Chapter Four

The Racial Ideology Of American Nazism

Racial ideology has been the key aspect of American Nazism, and usually a system highly critical of Negroes, Jews and various non-white migrants. The 'racism' of U.S. Nazism can be analysed only in the light of the fundamental division between the Nazism of the Rockwell period and the post Rockwell period. I have done this chiefly by a comparison and contrast between Rockwell's activities in Chicago in 1966 and the Nazi agitation in Boston in 1974. Nazi racism can also be understood in the context of American history and Rockwell's Nazism in particular took on specific aspects of historical American nativism.

The politics of racial preference, both implicit and expressive, has been a major factor in American historical and societal development. One Black Panther revolutionary contended that "white racism" had actually built America. (1) Even in the mid 19th century, America kept a slave population of millions. Westward settlement abolished the Indian way of life and restrictionist immigration laws cut Oriental immigration in the 1870's and 1880's. The main experiment in racial equalitarianism - the Radical Reconstruction Period - was beaten back by energetic Southern resistance. The twentieth century has also witnessed racial proclivities at work: the immigration laws of the

1. Eldridge Cleaver, The White Power Structure, Black Panther Party leaflet, date uncertain.

1920's, the eugenics programme of those years and the revived Ku Klux Klan being cases in point.

Most white Americans until two decades ago would have considered racial equality more a legal than a practical 'fact'. In the South a definable mass movement arose to fight 1950's desegregation - "the Second Reconstruction." However the pressure towards racial equality increased steadily from its stirrings in the 1950's to a mass movement for civil rights in the 1960's. Not surprisingly a white backlash arose to counter the Negro movement. Dozens of white racial-patriot groups were formed every year from the mid 1950's, one of them being Rockwell's Nazi Party.

These 'racist' organisations could count in their ranks thousands of adherents. Local Klans, the National States' Rights Party and independent Citizens' Councils were all active. Generally they agreed that racial equality and integration were inimical to white racial interests in America. The racists believed that America had to be restored" to the control of those who built it: the white race. (2) The philosophy behind such attitudes was expressed sucinctly by Matt Koehl as: "America is first of all a racial concept." (3) Rockwell had said it just as bluntly: "America did not exist until the coming of the white man." By such

2. All racial-patriotic groups believed the white race had lost political power in America because of the divisions within its own camp. Power had therefore fallen to minority-serving politicians.
3. Matt Koehl, America: A Racial Mission, Arlington, 1972, p. 3.

logic, the integration movement could only be an attack on the destiny of the American people.

Rockwell and his successors have worked within a generally liberal intellectual environment. Further, from the early 1960's any pretence to 'racism', even of the mildest type, was an impossible position for a public figure to maintain. Politicians such as George Wallace and Lester Maddox received a barrage of criticism from the media and civil rights groups; they were tagged as fascists, "Ku Kluxers," bigots and worse. Organised racial-patriots were similarly attacked but, contrary to claims made on the Left, the organised racial-patriotic groups were not an extreme expression of establishment norms, but outcasts from the political mainstream. In Rockwell's case, the outcast became a revolutionary.

(a) Rockwell's Racism In The Context Of The Extreme Right

By the 1950's Rockwell had come to the conclusion that the American political-economic system was his implacable opponent. The Federal Government, backed by powerful interests, media, and financial and ethnic groups had opted to pursue the policy of racial integration. He concluded that only a thorough-going mass mobilisation of American whites completely outside the two party system could block desegregation. Rockwell was not alone in that contention. A number of mainly Southern organisations arose in the late 1950's to argue a similar case. Maverick Klans, small states' rights parties and local Citizens' Councils can be mentioned. (4)

4. Neil R. McMillen, The Citizens' Council: Organised Resistance To The Second Reconstruction 1954-65, Chicago, 1971, passim.

Some amalgamated and became the National States' Rights Party. The NSRP argued for the time-honoured Southern principles of segregation, negro inferiority, states' rights and opposition to Federal intervention in Dixie's race-relations. (5) The ideology was proclaimed to be a Christian one. The NSRP invoked the legacy of the Confederacy and adopted the Confederate Flag as its symbol. The ideology added up to a sort of Southern nativist perspective. Rockwell however rejected not only the parochialism of the Southern racists, but many of their principles as well. He did this some time before he established the Nazi Party, and for reasons which are important to this study.

Firstly, Rockwell declared himself against segregation. Segregation was not a sufficient guarantee against miscegenation; in any bi-racial society, "there were always - (whites) - willing to satisfy their sex urges without thought of the consequences." (6) Several times in his career he urged "geographical separation" as the only viable alternative to segregation. The American Nazi Party programme of 1960 urged the construction of a "modern industrial nation in Africa," financed for some years by the United States. (7) The idea of physically deporting America's Negro population was the subject of Rockwell's Lincoln Plan leaflet of 1956 (later reissued by the Nazi

5. Thunderbolt, 1958-62, passim.
6. George Lincoln Rockwell, White Power, Dallas, 1967, p. 310.
7. Programme Of The American Nazi Party, ANP leaflet,1960.

Party); hence the idea was a long-standing one. The Lincoln Plan referred to Marcus Garvey, the black separatist of the 1920's, who worked for an African solution to the Negro presense in America, and to the Nation of Islam which argued likewise. As a practical solution to the complexities and violence of American racial relations, the Nazi programme was rather impractical. On other occasions, Rockwell spoke of geographical separation within the United States, a position unique on the American Right. In contrast to his right-wing rivals, Rockwell was seeking a fundamental solution to the Negro question.

