Besides a well-funded propaganda campaign by the pro-fascist forces
within the United States and the decidedly pro-Nazi slant of many of
the nationís leading newspaper chains, the lack of education was a
contributing factor. During the 1930s, most Americans lacked a high
school education. Even the typical GI was equipped with only an
eighth-grade education, thereby justifying the need for the previously
mentioned Army Orientation Program. The tables below from a 1964 study
details the association of racism with education and religion.29
||Percentage Prejudiced||Income||Percentage Prejudiced|
||Under $ 5,000||53
||$15,000 and over||40
|Religion||Percentage Prejudiced||Religious Commitment||Percentage Prejudiced||Age
||54 and over||55
Other polls have shown that anti-Semitic and intolerance mirrors the results in the table above. Note that the modest gains made by the civil rights movement up until the time of the study reduced the level of prejudice. This is readily apparent by looking at the level of prejudice by age. We see that lower income earners were more likely to hold prejudicial view, a view consistent with the profile given earlier for the typical member of the Black Legion. The typical Black Legion member was poorly educated and came from the hill country of the South. Likewise, the Black Legion was composed mainly of members with a high level of commitment to their fundamentalist religion.
The three largest effects on the rising level of prejudice were lower education levels, the amount of religious commitment and the type of religion matching the profile of the Black Legion members. Not only does the religious group effect affect the level of prejudice, but also with a rising level of commitment the level of prejudice increases implying that religion itself was inherently racist. Considering the close relationship between the Klan and religion presented in an earlier chapter this should not be surprising. By looking at the level of prejudice, one can see that the fundamentalists exhibit the highest degree of prejudice in line with the heavy concentration of such religions in the South. The reader should not be surprised by such an implication; churches and religion were used as agents to enforce segregation in the South, along with the rise of the Identity religion at the hands of the pro-Nazi preachers Gerald Smith and others.
The rise of racism in the 1980s occurred after the rise of fundamentalism in the 1970s. An abundant supply of evidence exists to solidify the rising levels of racism in the 1980s and the increased numbers of fundamentalists. One such piece of evidence was the ban on interracial dating at the Bob Jones University, an issue that arouse in the 2000 primary election. Its no accident that the right wing is engaged in frantic efforts to do away with Affirmative Action and efforts to pass hate crime legislation.
Even as we entered the 21st Century, evidence still abounds of the racism in religion. Look at the ministries of hate by such people as Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. Another indicator is the recent Baptistsí position adopted at their national convention of converting and saving Jews. It is not implied that the vast number of churchgoers are bigots, but rather the bigotry exists in the leaders and fanatical followers of what has become known as the religious right.
This group of fundamentalists has carried out a twenty-year campaign of terror against abortion clinics in a low intensity urban warfare, bombing clinics and murdering staff members. If this twenty-year campaign of terror were compressed into one night, it would be no different than the Crystal Night terrorization of the Jews at the hands of the Nazis--- and the voters would be demanding justice. The use of such low-intensity urban warfare spread over years has lulled Americans into a false sense of the inherent danger posed by these groups. A great many people have settled into a dangerous state of accepting the violence and actions of these terrorists, shrugging off the news of another abortion clinic bombing.
This acceptance of the violence directed toward abortion clinics was readily apparent after the destruction of the World Trade Centers on September 11, 2001. In the aftermath of the attacks on the Trade Center and the Pentagon, letters containing anthrax spores were delivered to several media sources and liberal Congressmen. However, abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood centers received a deluge of such threatening letters. Although, none proved to contain anthrax spores, the FBI showed little interest in investigating the perpetrators. In fact, abortion centers have been receiving such threats through the mail for several years with no response from the FBI.
Not even in the media is there the same sense of outraged being vented as that, which was vented over the bombings connected with the Weathermen in the 1960s and 1970s. However, a single action by Earth Liberation Front (ELF) will expend volumes of ink in the press. The media is guilty of conditioning the American public to believe that the only threat is from the left, yet Oklahoma City stands as a testament that the real threat is from the right.
As a group, fundamentalists exhibit all of the major traits of fascism, anti-liberalism, anti-socialism, anti-communism, anti-labor, extremely nationalistic, and the ultimate statist. To assuage any further doubts, following is a quote by a fundamentalist minister visiting the White House after returning from Guatemala in the 1980s.
