, but many in Congress were pro-fascist. The list of congressmen below should not be taken as an exhaustive list; there were others. Nor are exhaustive lists needed to reveal the amount of opposition to FDR or to record their sabotaging of both the war effort and investigations of the native fascists. However, some congressmen left little doubt of their support for fascism by their own actions.

Perhaps the two greatest enemies that Roosevelt faced in Congress were Republican Senator Gerald Nye from North Dakota and Democratic Congressmen Martin Dies from Texas. Both headed congressional committees vital to prepare for the war that was coming. Burton Wheeler of Montana would be a close third. Both had two traits in common with each other and the other pro-fascist members. All of these members of Congress would abuse their franking privileges, mailing propaganda opposing the war or even propaganda from pro-fascist groups to thousands of constituents. The second thing in common was their willful association with pro-fascists groups.

Nye's opposed all major defense measures in the Senate. He led the fight against Lend Lease and he openly collaborated with many groups seeking appeasement regardless of their political leanings. On the floor of the Senate, he charged that the British and not German submarines had sunk the Robin Moor, only later did he withdraw the baseless charge. He initiated a probe of Hollywood, but the investigation failed after he admitted that he had not seen the movies that he had labeled as "war propaganda." He arranged for a Bund member to air his defeatist views before the Senate and later used his congressional frank to mail copies of the speech to thousands. As a member of Congress, he was perhaps the biggest booster for the American First Committee.

Nye also praised the virulent anti-Semitic Gerald Smith for publishing "The Cross and the Flag."

Dies was the first chairman for the new committee, that of Un-American Activities and he set about immediately to sabotage the intended use of the committee, to investigate the subversion activities of pro-fascist groups.

No better example of this act of sabotage of the Dies Committee can be found than in the appointment of its first chief investigator, Edward Sullivan. Sullivan was exchanging confidential messages with the German High Command in 1938, the year of his appointment. In fact, Sullivan was high in the ranks of the Ukrainian-American fascist groups. He greeted members of the Bund with a "Heil Hitler" and had denounced FDR's administration as a Jewish Communist plot. Sullivan had one other trait endearing him to the right-wing extremists; he had been a former labor spy for the Railroad Audit and Inspection Company.

He was soon replaced with another right-wing extremist, J. B. Matthews. Upon leaving the Dies committee, Sullivan immediately rejoined a fascist Ukrainian group.

Instead of investigating pro-Nazis, the committee set about investigating and compiling an extensive blacklist of liberals and anti-fascists. Throughout the war the committee carried on a vicious attack on the Roosevelt administration, charging that various agencies were packed with Reds and denouncing America's fighting allies.

No better example of the opposition Roosevelt faced can be found than in the fight over the establishment of the draft. Nye led the battle and succeeded in greatly reducing what FDR had envisioned. Originally Roosevelt had planned on two years of universal service for all Americas, both men, and women. Service would not have been necessary for the armed forces alone but through a combination of all government agencies. To be fair, the support for the draft was bipartisan as was the opposition to it. The most opposition came from congressional members from the midwest and high plain states. The bill passed on September 16, 1940, authorizing the draft for one year only. The following year the bill to extend the draft passed the House by a one-vote margin. There were 182 Democrats and 21 Republicans voting in favor of extending the draft and 65 Democrats and 133 Republicans voting against the draft.

There is no better way to establish the fascist nature of many of these congressmen than quoting them. One such Congressman and Steuben Society member was Republican House member John Schafer from Wisconsin. His congressional record was one of complete opposition to any defense measure. In speaking with Carlson, investigative reporter posing as a pro-fascist, Schafer was quoted as follows talking about a revolution against democracy:

"The Bloody kind. There will be purges and Roosevelt will be cleaned right off the earth along with the Jews. We'll have a military dictatorship to save the country."31

Schafer leaves little doubt as to his feelings about democracy in the quote. Another Senator, Republican Rufus Holman from Oregon, openly praised Hitler on the floor of the Senate. The small excerpt below from the speech leaves no real doubt as to his pro-Nazi views.

"I doubt if the right is all on one side among the present belligerents. At Least Hitler has broken the control of the international bankers and traders over the rewards for the labor of the common people of Germany.