Rockwell's second objection to the Southerners concerned their states' rights ideology. This "parochial" position was inimical to the realisation of an all-American solution to racial integration. Rockwell believed that the framers of the states' rights position could never win Northern or Western support. Worse, the states' rights campaigners were irrelevant to most Americans including Southerners. In 1960, rather prophetically, Rockwell argued that race riots in the North would sooner or later confront that section of the country with severe race problem. (10) He reasoned that the Southern patriots' slogans and anti-Negro ideology would not wash with Northern whites. Because

8. The Klans either maintained segregationist ideas or urged "back to Africa" for blacks. Rockwell's "geographic separation" within the U.S., mentioned at Northwestern University in 1966, was unique on the U.S. Right.
9. Rockwell, op. cit., p. 280.
10. Nazi Rockwell, Oakleaf Records, 1974, passim.

Rockwell was certain of an explosive decade in race-relations, any thought of a return to pre-1954 conditions was futile. But, since these views were unpopular in the South, because of the preponderance of Southern racial-patriot groups, Rockwell's movement was restricted geographically. Nonetheless, on one central issue Rockwell did agree with the Southern racists: the "Jewish involvement" in integration. While the Southerners were more prone to see Jews supporting integration for reasons connected to communist subversion, Rockwell preached that Jews were possessed of a genocidal hatred of White America. (11) While his propaganda did mirror certain claims made by the Citizens' Councils - that Jews led the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, the Congress of Racial Equality, the freedom rides' movement and the sections of the U.S. Communist Party dedicated to agitation amongst Negroes (12) - Rockwell detected that America's Jews needed racial equality and the threat of black revolution to maintain political authority for Zionist purposes. Of more immediate relevance, Rockwell posited the existence of a "minority nexus" in America between Negroes and Jews, though he was uncertain where that would lead. In a speech in 1960 he claimed that American Negroes must eventually become anti-semitic, (13) and

11.George Lincoln Rockwell, This Time The World, 1975, pp. 135-45 (no city of publication cited).
12. G. L. Rockwell, Lynchburg Armory Speech, Chicago, NSPA Recording, 1975.
13. G. L. Rockwell, Judiciary Park Speech, Liverpool, British Movement Recording, 1975.

in Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1963, Rockwell strongly implied that blacks would reject the "Jewish control" over civil rights organisations. He went on to suggest that Negroes were "nice folks... but they aren't nice when those New York communist agitators get them." (14) Given this rather paternalistic attitude to Negroes, his ire focused mainly on Jewish leaders of the civil rights movement and black criminal elements. Through energetic promotion, Rockwell's anti-black propaganda began to bear fruit, a sure contrast with that of other white racist organisations. The Ku Klux Klan's views were summarised in a pamphlet The Negro: A Beast. Relying on certain biblical references, the authors portrayed Negroes as fallen beings, not of the white race, which descended from Adam in the Garden of Eden. The Negro was little more than an animal, a "hewer of wood and drawer of water". (15) The National States' Rights Party was little better. Leaflets like The Negro: An Ape, relied on brief distorted biological "facts" to prove a close affinity between Negroes and gorillas! (16) The Thunderbolt, paper of the NSRP, emphasised Negro crime, sexual mores, welfare parasitism and anti-white violence to justify its biological theories. (17) Rockwell, while he certainly invoked such

14. Rockwell, Lynchburg Armory Speech.
15. The Negro: ABeast, was widely circulated in the South, sometimes also by the NSRP. This pamphlet portrayed the white race as a sort of annointed race chosen by God.
16. The Negro: An Ape, was a continually issued NSRP leaflet. A cartoon compared the respective cranial indices of Negroes and apes.
17. This was possibly an attempt to animalise the Negro people. This theme dominated The Thunderbolt from early in the 1960's. The paper's style was worse than repetitive.

imagery, gave emphasis to the idea of a black revolution, a political seizure of power in America by a leftist-black alliance. In his book White Power, a chapter entitled "Nightmare " provided a fantasy-tale of this seizure of power. (18) The idea was novel. While the Klan/NSRP racists encapsulated certain common fears of Negroes held by whites - miscegenation, rape, violence - they could not raise the issue to a serious political level. Rockwell hammered his conclusion from these "facts"; the solution lay not in hate, crossburnings or petty violence but in "White revolution". (19) The Southerners had seen the need for mass action, but not for revolutionary action. Clearly, Rockwell was more original and had developed a strategy, which in the context of the violent 1960's, made him stand apart from his right-wing rivals. He had demonstrated an ability to criticise established racist notions and arrive at new formulations.

(b) Rockwell's Racism in the Context of American Nativism

Racist movements (Note: I do not use this term here with the 'moral' negatives attributed to the term by liberals) are at their most virulent when fused with nationalism and given a specific historical problem for solution. German Nazism was brought to power precisely by those conditions. The British National Front has addressed the problem of coloured immigration as a by-

18. G. L. Rockwell, White Power, pp. 327-357.
19. This idea of "White Revolution," which first appeared in 1963, was clearly of different import to the Klan's segregation propaganda. It was in tune with Rockwell's idea of "attack" rather than "defence" in his propaganda.

product of national collapse and imperial decline. British neo-fascism' s slogan "For Race And Nation" is meant to contrast with the society without values or purpose.

Rockwell's racial-patriotic ideology was similarly related to specific problems of American society. Further, it was not only directed at these problems, but it operated within the tradition of American nativism.

John Higham observed that nativism represented an "intense opposition to an internal minority on the ground of its foreign [that is un-American] connections." (21) Traditionally American nativism was aimed at immigrants as in the 1850's and in the 1880's and 1890's. Rockwell however addressed himself not only to immigration but, more importantly, to longstanding racial dilemmas inside the America of his time. In effect, Rockwell chose to approach problems which American nativism had failed to answer or 'solve' and using his skill as an agitator, to settle the issues in a violent fashion. As his targets Rockwell chose two minorities, Negroes and Jews, but modernised the traditional racist views about the minorities. If Negroes were un-American it was more because they were part of "a coloured world mutiny against the White Race", (22) than because they desired miscegenation or were biologically inferior. While Jews meanwhile had come to dominate American commerce, their Zionism was the issue since it involved

20. Martin Walker, The National Front, London, 1977, p. 38.
21. John Higham, Strangers in the Land 1860-1925; Patterns of American Nativism, New York, 1965, p. 4.
22. George Lincoln Rockwell, White Power, p. 423.