"The Army doesn't massacre the Indians. It massacres demons, and the Indians are demon possessed; they are communist. We hold Brother Efrain Rios Mott like the King of David of the Old Testament. He is the king of the New Testament." 31
The quote above is a mirror of the Nazi's war on the Jews. The first step in the Nazi's final solution was to first demonize the Jews and then to openly attack Jewish businesses, homes and synagogues. This was followed by seizure of property. Only then were the concentration camps created. It is precisely this process that makes such statements as the quote above so dangerous. Racism is a learned trait; its early steps serve to desensitize society. Moreover, left unchecked once the process of desensitizing is over, open attacks on the minority groups proceed, followed by genocide as the final result. If there are any doubts of what would happen if the religious right ever came to power in this country reread the quote above one more time.
The previous example of the conversion of the Black Legion from an essentially nativist group into a fascist group is equally valid for what passes today as the religious right. In fact, the association of various nativist religious groups with the right wing of American politics goes back to the founding of the republic. This should note be surprising upon a little reflection. Liberalism in this country has always been associated with progressiveness and change, while conservatism has always been associated with maintaining the status quo. There are no other groups that are more statist than the various fundamental religious groups. At the first sign of change, they invoke a bloody crusade against what they perceive to be an onslaught of godless behavior and the work of the devil.
The history of the United States is replete with examples of nativist religious groups aligning themselves with the right wing political spectrum. Perhaps the best example would be the anti-Catholic movement starting in about 1820 and extending through the 1850s ending with the Know-Nothings. The various factions of this anti-Catholic movement aligned itself with the conservative Whigs before eventually forming their own party. In essence, it was a union of convenience between the conservative elite and the bigoted, as well as a fear that the Catholic immigrants were aligning themselves with the liberal Democrats of the time. Nor was the anti-Catholic movement simply a battle at the ballot box. At various times violence broke out, such as the riot in 1844 in Philadelphia in where a Catholic Church was burnt. Again, the members of the anti-Catholic movement during this time came from the lower classes. 32 Their effect upon elections and various legislation is simply beyond the scope of this book.
As testimony to the zeal of religious bigotry in the United States, the Know-Nothings were the largest third party ever assembled. They succeeded in electing numerous officials to Washington as well as to the state Houses. The demise of the Know-Nothings only came about through their success as the Republican Party absorbed the Know-Nothings. The anti-Catholic movement continued after the Know-Nothingsís disbandment continuing right into the 20th Century and the election of JFK. In fact, the cause of the Civil War was blamed on the Catholics by many members of the Republican Party and far right groups into the 1880s. Even the assassination of Lincoln was described as a Catholic plot by some.
The present day infiltration of the Republican Party by the religious right is nothing more than a repeat performance and a dangerous one at that. The past history is littered with examples of religious bigotry being used as an agent of repression in this country. With the Republicans focused on destroying the social welfare and safety net as well as allowing churches to dispense federal aid, the future looks extremely bleak if the country ever enters another extended economic downturn as it did in the 1980s. In fact, George W. Bush has allowed Texas to support faith-based treatment centers for drug addiction, childcare and welfare services. Such connections between religion and government are strictly forbidden by the Constitution. However, in his efforts to pander to the religious right Bush, has taken it one step further; he has exempted such faith based services from all regulation. They are free to operate anyway they choose.49 They are free to operate in unsafe buildings, free from hiring qualified staff and free to abuse the rights of those whom they pretend to help.
Even more ominous was the secret deal cut between the Salvation Army and the George W. Bush administration in 2001. In that deal, the Salvation Army agreed to provide up to $110,000 a month to lobby for Bush's faith-based initiative. In exchange, the Bush administration agreed to exempt the Salvation Army from all federal and state anti-discrimination laws on the hiring of gays.90 Such secret negotiations are shameful enough. However, the Salvation Army is a member of a larger group of fundamentalists seeking to undermine the rights of gays. The Salvation Army's web site is hosted by the Christian Web portal, Christianity.com. This web portal host other such anti-gay sites such as Exodus International and Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcast Network. Nor does this web portal simply serve as a web host but there is in fact a commingling between the Christianity.com partners.91 Although, the media did report the secret negotiations, the media quickly dropped the story or relegated it to the back pages. No mention was made in the news of the Salvation Army alliance with the antigay Christianity.com.