In my opinion, it would be advantageous if the control of the international bankers and traders over the wages and savings and the manner of living of the people of England could be broken by the English people, and if the control of the international bankers and traders over the wages and savings and the manner of living of the people of the United States could be broken by the people of the United States."

The code words of international bankers and traders meant Jews. Holman inserted several pro-Nazi propaganda pieces into the congressional record as well. Nor was this the only time Holman had praised Hitler. As Oregon's State Treasurer, he had praised Hitler's sterilization program resulting in the amendment of Oregon's sodomy law in 1935 to include all moral degenerates and sexual perverts whether they had committed a crime or not. Oregon at the time used castration rather than vasectomy.

Republican Senator Thomas Schall from Minnesota placed material from James True in the Congressional Record. True was a notorious Jew baiter and inventor of the infamous Kike Killer, a nightstick.

Republican Representative Louis McFadden of Pennsylvania was another Congressman that supported True. McFadden believed in the international Jewish conspiracy. He believed the Jews were not suffering from persecution in Germany under Hitler. He was virulent in his opposition to Roosevelt's plan to allow 200,000 Jews to emigrate to the U.S. He believed those that supported such a plan, like Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins were part of the conspiracy by the "Jewish-controlled administration." McFadden believed Perkins real name was that of a Russian Jewess, Matilda Wutski.115

Another of the pro-fascist was Senator Robert Reynolds a Democrat from North Carolina, who also openly praised Hitler on the floor of the Senate. Reynolds was a resident of Asheville, the home of Pelly's Silver Shirts. Reynolds spoke glowingly about fascism as the following quote shows.

"The dictators are doing what is best for their people. I say it is high time we found out how they are doing it, and why they are progressing so rapidly.

Hitler has solved the unemployment problem. There is no unemployment in Italy. Hitler and Mussolini have a date with destiny. It is foolish to oppose them so why not play ball with them."35

Reynolds was friends with the American Nazi George Deatherage and Gerald Winrod. Reynolds with the backing of Burton Wheeler rose to become chairman of the Senate Committee of Military Affairs. In April 1940, Reynolds provided the Nazi agent, Simon Koedel with detailed confidential information about France's ports.76 The transfer of such information to Nazi agents was nothing short of treason.

Besides using the Senate floor as a sounding board for Falangist propaganda, he is perhaps better known for his anti-alien views. Reynolds believed that aliens were at the heart of all of America's problems and organized a posse of youths from age ten to eighteen called the Border patrol to catch alien crooks.

Reynolds maintained his position in the Senate until 1944. By then the Democratic Party by then had enough of the fascist infiltrator and chose another figure popular in North Carolina to seek Reynold's seat in the primary. Rather than face certain defeat, Reynolds retired.

Another of the fascist supporters in congress was the Democrat Senator, Rush Holt from West Virginia. Holt was the youngest person ever elected to the senate. He had won the election in 1934 as a backer of the common man and the New Deal. Shortly after being elected, Holt began criticizing the New Deal eventually becoming one of the harshest critics of FDR. By the end of his term, he was an outright advocate of fascism. In the 1940 primary, Holt faced two other challengers for his seat after losing support from the Democrat National Committee. He finished third in the primary.88

The two examples of Holt and Reynolds provide a stark difference between the Democratic and Republican parties. The Democratic Party would attempt to purge the fascists from their ranks in the primary, unlike the Republican Party, which made no such attempts, to purge fascists from their ranks, and even encouraged the Nazis with anti-Semitic campaigns.

Contrary to the popular belief the bombing of Pearl Harbor united the country fully, dissent can be found in the "Judas" speech of Clare Hoffman, Republican Congressman from Michigan. On January 27, 1942, with the memory of Pearl fresh in everyone's mind, Hoffman delivered a vicious attack on Roosevelt in an address to the House entitled "Don't Haul Down the Stars and Stripes" better known as "Roosevelt is Judas." Hoffman long an outspoken critic of Roosevelt and a member of the impeach Roosevelt committee ordered 145,000 copies of his speech and using his congressional frank mailed out 105,000 copies.34

The best evidence indicating that several members of congress had ties to the Nazis came from the investigation by the Department of Justice, which lead to the bungled sedition trial of 1944 stemming from the grand jury investigation. There is a fine line between free speech and sedition. Simple opposition to war is not sedition but accepting funds from the enemy to conduct espionage or to distribute propaganda clearly steps over the line of free speech and becomes sedition.