America - unnecessarily - in Middle East politics and a threat of world war. Rockwell's passion to "modernise" the Right, which came through strongly in his first major document, In Hoc Signo Vinces, extended to the central tenet of earlier American racist mobilisation: religion. While on numerous occasions Rockwell praised the Klan and similar movements, he refused to involve his organisation in matters of religion, or in ideologies which attributed religious connotations to the existence of the United States. In one radio interview in the early 1960's Rockwell said:

We have Protestants and Catholics, atheists and agnostics; religion is not a matter of discussion in the American Nazi Party. (23)

This built on the earlier pronouncement in In Hoc that:

our people can be Englishmen or Germans, Protestants or Catholics, Republicans or Democrats but first they must be white men. (24)

Rockwell's insistence on a secular racial-patriotic movement differentiated him sharply from his contemporary rivals, as much as from his forebears. Perhaps his disgust at the 1950's Right, with its heavy Christian undertones, led him to this position. Further, Rockwell's reading of Hitler may have influenced the decision. Hitler, a Catholic, had to overcome a Protestant wing of the Nazi-volkish movement led by General Ludendorf. He then proceeded to keep the NSDAP out of all religious issues. Additionally, Rockwell may have realised that religious fundamentalism had lost some of its ability to fire

23. Nazi Rockwell, passim.
24. George Lincoln Rockwell, In Hoc Signo Vinces, Arlington, 1972, p. 3.

political action, and since this passion was usually anti-Catholic, it could offend part of his clientele.

Rockwell styled himself as an agnostic. It was tactically a viable position, between the religious bigotries of the Klan and the atheism of many of his own supporters. He did make frequent use of the term "White Christian Americans" in his public speeches and literature, but then there were sound practical reasons for this. Firstly, it was a common phrase, in use by right-wing groups, and its usage by Rockwell's Nazi movement was probably designed to establish a certain identity of interest; it was proof that Rockwell's movement shared many aspects of ideology with other Extreme Right groups, thereby giving him access to their members. Secondly "White Christian American" interests could only conflict with Judaism; if the roots of American identity had some Christian elements, then Judaism could not be American. That was a common Right postulate.

If Rockwell's aversion to religion-based politics was with him from the beginning of his Nazi experiment (Note: see below), the same cannot be said for the White Power ideology he professed in 1966-67. Rockwell's racial underwent a clear develbpment towards a redefined nativism.

Rockwell's early Nazi Party showed a clear penchant for Nordic racism, the contention that the Nordic race was somehow the "cream" of European mankind and the foundation-stone of America. (25) This idea had clear roots in

25. George Lincoln Rockwell, Taped letter to the British National Party 1962, Liverpool, British Movement recording, 1975; Edward R. Cawthron, in a conversation with author, 1979, said: "Rockwell's murderer, John Patler had rejected this (he was of Greek origin)", and he otherwise managed to propose, and convert Rockwell to, the all-embracing 'White Power' perspective.

America. Rockwell had studied closely the writings of Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard, though he rejected their belief in the actual inferiority of the Alpine and Mediterranean types to the Nordic.The Nordic, nonetheless, remained an "ideal" and certainly members in the early period of Rockwell's movement, easily assumed that the ANP was a nordicist movement. (26)

In Chapter Two I have explained that the Nazi Party went through three stages, the last being the stage where a syncretic ideology emerged: an American neo-fascism. The first stage of Rockwell's racism was nordicism. It was closely linked to the first phase of Rockwell's party: the rabidly Hitlerian, internationalist apocalyptic phase, when the ANP tried to build its World Union of National Socialists, but had no following of any significance amongst ordinary Americans.

In 1961, during Rockwell's negotiations with the extremist section of the British National Party, common bonds of Nordic solidarity were stressed. In a taped letter sent to BNP members who followed Cohn Jordan, Rockwell spoke of common "Viking forebears," the blood link between the British and American peoples. (27) The Nordic racism espoused by the ANP attracted supporters of the Northern European Ring and other neo-nazi Internationals. Needless to say, none of this had any particular relation to the

26. George Lincoln Rockwell, This Time The World, pp 165-6. Other ANP material contained similar references.
27. George Lincoln Rockwell, Taped letter to the BNP.

domestic agitation engaged in by Rockwell.

But a close examination of major pieces of American Nazi Party literature, shows clearly that references to the Nordic race sharply decline from 1963-64. This correlates with the ANP's campaigns against the civil rights movement and Rockwell's developing skills as a platform agitator. The implication is that Rockwell's movement altered its racial ideology with the development of its propaganda technique.

Just as the ANP rejected nordicism in due course, it also rejected Anglo-Saxon racism. Indeed, there was never a trace of this variety of racism in Rockwell's ideology. Anglo-Saxon race theories had been important in the 19th century nativist movements and in the 1920's Ku Klux Klan. The Klan in the 1960's and beyond, made occasional references to America as an Anglo-Saxon nation. Christian fundamentalist racist groups argued that Anglo-Saxon blood was derived from a lost tribe of Israel, and America - inevitably - was the promised land. (28) Rockwell never concerned himself with these theories, or even bothered to repeat them. (Note: we now know Rockwell was more cynical, and cultivated from June 1964 a secret 'alliance' with the Christian Identity movement in order to mobilise these people for the purpose of racial-patriotic action.) In contradistinction to Nordic racism and Anglo-Saxon racism, Rockwell developed one early strand of his thinking: a pan-European racism, one of the basic tenets of 1950's and 1960's neo-fascism and a position of tactical relevance within the United States. This variety of racism,

28. These groups are called "Israel-Identity" churches and are epitomised by the Church of the Aryan Nations founded in the early 1960's. But this tradition on the Right goes back to similar 1930's groups.

which inspired much of the Italian, French, Spanish and German neo-fascists of the early 1960's, dismissed Nordic supremacy doctrines and asserted "the unity of western peoples." (29) Rockwell probably absorbed this view independently of continental neo-fascist influence, but the fact that nothing could be gained by proclaiming divisions between American whites of diverse ethnic origin, probably weighed heavily with him.