More disturbing is the fact that Bush has chosen two men connected with the CIA's Manhattan Institute, John J. DiIulio Jr. and Stephen Goldsmith. Such actions can only further the connection between fundamentalists and hard right ministries and the CIA. These two are also connected with Charles Murray, author of the racist The Bell Curve. Additionally, Murray was a consultant on Tommy Thompsons's Wisconsin Welfare Reform Program.92
The mixing of religion with government as Bush proposes has never succeeded without catastrophe consequences as the following quotes serve to remind us.
"Thus inwardly armed with confidence in God and the unshakable stupidity of the voting citizenry, the politicians can begin the fight for the 'remaking' of the Reich as they call it." -Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf Vol. 2 Chapter 1
Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith . . . we need believing people." [Adolf Hitler, April 26, 1933, from a speech made during negotiations leading to the Nazi-Vatican Concordant of 1933]
The Know-Nothings were not the first group of religious bigotry to penetrate American politics. Perhaps the first was the Illuminati in the 1790s. This myth of a secret group originating in Germany with the goal of the destruction of all religion has been disproved many times in the past. Yet, it is still popular and making somewhat of a comeback in right wing circles today particularly among the Identity religion and the hard right groups that have adopted the Identity religion. Another group that has been the victim of religious bigotry throughout the history of this country is the Masons.
Anti-Semitic bigotry only began in earnest in the latter part of the 1800s as more and more Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe entered the country. This roughly coincides with the beginnings of the Identity religion in the United States---a religion based solely on racism that would emerge from the ministries of hate of Gerald Smith and Gerald Swift in the 1930s. These two ministers of hate and Father Coughlin preached of the dangers of "International Bankers" a code word for Jews.
Both Smith and Swift were fundamental in the development of what has become the Identity religion. Smith was both a member of the Silver Shirts and closely associated with Huey Long. It is not surprising then that the Identity religion espouses the traits of fascism today. The fascist nature of those who follow the Identity religion can be seen clearly in the right-wing extremist groups that have adopted it, such as the Posse Comitatus, the Aryan Nations and others.
More interesting is how the more mainstream elements of the
religious right became indoctrinated with the fascist agenda and
adopted a wildly pro-business anti-union view. As previously mentioned
in this chapter, the fundamentalists in the past were aligned with the
right and were statist. In the past, the fundamentalists were aligned
sometimes with and at other times against big business. As groups,
fundamentalists and businesses are statist by nature; itís only natural
for the two to align themselves together more often than to oppose one
Other writers have attributed this close association to two factors: the rabid fear of the red atheist and large financial donations. The red hysteria following WWI was whipped into a frenzy by using the fundamentalistsí fear of the red atheist. Unions at the time were portrayed as collectivist, socialist and finally communist in nature. Likewise, demagogues labeled unions as foreign and un-American. Moreover, each discovery of reds within the early labor movement following WWI only fanned the flames that much more. The Palmer Raids arrested more than 6,000 individuals, but in the end deported fewer than 600, as the evidence was simply not substantial enough to warrant deportation or any other charges. During the 1920s, the IWW became more associated with socialism and communism than with union activities.
During the late 1930s, the nativist and fundamentalist religious groups adopted the fascist ideology. Prior to adopting fascism, the ideology of these groups centered on bigotry and isolationism. The seed for racism and bigotry has always been a hallmark of nativist groups in the United States. Between the wars, the two largest nativist groups were the Klan and the prohibitionists. The Klan and its relationship to both racism and religion have already been covered in earlier chapters. Moreover, there was a subtle element of anti-Catholic bigotry in the prohibition movement.
However, after the war, the nativist fundamentalist groups all took on a global view with many openly calling for a new war with the USSR. Besides a global view, these same fundamentalist groups became fanatically anti-union and anti-liberal with a pro-corporation view. Most writers simply subscribe this conversion to large financial donations from corporations and a rabid fear of atheistic communism.
Although large cash donations from corporations and the rabid fear of atheistic communism certainly were large factors in this conversion, several other factors were equally important. The abandonment of isolationism in favor of direct confrontation of communism serves as sort of a guidepost marking the division between a traditionally fundamental group and one that exposes the fascist ideology. Even during the Red Scare of 1919, the fundamentalist groups (although rabidly opposed to communism) failed to call for a direct confrontation. Instead, they believed in the fortress of America as a bulkhead against the atheistic red horde.