The grand jury investigations conducted in 1940 produced an abundance of evidence that several congressmen received funds from Nazi sources. Most people today are still unaware that the sedition trial stemmed from three separate grand jury investigations. The special assistant to the Attorney General, William Maloney convened the first grand jury investigation. That investigation concluded on July 21, 1942, and indicted 28 individuals, and listed thirty publications and twenty-six organizations.

Under intense pressure from several sides including intense pressure from Senator Burton Wheeler, Maloney was eventually removed from the investigation. Wheeler used his position as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee to exert extreme pressures on Attorney General, Biddle for the removal of Maloney.

Several of the pro-Nazi congressmen were called to testify before Maloney's grand jury. One of the suspected congressmen was Ernest Lundeen, the populist senator from Minnesota. Hoover had an FBI agent tailing Lundeen. On August 31, 1940, Lundeen and the FBI agent tailing him died in a plane crash. Lundeen's secretary, Harriet Johnson reported later that on the day of his death the congressman had arrived unusually early and was clearly distraught. She had asked the congressman what was troubling him and he had replied that he had gone too far and there was no turning back. She sensed he was referring to his Nazi connections. He also informed her that he had to fly back to Minneapolis at once to see his wife despite the storm.

Johnson then drove Lundeen to the airport and reported that several times he began to cry. FBI agent J.J Pasci had followed the pair to the airport and boarded the same plane. Johnson reported that after Lundeen boarded the plane she saw several passengers in a struggle with Lundeen apparently also engaged in it. Shortly after takeoff the pilot lost control of the plane in the storm and crashed just thirty-six miles west of the capitol.

The day after his death Johnson opened the congressman's locked files and discovered many documents, which revealed that Lundeen was in the direct pay of the Nazis. The next day Lundeen's widow arrived and asked by name for the Viereck files. Harriet Johnson then reported it to the FBI and the FBI forwarded it to Maloney.

Maloney only had a partial view of the Nazi connections. He had determined that some seven senators and thirteen representatives had been bribed, or acted in collusion with Nazi Germany, aiding and abetting them and that an additional four Congressmen were guilty of collaboration. These congressmen had used their franking privileges to distribute isolationist speeches many written or edited by Viereck.72 Those that Maloney listed as collaborators with Viereck were Stephen Day (Republican from Illinois), Hamilton Fish (Republican New York), Rush Holt (Democrat West Virginia), and Ernest Lundeen (Farmer-Labor Minnesota). The remaining twenty are listed below.

  • John Alexander Republican Minnesota
  • Philip Bennett Republican Missouri
  • Usher Burdick Republican North Dakota
  • Worth Clark Democrat Idaho
  • Cliff Clevenger Republican Ohio
  • Henry Dworshak Republican Idaho
  • Clare Hoffman Republican Michigan
  • Edwin Johnson Democrat Colorado
  • Bartell Jonlman Republican Michigan
  • Harold Knutson Republican Minnesota
  • Robert LaFollette Republican Wisconsin
  • Gerald Nye Republican North Dakota
  • Robert Reynolds Democrat North Carolina
  • Paul Shafer Republican Michigan
  • Henrik Shipstead Republican Minnesota
  • William Stratton Republican Illinois
  • Martin Sweeney Democrat Ohio
  • Jacob Thorkelson Republican Montana
  • George Tinkham Republican Massachusetts
  • Burton Wheeler Democrat Montana

The list of congressmen that Maloney listed as dupes of the Nazis has several interesting aspects. First, members of the Republican Party dominate the list. This should not be surprising in light of the evidence presented earlier of the Republican Party employing known Nazis in election campaigns. Two of the Democrats on the list, Holt, and Reynolds were removed by the active campaigns against them launched by the Democratic Party leadership. Holt was defeated in his reelection primary campaign, while Reynolds facing certain defeat chose not to run.