Rockwell's understanding of German Nazism, and especially of the New Order myth nurtured by German Nazi propaganda, was important here. In his Brown University Speech Rockwell noted the wide European support for Hitler's anti Bolshevik crusade. (30) The German Nazis' claim to be both anti-communist, anti-capitalist, and desirous of engendering a united Europe and a social revolution, must have been known to him. Rockwell may have observed that America's immigration patterns had created this united Europe in microcosm by biological and cultural amalgamation within the United States. He believed the American people to be a unique people capable of absorbing any European group into its mainstream. (31) In his 1966 debate with Stokeley Carmichael, Rockwell argued that his anti-black views had nothing to do with Americans periodically rejecting

29. Manifesto of the Political Movement for a New Order, Rome, 1970; Francois Duprat, Les Mouvements Nationaux et Nationalistes en Allemagne, Le Trait, 1977, passim.
30. George Lincoln Rockwell, Brown University Speech, Arlington, ANP recording, 1966.
31. Rockwell Versus Stokeley Carmichael, Chicago, NSPA recording, 1977.

different peoples until such time as they Americanised. He added that Irish and Poles "suffered prejudice" but became Americans because they "fit" in America's modern urban civilisation," because they are racially "similar" to other Americans. (32) This fundamental notion remained in the American Nazi movement. In his America: A Racial Mission, Matt Koehl maintained that the U.S. had begun as Europe's great frontier and that America was the result of collective European effort. (33) This contention, first put forward by Rockwell, approximated one section of the historical nativist movement which considered Americans an assimilating nationality. For Rockwell, America was designed by its Founding Fathers as a "white man's republic," a view not unlike that of the Know Nothings of the 1850's.

(c) Rockwel1's Nativism: Chicago, 1966

The most fertile ground for Rockwell's movement was those Northern cities which, during the mid 1960's, were convulsed by race riots. The orientation of the Nazi movement towards this situation modified the party's ideology from nordicism towards a redefined nativist nationalism, giving it a clear market for its revolutionary views. Rockwell's style of agitation and his reputation as the most extreme of the white racist leaders stood him in good stead in these riot-torn urban centres. Certainly his media-

32. ibid.
33. Matt Koehl, America: A Racial Mission, Arlington, 1972, passim.

orientated style was more adapted to the North than the South; however race-relations in the North in the 1960's had the explosive quality lacking in the South, and this played into his hands.

Rockwell's successes with racist agitation dated from 1963 when he addressed large crowds in Virginia on the theme of the Civil Rights Act. In 1965 he appeared in different locales and managed to incite hundreds of young whites to violence. Under these conditions, Rockwell's propaganda relied upon a simple black-white formula: a black revolution was threatening White America. Only a violent riposte could defeat this revolution.

The propagandistic flair possessed by Rockwell revealed itself again during his 1965 campaign for the governorship of Virginia. His election manifesto began with a biblical reference, an unusual line of approach for a self-confessed agnostic. The document continued:

I am a candidate for the Governor of Virginia because I am fed up with the way the regular politicians are selling us out to the Federal Government and evil agitators like Martin Luther King. I am for segregation, States Rights and Constitutional government. (34)

This summed to the old Southern racial ideology, and in pragmatic fashion, Rockwell mixed old slogans with his new phraseology. Virginia of course was a borderline state

34. Save Segregation and Virginia., Break The Demo-Republican Bad Habit, ANP election leaflet, Arlington, 1965.

between North and South, a fact which makes Rockwell's pragmatism sharper and perhaps more significant. It raises the questions of whether he would have presented himself very differently in the South (where he seldom spoke) than in the North, given conditions of racial disorder and how far aspects of his ideology were adopted for sound tactical reasons. His behaviour in Chicago in 1966 strongly suggests that Rockwell allowed circumstances to mould activities and slogans, the classic attribute of fascist pragmatism.

The year 1966 was a tense one for Chicago. The early months had seen racial disturbances at high schools and various black power rallies and marches. Martin Luther King appeared in the city in July for a black march against de facto segregation in Chicago's south west side. Stokely Carmichael and H. Rap Brown had addressed fiery rallies against "the white power structure." Whites, particularly those of Marquette Park and Cicero, heavily populated with people of Polish,Lithuanian and Russian origin, spontaneously opposed these activities with active violence. While such groups had 'minority' interests, they expressed violent opposition to integration.

Rockwell's ideology and propaganda were ideally suited to this situation. He had already postulated a "global race war" between the haves and the have-nots, the Europeans and the rest. The corollary to this proposition was a "coming race war" within the United States, a notion first penned in 1963, as Rockwell moved into the second stage of development of his movement. Just as "white world solidarity" was necessary to offset the "global coloured revolution" so "a white revolution" in America would keep the country in majority hands. (35) In his first book This Time The World, Rockwell fundamentally revised Hitler's ideas by proclaiming "the white men of Russia" to be part of his system. (36) The corollary was that Rockwell had no interest in exploiting anti-Slav prejudices against East Europeans within the United States, as would soon be demonstrated.