In studying the adoption of fascism by the fundamentalist groups, the importance of the ministers of hate during the 1930s cannot be underestimated. The influence of Gerald Winrod and Gerald Smith is still readily apparent in the religious right. Many credit the present fundamentalist movement to the work of Billy Hargis. Indeed, Hargis' Christian Crusade of the 1950s and early 1960s has had an enormous impact on shaping the fundamentalist or religious right movement. Hargis' career in many ways served as a bridge between fascism and today's fundamentalist groups. Moreover, a quick look at Hargis's career clearly establishes the link between fascism and fundamentalism.
Politically, Hargis is best known for his rabid anticommunist views. However, his career is punctuated with links to fascist groups from the 1930s and 1940s. In 1956, Hargis distributed two pamphlets, one entitled Our 1956 Political Crisis and the other Stevenson and Kefauver. Both were keyed to the election; the latter one attempted to label Stevenson and Kefauver as communists.
In the October 1959 Christian Crusade, Hargis states unequivocally that he called upon Winrod for help in starting his radio program. In the December 1956 issue of Christian Crusade, he informs his reader of a meeting he had with the publisher of the notoriously fascist American Mercury. The Mercury was financed in a large part by the founder of the Pioneer Fund, Wickliffe Draper. Draper was an extreme racist. In 1967 the Draper family became the largest shareholder in Rockwell International, a prime defense contractor. Like Draper, Hargis was a racist although he loudly denounced those who labeled him as such as liars.
However, Hargis racist views was readily apparent at his 1962 Anti-Communist Leadership School. One of the invited speakers, R Carter Pittman stated that the chief difference between Negroes in American and in the Congo is that "in the Congo they eat more white people." 104
Moreover, Hargis described the early civil rights movement of the 1950s as follows "segregation and racism is an artificial one instigated by the Communist." Hargis used his Christian Crusade to make out a packet of information on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The packet was described to contain: 1. The cruel and naked facts concerning this proposal, 2. The similarity of the Bill to the Communist Party Platform of 1928, 3. How the Bill fulfills many of the demands of Karl Marxís Communist Manifesto, 4. The pro-communist records of the authors and supporters of this Bill. 105 During the Little Rock school desegregation, Hargis distributed a pamphlet written by the fascist Joe Kamp. Hargis was also a member of the racist Liberty Lobby and several other right wing extremist groups. In 1961, Hargis bought the files of Allen Zoll. Zoll had been an associated of Gerald Smith and had founded the American Patriots Inc, a fascist group that was on the Attorney General's watch list.93
The lingering influences of Winrod and Smith are readily apparent in Hargisís career. Both Winrod and Smith cast a long shadow of influence over the fundamentalist movement. Both were close associates of Harvey Springer of Englewood, Colorado. Springer was far from being just a poor country preacher; he was one of the more influential voices in the fundamentalist movement. He was one of the founding members of the International Council of Christian Churches (ICCC) and served on its executive committee until his death. The ICCC opposed the liberal World Council of Churches, deriding it as communist infiltrated. Another associated of both Smith and Winrod was Kenneth Goff, head of the National Organization of Christian Youth. Winrod was connected to several other fundamentalists that were openly fascist such as Riley, the founder of Northwestern And covered in an earlier chapter. Winrod was also closely associated with Harry Hodge a leading member of the fascist Christian American Association. Hodge used his friendship with Martin Dies to intercede on the behalf of Winrod to prevent the Dies Committee from investigating Winrod.94
There were many other fundamentalist ministers putting forth the Nazi line throughout the 1940s. For example, William D Herrstrom of Minneapolis and publisher of Bible News Flashes was extremely anti-Semitic, anti-British and pro-fascist. Following the war, Herrstrom became one of the first Holocaust deniers. Other fundamentalists preaching the Nazi ideology in the 1930s and 1940s included: Harry Grube of Mobile, Alabama, R.M. Parr of Detroit, Michigan, Glen Smith of Palmer Lake, Colorado, S.J. Grear of Denver Colorado, C.K. Peterson of Phoenix, Arizona, and W.C. Love of Hazel Park, Michigan.
While several of the leading theologians of the fundamentalist movement in the 1930s and 1940s were true fascists, many others were embedded with the seed of fascism, anti-Semitism. However, there are additional factors for the adoption of fascism by the fundamental movement.