Secondly, most of these congressmen came from the upper midwest particularly the states of Minnesota and Michigan. Both Minnesota and Michigan had strong anti-union movements and were home to several ministries that preached the Nazi line of anti-Semitism. The Teutonia Association was founded in Detroit on October 12, 1924. The Teutonia Association was something of a forerunner of the American Bund

Viereck was the highest-ranking Nazi agent arrested during the war and had been arrested as a German agent during WWI. Viereck was a V-agent or "Vertauensleute" (confidential agent) for the Abwehr. Following the war, another of the Abwehr's V-agents exposed was William Rhodes Davis, the Texas oil man.100 Very little is known about Viereck and the network of V-agents as the Nazis destroyed most of their files. Most known V-agents appeared engaged in spreading propaganda.

What is known with certainty is that Viereck received over a half-million dollars from the charge d' affairs of the German embassy, Thomsen to bribe, corrupt, and undermine members of Congress and to distribute propaganda.98 Viereck received additional funds from Hansen Sturm the chairman of the Romanoff Caviar Company and from General Aniline and Film. Thomsen had valuable friends in high places including Assistant Secretary of State, Breckenridge Long, and Ambassador to France William Bullitt. Long had publicly endorsed Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia.

Lundeen was secretly pro-Nazi and received money not only directly from Viereck but also from the German Board of Trade and the Steuben Society. Maloney had determined that other congressmen had accepted Nazi money in deals to publish books through the notorious Flanders Hall, a fascist publisher closely associated with Viereck. Among those that had made deals with Flanders Hall were Burton Wheeler of Montana, Gerald Nye of North Dakota, Jennings Randolph and Rush Holt of West Virginia, and William Stratton of Illinois. On June 13, 1940, Thomsen reported to Germany that it was necessary to take literary countermeasures against Roosevelt. In this plan, Thomsen made contact with New York literary agent William Lengel and proposed a series of five books. One by Theodore Dreiser warning of the dangers of intervention another by Sylvia Porter written from a woman's point of view as to what the war would mean. The other three were to be written by journalist, George Creel, novelist Kathleen Norris, and publicist Burton Rascoe. Pearl Harbor preempted the deal before any of the books were written.

In September 1941, Maloney convened a grand jury to investigate the Congress-Nazi connections. The results of the grand jury were classified for years later. Viereck was indicted, as was George Hill, a mailroom aide to Hamilton Fish. Maloney was deeply annoyed that he couldn't get indictments against any of the Congressmen. Once again it was the small expendable people who were prosecuted while the powerful were protected. Many of the Congressmen that had been subpoenaed managed to avoid testifying until after Pearl Harbor. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, public interest was directed towards the war efforts and prosecution of the pro-fascists who suffered from neglect.

Maloney successfully prosecuted George Hill, the mailroom aide to Congressman Fish, and was in the process of preparing for Viereck's trial when he was suddenly summoned to the office of Judge Allen Goldsborough. Goldsborough informed Maloney he would be the presiding judge at the upcoming trial and Maloney would only have two weeks to prepare for the opening of the trial. Maloney was furious and protested over the lack of preparation time. Maloney also objected to Goldsborough's handling of the case, as Goldsborough was associated with the extreme elements of the right-wing. Maloney was successful in his efforts to remove Goldsborough as the presiding judge after swearing out an affidavit giving details of both the meeting and how Viereck's attorney Daniel Colahan had constantly demanded that Goldsborough handle the case.

Maloney successfully prosecuted Viereck's case with Viereck receiving a prison term of two to six years. On March 20, Judge Letts cut Hill's sentence in half. One year later Viereck's conviction was reversed by the Supreme Court. Both he and Hill were set free.

Although no charges were brought against the pro-Nazi congressmen. Their plot had been exposed. Even after being exposed, they continued to use their franking privileges to distribute pro-Nazi propaganda. Although after Pearl Harbor it was not possible for them to do so directly, so they did so through such organizations as the Republican Nationalist Revival Committee and the National Economic Council. Another of their choices for distribution was Western Voice edited by a fundamentalist minister, Harvey Springer from Englewood Colorado. Springer, also known as the cowboy preacher praised the fascist Gerald Smith as a real man of Christ and denounced the Federal Council of Churches as being dominated by communists. Springer was also a vicious anti-Semitic but is still highly regarded as a theologian in Baptist circles.