Between July and September 1966, Rockwell applied excellent organisational technique to his Chicago operations. His local organiser, "Mad" Chris Vindjevich, was of Croatian extraction, and Vindjevich's parents, who backed the ANP, were active in emigre fascist politics. The Reverend Ralph Forbes confirmed to me that Vindjevich's supporters included a fair number of East Europeans. (37) To this point Vindjevich's main issue had been anti-communism, with militant actions directed against peace-marchers and New-Left protestors, actions which could scarcely have alienated the bitterly anti communist East Europeans. The anti-semitism of Rockwell's followers was not likely to alienate this support either. Therefore, Rockwell's movement was received in mid 1966, in a not unfriendly manner, though the onus remained on him to actually engender active sympathy.

An ANP rally set in Marquette Park in July 1966

35 George Lincoln Rockwell, White Power, pp. 259-357, passim.
36. George Lincoln Rockwell, This Time, pp. 435-436.
37. Rev. Ralph Forbes, letter to author, 16 June, 1981.

attracted some 2000 people, and after it an active campaign of bill-pasting was undertaken to announce that "Rockwell is Coming," and to publicise the new slogan - "White Power." In succeeding weeks, white youths assaulted blacks in the surrounding area, and some schools were closed. In early August, Martin Luther King announced that his march, originally planned for July, would proceed in Cicero. A second large ANP rally, overseen by John Patler, and held on August 15th, proclaimed that Rockwell would speak the following week. Forbes claimed that Rockwell's Chicago headquarters was "deluged" with enquiries for membership and by people offering financial contributions. (39)

Rockwell's rally, on August 22nd, drew a crowd of over 3000, composed mainly of neighbourhood people, local ANP members and some interstate supporters. Rockwell spoke from atop a flat-roofed truck, festooned with American flags. He argued that all "racists" had previously sold out in one way or another to black power, and that only he was incorrupt'ble, if merely by virtue of his extremism. He was a "radical" just as the Founding Fathers of America were radicals. Only revolutionary action could reverse the Federal push for "race mixing." The ANP had used the swastika emblem to scare the advocates of Black Power and their liberal supporters, but what was needed was White Revolution. (40)

38. George Lincoln Rockwell, "The Battle of Chicago," Rockwell Report, September - October 1966.
39. Ralph Forbes, op cit.
40. George Lincoln Rockwell, "The Battle of Chicago," passim.

The march which followed saw some 2000 whites fall in behind Rockwell for a parade through black neighbourhoods. Shortly after the march began, Rockwell was arrested for inciting riot, but released on bail, he addressed an evening meeting of "several hundred hard core supporters" and urged "a racially based program of action." He declared that "all whites must think white to beat the black revolution," and prophesised that his "White Power program" would be the catalyst for white reaction to black rioting in the future. (41)

As Rockwell strongly affirmed in his subsequent writings and radio interviews, he had now reached the highest point in his activity since the beginning of the Nazi movement. Phase One of his long term strategy had been accomplished.

Rockwell's goals are revealed only when his language and concepts are closely examined. Like many other racists he placed his movement within a certain American tradition: the effort to restore America to majority control and a particular historical-biological destiny. "And when I have done," Rockwell once shouted "there'll be no more of this minority control of America." (42) The White Power programme, which will be explained below, was his weapon in that regard. On a radio programme in

41. ibid, pp. 21-22.
42. George Lincoln Rockwell, Judiciary Park Speech.

early 1967 Rockwell predicted that the "black revolution" would polarise American society and produce a whole new category of voter: the racist . He added that white America was drifting "to the piece of ground I staked out" - the radical programme. (43) White counter-violence and the election to government of racists like Lester Maddox "who don't have my label," but whose policies were similar, were the proofs of this, and public support for a Wallace presidential campaign showed the vast voter sympathy for a racially-focused campaign. (44)

Nonetheless, Rockwell believed that only his programme and his movement offered anything, in the long term, to the white racist upsurge. That programme was expressed in the mass journalism he produced in 1966-67. It was not a single document. The book White Power, a manifesto of sorts, contained much of it; rehashings of the ANP programme of 1960, a little more; Rockwell's propagandistic outpourings, leaflets, articles and speeches, the remainder.

Rockwell advocated continuous mass mobilisations of whites in troubled areas, mass white pressure on police departments to protect white neighbourhoods, and grass roots voter-support for segregationist candidates. He urged that whites should arm themselves for "race war' and later for revolution. He warned that liberal civil rights activism

43. George Lincoln Rockwell, unspecified radio interview, Nazi Rockwell.
44. ibid.

must give way to "black radicalism." To Stokely Carmichael he said: "you're a black racist but won't admit it." (45) Consequently the White Power mobilisations had to proclaim their commitment to racial-patriotism. Rockwell's racist activities of 1966 showed his movement in transition. While swastikas were used as "the symbol of white power," Nazi uniforms at demonstrations became less conspicuous, and references to Nazi Germany declined in the publications of the party. Nazi theorising was shunted off to a new magazine National Socialist World. But there was also much more to Rockwell's White Power ideology than racial-patriotism. In Rockwell Report he wrote:

Hundreds and hundreds of White people in Chicago turned out to burn nigger cars, to stone nigger marches, and even to face bayonet stabs to stop the nigger invasion. Almost all of the whites... were Catholics... The people who were out there in the streets were not conservatives. They were not Birchers nor any other kind of politically minded citizens. They were in fact, the exact opposite. They were the very guts of the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the Square Deal, the New Frontier, the Great Society... the fighting troops of the New Deal... (46)

He continued:

... the new element in the fight to save America... was the emergence of raging violent white mobs made up not of rightists or conservatives, but political liberals - trade unionists, immigrants, poor folks, Catholics... (47)

45. George Lincoln Rockwell, Rockwell versus Stokely Carmichael.
46. George Lincoln Rockwell, "White Masses Ready for Action," Rockwell Report, November 1966, pp. 2-3.
47. ibid, p. 4.

Whatever else can be said of Rockwell, he was in this case attempting a serious analysis of an emergent factor in 1960's race relations. The new supporters of political racism were expressing "what I have been saying all along." He realised that, to maintain this support, he required a social programme which could also unite these broad social strata.