Fear of atheistic communism as typified by the Red Scare.
Large financial donations by business leaders
Founding of religious groups by fascists, for example, the American Bible Association.
The founding of religious groups by business leaders, for example, the Church League.
A lust for power from within.
The CIA/FBI use of religious groups
Note that the sixth factor is mostly applicable to the period following WWII and will be covered in later chapters although the association of some of the religious groups with Hoover and the FBI has already been alluded to. The first factor has already been fully covered both in this chapter and previous chapters. The purge of liberal and leftist leaders in the 1920s had one additional factor that must be considered. It dissolved any liberal influence that may have been present leaving these groups in the hands of the hard right wing extremists. Depleted of any moderating forces these fundamental groups were more susceptible to fascist ideology.
The past is littered with various examples of business leaders making large financial donations to various church groups. Perhaps one of the largest contemporary donors to various right-wing religious groups is Bunker Hunt. Additionally, the Coors family figures prominently in donations to various conservative religious organizations. Numerous examples in the past could be cited as well. The following example will suffice concerning these grants and the agenda that comes attached. The example is the fifty thousand dollar grant made to Howard Kershner's Christian Freedom Foundation in 1950 by Howard Pew, the Sun Oil Executive. The Christian Foundation's consulting economist was none other than Percy Greaves. Greaves was a researcher for New Jersey Representative Fred Harley of Taft-Hartley fame and later became a board member of the Liberty Lobby. Kershner's foundationís primary aim in the 1950s was to indoctrinate clergy with anti-Communist and libertarian viewpoints.34 Radical libertarian views are essentially nothing more than Social Darwinism, the very philosophy that Hitler subscribed to.
Another example of corporate sponsorship of religion would be the case of Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas. After returning from China, Dr. Benson assumed the presidency of Harding. Harding is operated by the Church of Christ, which opposes most modern doctrine including Darwin's theory of evolution. Benson began writing and speaking about fundamentalism attracting an ever-wider audience.
It wasn't until after the war when Benson began promoting the free enterprise agenda of du Ponts that he hit the big time. His main theme was that the free enterprise system would be lost unless corporate America could succeed in propagandizing citizens on the fundamentals of our way of life. Benson hit pay dirt the day Alfred Sloan, president of General Motors, heard one of his fundamentalist anti-labor diatribes. Sloan decided to bankroll Benson that day. In 1949, Sloan bequeathed a gift of $300,000 to Harding. Shortly thereafter, other industrialists followed suit with more money. Among them were Charles Hook chairman of Acme Steel, and the Falk Foundation. By 1961, Harding's endowment fund totaled $6 million with virtually all coming from corporate donors. Benson opposed all welfare legislation, was virulently anti-union and attacked anything he thought smelled of socialism, which he equated with liberalism. After the grant from Sloan, Benson established the propaganda affiliate of Harding known as the National Education Program. 40 Its sole purpose was to produce propaganda films supporting his fascist views. The largest consumers of these films came from industrial giants such as GE, U.S. Steel, Olin Mathieson Chemical Company and Lone Star Cement. 33 GE has made extensive use of these films, showing them to their employees and promoting them throughout corporate America.
No better example exists of fascists founding religious groups than the example of the American Bible Association given in the opening parts of this chapter. Nor is this the only example from the previous chapter, Christian America was shown to have been founded by fascists surrounding the Kirby family of Texas and was responsible for the passage of the anti-union right to work laws in the Midwest and South. Other examples would be Father Coughlin, Gerald Smith, and Gerald Swift, the ministers of hate during the 1930s and the pro-fascist groups that each had founded such as the Crusaders. The Identity religion as it has evolved since the 1930s has roots grounded in fascism.
Businessmen founded other religious groups, such as the Church League formed in 1937. The Church League was co-founded by the following three individuals: G.W. Robnett, better known as an ultra rightist; F.L. Loesch, chairman of the Chicago Crime Commission and Henry P. Crowell, chairman of the board at Quaker Oats. The Church League was based in Wheaton, Illinois. For two decades, the operating director was G.W. Robnett, an advertising man whose Institute for Special Research compiled files on suspected communists and sympathizers. The other two founders feared Roosevelt's court packing and anything else related to the New Deal.35 The Church League's financial supporters included the Hearst Foundation, the Coors Foundation, Howard Phillips and General Robert Woods.
