The American Nazi Movement started in 1933, Nazi Deputy Fuhrer Rudolf Hess gave Heinz Spanknobel, authority to form an American Nazi organization. That first organization became known as Friends of New Germany (FONG). The FONG strong-armed the Staats-Zeitung, the German language newspaper, to publish pro-Nazi articles. The FONG also created propaganda to undermine the Jewish boycott of German goods which had started in 1933 in protest of Nazi antisemitism.
Samuel Dickstein, Chairman of the Committee of Naturalization and Immigration noted a correlation between the number of foreigners legally and illegally entering the States and the growing antisemitism and began an investigation of Nazi and other fascist groups. Dickstein found that FONG represented a branch of German dictator Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party in the United States. This investigation caused Rudolf Hess, in December of 1935, to ordered FONG to disband.
In March 1936, the German American Bund was established with Fritz Kuhn, German-born American citizen, as its leader. The Bund’s national headquarters was located at 178 East 85th Street in Manhattan.
The Bund established several Nazi summer training camps, held Nazi rallies, attacked the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, Jewish groups, Communism, trade unions, and the boycotts of German goods. The Bund believed that George Washington was “the first Fascist” who did not believe in democracy.
In 1938, Congress passed the Foreign Agents Registration Act which required foreign agents to register with the State Department. On March 1, 1938, to appease the U.S., the Nazi government decreed that no German nationals could be members of the Bund and that no Nazi emblems could be used by the organization.
On February 20, 1939, twenty thousand people attended a Bund rally at Madison Square Garden. At the rally, Kuhn made anti-Semitic allegations about Roosevelt calling him “Frank D. Rosenfeld” and calling his New Deal the “Jew Deal”.
In 1939, a New York Tax investigation found that Kuhn had embezzled $14,000 from the Bund. Kuhn was sentenced to up to five years in prison for tax evasion and embezzlement. While in prison, Kuhn’s citizenship was revoked. When he was released from prison, on Jun 21, 1943, Kuhn was arrested as an enemy alien and interned by the federal government in Crystal City, Texas. When World War II ended, Kuhn was deported.
The American Nazi Party (ANP) is an American political party founded by George Lincoln Rockwell in 1960. In an attempt to legitimize the ANP, he attempted to ‘tone down’ the verbal and written attacks against non-whites and replaced the party rally cry from “Seig Heil” to “White Power,” limited the public display of the swastika and began entering candidates in local elections. On January 1, 1967, Rockwell renamed the ANP the National Socialist White People’s Party. Before he could fully implement the party reforms, Rockwell was assassinated by a former Party member, John Patler.
Seven years after Rockwell’s assassination, the National Socialist American Workers Freedom Movement was founded in 1974. Today the group is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. In May of 2011, the New York Times described the group as being “the largest supremacist group, with about 400 members in 32 states.”