In his book White Power Rockwell suggested that his "mob" was the counter balance to the black and communist mobs, and that he was in favour of "socialism," the means to maintain this white unity." (48) These claims and ideas will be discussed further in Chapter Five. Suffice it to say here that Rockwell was at least arguing for a popularly based racial-patriotism, an American fascism.

As far as Rockwell was concerned he had indeed arrived at a significant stage in his political fortunes. He was convinced that he possessed a programme capable of inspiring a mass movement. Unlike any other racist movement, Rockwell's had achieved a following which included Catholics, immigrants, Slavs and working class Americans. The common denominator for all these groups was their "white racial identity" granted that a black revolution was on the horizon. Given his base of support in Chicago, various ideological changes and expansion for his party, Rockwell had managed to place himself somewhat on a par with the black-nationalist militants who had abandoned the conservative tactics of their

48 George Lincoln Rockwell, White Power, pp. 455-60.

own black community. Just as the advocates of black power found a certain black soul, so Rockwell urged that a racial identity be forged in his own people. This peculiar variety of nationalism could be defined as a new nativism. Mobilised under the white power slogans, it was a potentially effective synthesis: a domestic neo-fascism.

(d) The NSWPP in Boston: A Comparison With Rockwell

Officially at least, the White Power ideology delineated by Rockwell was upheld by Matt Koehl. In Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Louisville, the NSWPP managed to provoke racial rioting in the years 1967-69. (49) However racial rioting generally subsided, the Wallace campaign slumped and the NSWPP's intention to build a professional party seemed to have a rationale in the idea that it was not a propitious moment to engage in mass action. In a peaceful atmosphere, radical mass action was not possible. As noted in chapter three, the popular American fascism of Rockwell was replaced by a sectarian National Socialism while the mass base also built up by Rockwell, melted away. Some Nazis may have recognised this loss of support. Frank Collin's rupture with the NSWPP and his nostalgia for the days of mass action may have indicated this. Ideologues and fanatics, who conceived Rockwell's successes as due to his Nazi veneer and not to his personality and changing ideology, were determined to repeat Rockwell's propaganda triumphs.

49. Stormtrooper, Autumn 1967, pp. 24, 28, reported on some of these incidents.

However they merely replaced the "roaring white mobs" of Rockwell's party with the party-building rhetoric of NSWPP publications.

In late 1974, the NSWPP and other Nazi groups were faced with a major political test: the Boston busing crisis. In this episode the sharp contrast between the political effectiveness of Rockwell and the irrelevancy of his successors could not have been more aptly illustrated.

The Boston busing troubles had been simmering for some time, though what finally triggered the white students' class-boycotts could not be properly ascertained. This action was probably spontaneous. In September, the local chapter of the NSWPP began leaflet distributions to high school students, (50) and the Nazi paper White Power devoted much of its October 1974 issue to a discussion of Boston and its implications. The Nazis argued that it was a "test" for white racism. White Power strongly suggested that the Nazis were necessary to ignite "the bright flame of open resistance. (51) In a special members' leaflet, the Nazis reproduced cuttings from Boston papers to illustrate the extent of Nazi activity in the city. The leaflet reported that several rallies had been held. (52)

The Nazis' activity quickly attracted the attention of the Extreme Left, who were determined that racism, be it implicit or organised, be opposed resolutely.

50. NS Bulletin, No. 164, October 6, 1974.
51. "A Bad Trip in Boston Too," White Power, No. 56, October 1974, p. 4.
52. NSWPP members' leaflet, November 1974.

The Socialist Workers' Party, the Spartacist League, the Progressive Labor Party, the Revolutionary Communist Party, the Maoist October League and the old CPUSA were all very active during the Boston disorders. Basically the left was anxious to build Negro demonstrations against the Extreme Right and to pressure Boston school authorities to implement the Supreme Court decisions on busing. In this they enjoyed considerable success. (53) Their equalitarian message was enthusiastically received by many Negroes who came to view even the NAACP as too conservative in its approach. This was a situation Rockwell did not face in 1966. He had confronted both Martin Luther King, whose moral authority was immense, and unorganised black nationalists, rather than a violent and assertive Maxxist movement.

Certainly the massive media coverage given the NSWPP increased the size of the local chapter, and Koehl used media-orientated tactics to achieve this result.

Firstly he delivered a "letter of contempt" to the Federal Justice who ordered school busing in Boston. A rally was held in Boston's city centre with forty interstate NSWPP members in attendance. (54) In January 1975 Nazis picketed at a mass pro-busing demonstration, but were chased off by participants. Just as Rockwell had acquired an ethnic base for his Chicago agitation, so the NSWPP established its offices

53. Militant, Feb. 21, 1975, and Militant, Sept. 5, 1975. A full coverage of Left busing action was given in these journals.
54. NSWPP members' leaflet, 1974. The leaflet reproduced newscuttings indicating details of the rally.

in the largely Irish and Polish, and therefore heavily Catholic, areas of South Boston. (55) The Nazis' acknowledged plan was to acquire a local base of support.

Unfortunately for the Nazis, there were competitors for the allegience of the volatile white youth of South Boston. David Duke's Knights of the Ku Klux Klan had made an impressive appearance. Duke held several large rallies in South Boston and succeeded in provoking several racist incidents. Duke managed also to found a number of high school cells and an active unit. (56) The Nazi publication White Power Report, credited Duke with being the most effective racist agitator in Boston during this period, and deprecated the NSWPP's "foreign and German" complexion. White Power Report continued that the Ku Klux Klan's various rites and mysteries were exciting enough for the racist youth without indulging in the Hitler cult. (57) The Klan's more "American" complexion was cited as the reason for its comparative success. White Power Report noted that the Klan's rallies were far better attended than Nazi meetings. These facts tended to illustrate a change of status between the NSWPP and other Extreme Right movements.