Finally, there is the group of religious leaders that lusted for power. Religion in this country has always been a big business in itself. The extent of the wealth of churches or religion has been a nasty little secret of which few people are aware. Churches are the largest landowners after the government in this country. The extent of their wealth is mind boggling. In 1928, the contributions to just twenty-five denominations exceeded $400 million. In addition to this income, churches drew and additional $132 million from permanent funds and legacies. The table below reveals a portion of that wealth--- and hence the power that goes along with money.39
|Denomination||Valuation in 1926|
A quick look at the table puts the total value of those
denominations at roughly two billion dollars. Obviously, the value of
the dollar in 1926 bought considerably more in 1926 than what it does
today. To put the figures from the table in perspective, the 1926
federal budget was only $2.9 billion.
With such wealth comes power and a lust for more power. Perhaps the best example of a lust for power today from a largely religious group is the Council for National Policy (CNP), a shadowy secretive group of right-wing extremists hell bent on gaining control of the country and imposing a theocracy. Another good example would be that of Pat Robertson immanently tied to the CNP. Robertson sold part of his broadcasting empire, The Family Channel, to Rupert Murdoch for $1.9 billion dollars. In his quest for power Robertson ran for president in the Republican primaries of 1988 and has vowed to control the Republican presidential nominee in 2000. He has used his ministry of hate and his broadcasting empire to advance his views and the views of the Council for National Policy
Robertson's counterpart from the 1940s can best be typified by Carl McIntire. McIntire was expelled from the Presbyterian Church for his opposition to liberalizing trends in 1936. In 1941, he formed the American Council of Churches to unite various fundamentalists to oppose any liberalization in both religion and politics. His views were essentially those expressed in the present day by the religious right, extremely anti-communism, anti-socialism, anti-liberalism, anti-Catholic, anti-union, anti-Semitic, racist and pro-business. By the mid-1960s, McIntire was surpassed by other leaders in the religious right. However, during the 1940s and 1950s, McIntire helped to shape and mold the religious right into the form it has now evolved into.
McIntire began petitioning the Federal Communications Commission in 1941 to divide the radio airtime allotted for Protestants between the fundamentalists and the mainline Federal Council of Churches.37 Although, he was soon surpassed by the broader National Association of Evangelicals, McIntire played a pivotal role in obtaining and exploiting airtime. McIntire's 20th Century Reformation Hour aired for years before being surpassed by the new fundamentalists of the 60s. Perhaps McIntire's greatest hour came in the early 1950s with his close association with McCarthy and Hoover of the FBI. However, McIntire's more lasting impact was that in furthering the careers of three other fundamentalists, Billy James Hargis, Dr Fred Schwartz and Major Edgar Bundy.38
Although this chapter and the preceding chapters have shown that the fascist influence was pervasive in the fundamentalist religious movement, the fascist influence extended into the halls of Congress and even into elements of the U.S. Military. It should however, be readily apparent that the leaders of corporate America headed the fascist movement within the Untied States.
The two preceding chapters revealed that economic sabotage and the creation of civil unrest were integral parts of the Nazi battle plan from the earliest days, neither of which would have been successful without the willing participation of corporate America. It was the leaders of corporate America who willingly entered into the cartel agreements with I.G. Farben that hindered the early war effort. Likewise, it was the leaders of corporate America that funded many of the pro-fascist groups prevalent in the 1930s.
It was these same American corporations that built much of the Third Riech's war machine. GM and Ford built nearly 90 percent of all the three-ton vehicles and nearly 70 percent of all medium and heavy-duty trucks for the Riech.97 GM also built thousands of bombers for the Luftwaffe. When American forces liberated the Ford plants in Cologne and Berlin, they found destitute foreign workers confined behind barbed wire. Records show that nearly half the labor force of Ford's Cologne plant was slave labor. Shamelessly after the war, both GM and Ford demanded reparations for damages from allied bombing to their plants. In 1967, GM received $33 million for damages sustained to its Russelshiem plant.
However, unlike the corporations, those forced into slave labor for Ford have yet to be compensated. The issue will be left to die quietly as the victims of slave labor pass away--- as most are now in their 80s. The corporations will continue to hide behind the false claim that they lacked control over their investments in Germany. Such claims are frauds. Almost all American corporations went to great lengths to remain in control of their facilities in Germany. Both Edsel Ford and Robert Sorenson, a high-ranking official at Dearborn served as directors of Ford Werke A.G. throughout the war years.98 Furthermore, Edsel Ford sent direct orders to France that Ford was to build trucks for the Nazis once war broke out.