One of the more striking aspects of fascism in the United States was the removal of such people as Maloney from office. Maloney was relentless in his pursuit of native fascists. After obtaining indictments on Jul 21, 1942, on 28 individuals, Maloney was depicted as a stooge of the International Jewish bankers by Joe Kamp, a pro-Nazi propagandist. Senator Burton Wheeler demanded that Attorney General Biddle remove Maloney. When Biddle objected to such pressure from the Senator, Wheeler announced he would blow the whistle on the Department of Justice. It's unknown what Wheeler had on the Department of Justice perhaps. Whatever it was, Biddle immediately dismissed Maloney and made it clear that he could not act even as a consultant to his successor.106

Without exception, those that sought to expose the fascists and bring them to trial were forced from office or otherwise discredited. General Butler who exposed the fascist plot against Roosevelt, was mocked and laughed at in the press in a successful effort to discredit the good general and the plot. While those that stood firmly opposed to the fascists were removed many of the openly pro-fascists continued to rise in power. Maloney was ultimately removed from the case and replaced by John Rogge a capable and able prosecutor. Rogge would prosecute the sedition trial in 1944. Rogge would likewise, be abruptly removed from his office.

What many people even today are unaware of was there were three separate grand jury indictments. Although the third grand jury indictment listed more organizations and publications for sedition than the first two indictments, the significant factor was the names it dropped. The following is a list of the organizations dropped in the third indictment.

  • The American First Committee
  • National Committee to Keep America Out of Foreign Wars (a group associated with Fish)
  • Citizens Committee to Keep America Out of War
  • Make Europe Pay War Debts (a Viereck Committee)
  • War Debts Defense Committee (a Viereck Committee)
  • A coalition of Patriotic Societies
  • Crusading Mothers of America
  • Citizens No foreign War Coalition
  • Constitutional Education League
  • We, the Mothers United
  • We, the Mothers, Mobilize for America

Additionally, those indicted by the three different grand juries differed significantly.

The common thread among the organizations dropped was the association of certain Congressmen with those organizations or the publications.103 Several of the Congressmen listed above including Fish and Wheeler along with many prominent business leaders were closely associated with the American First Committee. The National Committee to Keep America Out of Foreign Wars was another group closely associated with Fish. The two groups associated with Viereck could have opened charges to many of the Congressmen listed above. Wheeler as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee was in a position to bring strong pressure on the Attorney General, Biddle. A trial would have exposed all those connected to additional charges of sedition. The big fascists had to be protected and as a result, certain organizations closely linked to many of the Congressmen were dropped.

The end to the prosecution of the seditionist and Nazi collaborators came with the death of Judge Eicher on Nov 30, 1944, in the midst of the sedition trial. The next morning the new judge declared a mistrial. The trial had begun in February with the defendants delaying and disrupting the trial from the very beginning.

Rogge like Maloney was relentless in his pursuit of Nazi supporters. In the spring of 1946, Rogge received information from U.S. Army Captain Sam Harris, a member of the prosecuting team at Nuremberg that there was indisputable evidence linking the former Nazi government and certain leading citizens of the United States. On April 4, Attorney General, Tom Clark allowed Rogge and four aides to fly to Germany. Over the course of eleven weeks, Rogge and his team questioned sixty-six people including Goering and Ribbentrop. They also interrogated dozens of other top Nazi officials, including friends of William Davis. Rogge's findings were conclusive and explosive. Rogge's own words best sum up his findings.

"Our investigation showed us that we had completely underestimated the scope and scale of Nazi activities in the United States. When I went to Germany I felt that the biggest threat to American democracy emanated from the machinations of persons like the defendants in the sedition trial (i.e. the little fascist crackpots). I found that a far more dangerous threat lay in the inner-connection between German and American industrialists and that some of the best-known names in America were involved in Nazi intrigue."

Upon returning to the United States Rogge started preparing a comprehensive report for Attorney General Clark. In July, Rogge submitted to Clark the first draft of his report. Clark was clearly distraught over the references linking business and political leaders with the disposed of Nazi government. Clark specifically mentioned the links to Senator Burton Wheeler. Wheeler was a close friend of Clark. As Rogge continued to work on his report, he was approached by the aid of Clark, asking that he omit all the names of American politicians and businessmen. Rogge refused, knowing the report would never be published.