Nonetheless, the NSWPP declared that its activities in South Boston were successful. In one area they, and the other extreme racists such as the Klan and the NSRP, did manage to "expose" the various anti busing committees as

55. White Power Report, Vol. 10, No. 10, July 1977, p. 40.
56. Knights of Ku Klux Klan financial appeal leaflet, November 1974.
57. White Power Report, op. cit., pp. 40-42.

unstable and prone to compromise. This was important for any radical group working to establish an alternative leadership for "white resistance" in Boston. For example, ROAR (Restore Our Alienated Rights), the major anti-busing group, rejected the racist label and fought the extremists for leadership of the white upsurge. (58) They condemned the NSWPP as an outsider organisation. (59) The NSWPP had challenged anti-busing groups before. In 1973, White Power carried a piece: "Kosher Conservatives Fizzle In Anti Busing Fight," which argued that only a formally racist party could rescue whites from the "horrors" of forced busing. (60) Boston was a major test in convincing whites of this proposition.

In his"Happiness is a Warm Gun: A Theoretical And Empirical Perspective On White Militancy In Boston," Daniel Freidman noted that anti-busing groups waged their campaign around issues such as environmental questions, road safety, disruption of educational services, all but racial ideas. (61) Of course many supporters of ROAR were racial-patriots, but they failed to become radical. Only with youthful elements did the NSWPP and the Klan achieve any successes in the ideological war. Generally ROAR managed to defuse the potential for organised white violence,

58. Daniel Freidman, "Happiness is a Warm Gun: A Theoretical and Empirical Perspective On White Militancy In Boston", University of North Carolina, Ph.D., 1975, pp. 101-10.
59. ibid.
60. White Power, No. 37, March 1973, p. 1.
61. Daniel Freidman, "Happiness is a Warm Gun," passim.

though there was a considerable number of independent actions - bombings, shootings and assaults.

The "conservatives" of ROAR were well aware of the Federal pressure being applied to the Boston school system. The Ford Administration was at great pains to prove its liberal credentials and issued several statements in favour of busing in Boston. It also sent federal marshalls to the city. The Socialist Workers' Party demanded federal troops to enforce busing. (62) Extreme Maoists and Trotskyists established squads of black marshalls to protect black school children. Faced with all this, ROAR kept its propaganda somewhat moderate to curry favour with the courts and the press. By mid 1975 busing was in full swing and the crisis had passed away.

To compare the NSWPP's work in Boston, with Rockwell in Chicago, is to find considerable differences. Rockwell developed a mass base in affected areas; Koehl found only marginal support. Rockwell was able to agitate; the NSWPP in 1974 failed in this task. Rockwell had a unifying slogan, "White Power"; the NSWPP presented a sectarian image. Other Nazis charged that Koehl was only interested in gathering publicity, not in provoking a potentially violent situation. (63) Rockwell defined a new syncretic ideology; the Boston events taught the NSWPP nothing. Rockwell's radicalism in 1966 outdid the other

62. "Not Federal Troops, But Labor Black Defense," The Fight to Implement Busing, New York, 1975, pp. 11-24.
63. White Power Report, op. cit., p. 41.

racist formations; the NSWPP "radicals" were eclipsed by other racist organisations. These comparisons lead to one conclusion: by the 'Seventies the U.S. Nazi movement had ossified. It had replaced Rockwell's American fascism with an irrelevant ideology.

(e) American Nazi Racism in Global Perspective

American Nazi racism, both in the Rockwell and post-Rockwell periods has been concerned with far more than the internal race problems of the United States. For the American Extreme Right of the 1950's and 1960's, this was a new development. Rockwell presented his movement as part of a world movement, and in his book, White Power, predicted a "global race war. (64) At Brown University in 1966 he said that "Red China is attempting to bring the whole coloured world against the white world." (65) The reason behind such a prophesised war lay in the overpopulation pressures of the non-white world. For international neo-fascism, it was also a new development.

Rockwell had most likely absorbed part of the American nativist tradition to arrive at this perspective: in particular the works of Stoddard and Grant, works often quoted and offered for sale by Rockwell's party. Stoddard and Grant had both argued that an internationally organised colonial revolution was in progress, and that America's role

64. George Lincoln Rockwell, White Power, pp. 419-436, passim.
65. George Lincoln Rockwell, Brown University Speech, Arlington, ANP recording, 1966.

in defeating this revolution was critical. Rockwell's view was the same.

From the mid 1970's, U.S. Nazis revived this notion, in the face of a new wave of immigration. It was said in an NSWPP leaflet: "Mexico is reconquering parts of America, not by war, but by unarmed invasion, by illegal immigration (66) The NSPA wrote in 1975 "America must close her borders. There is no room in America for masses of Mexicans who compete for jobs and services". (67) These statements were part of a switch away from mere anti-black and anti-Jewish racism; potentially, immigration permitted new agitation on an issue of immediate public concern. This "new immigration" was linked by the Nazis to economic, political and overpopulation crises in the Third World, with a mode of expression similar to that of the British National Front and the French Party of New Forces.

But unfortunately for the Nazis, it has been the Knights of the KKK and the NSRP which have been more successful at garnering publicity and membership on the immigration theme.

(f) Some American Nazi Perspectives of Race

A German Nazi pamphlet pushed by the NSWPP in the 1970's placed race at the centre of the National Socialist world view. Walter Gross' To Aryan Youth argued that the dynamics of race were the pivot upon which culture and society were founded. (68) Certainly German Nazism revealed a pre-

66. Seal the Borders, NSWPP leaflet, Arlington, 1976.
67. ibid.
68. Walter Gross, To Aryan Youth, Arlington, no date of publication, passim.

occupation with race, something confirmed not only by Auschwitz but by the Nuremburg Laws and the SS sponsored cult of the blood. As continually noted, the division between Rockwell's party and the post-Rockwell Nazis manifested itself in all areas - including race. While Rockwell revealed peculiarly American attitudes towards issues of race, post-Rockwell Nazis found solace in 1930's German pronouncements.