The same is true of almost all other American corporations that had investments in Germany. Many took extraordinary means to remain in control, oftentimes through shell corporations in Switzerland. These same corporations sought the help of the Dulles brothers in concealing their treacherous dealings from our own government. With the first step toward remaining in control or in concealing their dealings with the Nazis, these corporations became traitors to their country, war criminals and morally responsible for the resulting Holocaust and the deaths of thousands of GIs.
Thus far, this book has presented an abundance of evidence of treasonous behavior on the part of corporate America. With the clouds of war looming on the horizon, corporate America sought to delay the day of reckoning by delaying war production in the great sit down strike of 1941. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the native fascist did not fold their tent and go home. Corporate America still sought out means to delay production of war munitions. The large firms essentially eliminated any small or midsize firms from the production of munitions. Likewise, they failed to use their production facilities to full advantage, shutting down weekends and only running skeleton crews on the second and graveyard shifts. Many jobs went unfilled not because of the lack of qualified workers, but because of corporate policy. One such policy was barring the hiring of Blacks until Roosevelt ordered firms with defense contracts to hire Blacks.
At the darkest hour during the war, 1942, the native fascist unleashed a full-scale assault on the homeland. One of the country's most notorious families had dressed fascism up with a smiley face and labeled it with the electioneering jingle of free enterprise. By 1943, the fortunes of war had shifted; the defeat of Nazi Germany was only a matter of time. Facing exposure with the defeat of Nazi Germany, corporate America and the native fascist once again switched tactics. A blizzard of peace proposals were put forth. Common to all such proposals was the fact the Nazis would be left in power, only Hitler would be displaced. Also starting at this time, the native fascist began a campaign to remove those who were adamantly opposed to fascism.
By 1944, the same papers that were pro-fascist before Pearl Harbor unleashed a media blitz for an early or easy peace with Germany. The papers were full of articles and editorials proposing peace terms and leaving the Nazis in control. To further obscure their past support for the Nazis, native fascists increased attacks on communism. Many of those dedicated to the war against fascism were labeled communist and removed from their positions. By the end of the war, the anticommunist sentiment was once again reaching fevered proportions. Perhaps the perfect example to illustrate this point is the defeat of Jerry Voorhis by Richard Nixon.
However, Roosevelt remained adamant. There would be no easy peace with the Nazis. The only acceptable peace was unconditional surrender. Likewise, FDR was firm in his pledge to bring all who supported the Nazi cause to justice. In this regard Roosevelt had allowed the British Intelligence to secretly spy on Americans. The information gained was not admissible in courts, but the British could use it to stop shipments of war munitions and money flowing to the Nazis.
In the operation headed by master British spy INTREPID, Bill Stephenson uncovered damning evidence from the very first day of operation of American fascists aiding the Nazi cause. One of the first organizations penetrated by the British spies was the American First organization. The British infiltrators learned that American First had received direct funding from Ulrich von Gienanth of the German Embassy and Gunther Hansen-Sturm. The latter had paid Congressman Hamilton Fish a check, of which Stephenson had managed to get a copy. At an American First rally, Stephenson then arranged for a group of anti-fascist infiltrators to hand Fish a card with the words, "Der Fuehrer thanks you for your loyalty" as cameras captured the moment.96
The British agents soon had a wealth of information of those supplying the Nazis. Besides unearthing the many tentacles of I.G. Farben, British agents had information implicating Chase National Bank of New York of dealing and trading with the Nazis. Stephenson had gained information that Dr. Kurt Heinrich Rieth was staying in New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel to negotiate the sale of Standard Oil's Hungarian oil subsidy to the Nazis. Rieth's father was Standard Oil's representative in Antwerp. Stephenson leaked the information to the press and soon Rieth was deported for falsifying his vista. Stephenson's group also linked William Rhodes Davis to supplying the Nazis with the oil. There is some speculation that the British agents may have poisoned Davis. Davis died of a poison incident. Stephensonís group is known to have murdered some key Nazi supporters in the U.S. when the threat they posed was critical to Britian.