On September 17, 1946, Rogge submitted the final draft of his report. The explosive report recommended that the Department of Justice open an investigation of collaboration between American and Nazi industrialists before the war. Not surprisingly, Clark refused to publish the report. However, to Rogge's surprise, within days portions of his report were reported in Drew Pearson's column.

Shortly after submitting his final report, Rogge was granted a two-week leave of absence to make a lecture tour on the fascist menace. Clark was adamant that Rogge should not mention his report. Speaking before an audience at Swarthmore College, Rogge revealed some of his report's discoveries. He stated that Goering and Ribbentrop had told him that Joe L. Lewis, William Rhodes Davis, Senator Burton Wheeler, former vice president James Garner, former postmaster general James Farley, and former president Herbert Hoover had all conspired with the Nazis to defeat Roosevelt in the 1940 election and to keep the United States out of the war.

On October 25, Rogge departed from New York on a flight bound for Seattle. Due to bad weather, the flight made an unscheduled stop at Spokane. An FBI agent met Rogge there by the name of Mr. Savage. He handed Rogge a terse letter from Tom Clark notifying Rogge that he had been dismissed. On October 24, the day before Rogge was fired, Senator Wheeler had met with President Truman demanding the dismissal of Rogge. Wheeler was concerned Rogge's charges would derail his hopes for an appointment to the federal bench.105 Wheeler never received the appointment to the federal bench.

Rogge like Maloney suffered the same fate because of their staunch opposition to fascism. The fascists in the government were too strong to allow an investigation into their treasonous acts. Ironically at the time of Rogge's dismissal, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was stomping around the country giving speeches that denounced Americans for "being communist" - with little or no evidence to back the charges.

Sergeant Martin J. Monti During His Treason Arraignment

Original caption: New York: Ex-U. S. Flier Seized On Treason Charge. Sgt. Martin J. Monti, who has been stationed at the U. S. Air Force base at Mitchell Field, Long Island is shown resting his chin on his hand as he was arraigned today before U. S. Commissioner Edward Fay in Brooklyn Federal Court on charges of Treason. Monti, who hails from St. Louis, Missouri, and was originally an Air Force Lieutenant is accused of having made radio broadcasts for the Nazi Propaganda Ministry from Berlin which was beamed to U. S. troops during the invasion of Italy and France. The FBI disclosed that Monti deserted from the Army in 1944 while stationed in India, hitchhiked by Army plane to Italy, and then stole an Army P-38 in which he landed behind the German lines.


Martin J. Monti Leaving Courtroom

Original caption: Pilot-Traitor Given 25 Years. New York, New York: Martin J. Monti, 27, former Air Force pilot and self-confessed traitor, is led by Federal Court in Brooklyn after getting 25 years and a fine of $10,000. He pleaded guilty to 21 overt acts of treason, starting in 1944 when he deserted from India, hitch-hiked his way to Italy, where he stole a P'38 photo-reconnaissance plane and went over to the Germans for whom he later did propaganda work. After Germany's surrender, he made his way back to the American Army where he was sentenced for desertion and theft of a plane and given 15 years, later remitted when he enlisted as a private. Four of his brothers served in the Navy during World War II and received honorable discharges.


Perhaps the most brazen example of pro-fascists escaping justice came after the end of the war. There was little effort in prosecuting traitors or Nazi war criminals following the end of the war. Martin Monti, one of Father Coughlin's followers, was drafted and sent to Italy. On October 13, 1944, while serving in Italy he stole a P-38 aircraft and flew it across German lines landing in Milan. He gave himself up to the Germans and offered his assistance to them. The Germans transferred him to Berlin where he broadcasted pro-Nazi propaganda often quoting Father Coughlin or reading articles written by him. Following the end of the war, he was court-martialed for desertion and theft of the plane. The normal sentence in such cases would have been death. Monti however, received only a 15-year suspended sentence. Monti re-enlisted as a private and by 1946 he had risen to the rank of sergeant.74 The allied armies had won the war in Europe against fascism--but the U. S. was losing the war at home against fascism. In their rabid hatred of communism, the native fascists were now plotting the "Cold War" and every one was needed to fight the "new menace" and justice could be sacrificed.

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