Rockwell's attitude to the Negroes reflected a certain paternalism. In This Time The World, he wrote:

And let no one say that I desire to hurt or injure or oppress such people. How my heart went out to them and still does. They are a biologically immature race and I will fight to the death to save our people from mixing with them... So are my children my inferiors... But I certainly love them... I love the Negro people... ( 69)

At North Western University in 1966, Rockwell added that the Negroes did not "fit in modern urban civilisation." He also subscribed to notions of Negro "laziness" and sexual immorality, believing, as illustrated from one cartoon poster, that Negroes engaged in a disproportionate number of violent sexual assaults. (70) However, in his propaganda, there was little of the "scientific proof" of black inferiority so much beloved by the Citizens' Councils Movement or the NSRP. Rockwell based his anti-black campaign on commonplace

69. George Lincoln Rockwell, This Time, p. 111.
70. The poster read: "Every fifteen seconds a woman is raped in America." A negro was standing near a distressed white female victim.

prejudice and a political interpretation of black rioting and the civil rights movement.

Rockwell discovered an element of virtue in the black power movement of the 'Sixties. Speaking to a Washington coffee-house audience in 1965, he expressed admiration for Malcolm X "a leader of the black men" and black "self-awareness. (71) Such movements expressed the fundamental "dividing line between black and white society." Rockwell was convinced that Negroes did not want to be part of American society, and in Marcus Garvey, l920's leader of a back-to-Africa movement, he believed he had found the real voice of Black America. America's Negroes needed "a fair deal" not integration, which white liberals made sure "stopped at their daughter's bedroom door." (72)

Not surprisingly, the Black Panthers and other Black Power activists were "his" Negroes. From early in his career Rockwell had left an avenue open for co-operation with black activists, and in 1960 he predicted an upsurge of black anti-semitism - a trend which did develop - and saw this as a possible point of convergence. The extreme view of deporting blacks to Africa was a product of the early Rockwell. By 1966 at a time of his success, Rockwell spoke in a Texas college address of possible "geographical separation within the United States." (73) As an aspect of his

71. George Lincoln Rockwell "Talk to Washington Coffee House Audience," Nazi Rockwell.
72. George Lincoln Rockwell, Brown University Speech.
73. George Lincoln Rockwell, Texas College Address, Arlington, ANP recording, 1966.

emerging White Power ideology it opened a possibility of realising Black Power, and was not necessarily unlike some ideas touted by Stokely Carmichael.

Negroes were not part of Rockwell's America. He rejected the guilt complex associated with black slavery. Admitting that "we brought them here in chains - which was disgraceful," he nevertheless felt no need for whites to bemoan crimes committed long ago against coloured races. (74) Rockwell located too many proofs of the white man's real achievements in ''Greece," ''Rome" - and of course "America", and noted that the racial attributes of the white race had value in a world where "liberalism" had become the dominant force. Yet he enunciated no blood cults or racial mythologies, a clear point of divergence from Nazi Germany's ideology. His racism was a simple white-verses-Negro view, sharpened by anti-semitism.

Post-Rockwell Nazis tried to render Rockwell more profound. From the early 1970's the NSWPP, for example, attempted to give American whites a clear "racial identity." The ideas of Alfred Rosenberg, German Nazi race theorist, were pushed; his books were placed on sale. Works on "pre history" and Germanic tribal history were "essential reading" for NSWPP members. This policy developed to counter the black history courses offered in American educational institutions: the NSWPP for its part proclaimed a White Pride Day, soon to be endorsed by the NSPA. The date chosen,

74. George Lincoln Rockwell, uncited radio interview, Nazi Rockwell.

November 9th, was typical of the irrelevant thinking of the Nazis; November 9th had been the day on which Hitler attempted his Putsch in Munich in 1923. This type of White Pride was divorced from the American landscape and evoked no response.

Race was the raison d'etre of the Nazi movement both in the Rockwell and post-Rockwell phases of its activity. As one NSWPP leaflet put it in 1974:

We are not concerned primarily with economics or government or social affairs. We are concerned firstly with race. (75)

The society which both Rockwell and his successors wished to impose on America was one based on racial criteria; they agreed also in applying the laws of heredity to society But the kinds of racism which the two movements had in mind were significantly different.

Several conclusions can be drawn in summary of this chapter. Firstly, Rockwell attempted to place his movement within an American racist tradition and address himself to questions arising from the American historical experience. He worked on the assumption that there was an American identity (which he defined racially as an amalgam of European stocks stamped with a peculiar psychology). The Civil War invalidated any concept of Southern Identity, and while Rockwell certainly recognised (as evidenced by his

75. NSWPP members' leaflet, 1974.

propaganda) regional peculiarities, he insisted on a nativist outlook. Further, Rockwell obviously took the nativist mythology of the Founding Fathers, Revolution, Constitution and Flag very seriously. His speeches abounded in references to such images and to Lincoln and Washington. Rockwell believed also in the idea of an American mission, which he also defined racially. Perhaps he subscribed to the idea of a Manifest Destiny for his country. He nonetheless urged modernity in the new American nativist racism and rejected nordicism and Christian fundamentalism. His activities in Chicago were cited to illustrate his American neo-fascism in microcosm.

Rockwell's successors lost touch with the American landscape in their search for doctrinal purity. They grafted onto the movement alien Nazi theories. Their failure to exploit the Boston busing crisis, contrasting with Rockwell's earlier impact in Chicago, showed that American Nazism had lost any relevance and impetus it may have possessed.

Return to start page:

American Nazism In The Context Of The American Extreme Right 1960 - 1978