In 1941, Stephenson expanded his special operations, section with a particular emphasis on South America. Shortly thereafter, they uncovered a plot to establish a fascist regime in Uruguay led by Arnulf Fuhrmann. In May 1941, a similar plot in Bolivia was uncovered. Both plots were foiled.
In short, Stephenson's group had uncovered volumes of information on those trading with the Nazis. Many prominent Americans within the government and industry were implicated. None of the information gained would be admissible in court. However, Roosevelt planned to release the information following the war. The resulting outrage would then be used to pressure Congress for a full investigation.
In a cruel twist of fate, Roosevelt would die a month before Nazi Germany surrendered. Tragically, this plan died him. None of the information was ever leaked to the press. There would be no public outrage. The public would remain in the dark about corporate Americaís treason. There would be no trials of businessmen for trading with the Nazis. On May 8, 1945, in a bulletin broadcast to the Nation President Truman announced to the nation the unconditional surrender of Germany.
"This is a solemn but a glorious hour. General Eisenhower informs me that the forces of Germany have surrendered to the United Nations. The flags of freedom fly over all Europe.
For this victory, we join in offering our thanks to the Providence which has guided and sustained us through the dark days of adversity.
Our rejoicing is sobered and subdued by a supreme consciousness of the terrible price we have paid to rid the world of Hitler and his evil band. Let us not forget, my fellow Americans, the sorrow and the heartbreak which today abide in the homes of so many of our neighbors-neighbors whose most priceless possession has been rendered as a sacrifice to redeem our liberty.
We can repay the debt which we owe to our God, to our dead, and to our children only by work-by ceaseless devotion to the responsibilities which lie ahead of us.
If I could give you a single watchword for the coming months, that word is-work, work, work.
We must work to finish the war. Our victory is but half won. The West is free, but the East is still in bondage to the treacherous tyranny of the Japanese. When the last Japanese division has surrendered unconditionally, then only will our fighting job be done.
We must work to bind up the wounds of a suffering world-to build an abiding peace, a peace rooted in justice and in law. We can build such a peace only by hard, toilsome, painstaking work---by understanding and working with our Allies in peace as we have in war.
The job ahead is no less important, no less urgent, no less difficult than the task which now happily is done.
I call upon every American to stick to his post until the last battle is won. Until that day, let no man abandon his post or slacken his efforts."95
People filled Times Square despite the pleas of Truman with news that the Nazi menace had been eliminated in Europe. It would be another four months before the Pacific would be liberated. Ticker tape parades for the returning GIs would fill the streets.
Although the Allied forces were victorious on the battlefields of Europe and the South Pacific, tragically, the war against fascism was lost on the home front. In the 1946 election, the Republicans gained control of both chambers of congress. True to their pro-big business agenda and their past support of fascists over 200 anti-union bills would flood congress. The rehabilitated Fred Hartley, who had supported Japan and Germany up until the moment Pearl Harbor was bombed, would co-author the anti-union Taft-Hartley act. The fascist group Christian America would successfully lobby several Southern and Midwestern states to pass anti-union right to work laws. One could argue that such measures were not full-blown fascism but that is the danger of creeping fascism. Such steps as the anti-union measures were only the first steps on a slippery slope towards fascism. However, anytime the government enacts a law placing the rights of corporations or the elite ahead of the people its is an act of fascism or more properly another step towards fascism.
Fascism is an inherent problem of any economy based on capitalism. Its insidious as corporations grow and become more powerful, more and more laws are passed favoring large corporations and the rights of the people are damned. Fascism has never appeared first in its full-blown totalitarian state. It took Hitler six years to consolidate his power into a fully fascist state. Fascism always assumes power in gradual steps. It destroys our rights one at a time until suddenly it blossoms into full-blown fascism, a totalitarian society controlled by the corporate elite.
Thousands of war criminals and pro-fascist were allowed to emigrate to the U.S. despite Truman's ban. The CIA's reliance on Nazi war criminals, along with the native fascist's hatred of communism and anything liberal, would propel the world towards the brink of a nuclear holocaust. For the fascist leaders of corporate America, the resulting Cold War would serve to cover their past dealings with the Nazis. For the Nazis collaborators, it was much more than just a chance to save their miserable hides. If they could induce a war between the two super powers, the U.S. and USSR, the Nazis could then have a chance to reestablish a Nazi state in Germany.