The German American Bund was the leading organization for German sympathizers and Nazi imitators in the United States. In the 1930s, it was ultimately considered one of the major security threats to the nation. Its leadership was so extreme and corrupt that the Nazi leadership in Germany disavowed the organization. The Bund’s membership was drawn from Germans who immigrated to the United States following WWI, and planned to return when its economy improved. They had no loyalty to the United States. Estimates were that the Bund had 20,000 followers and five times that number of sympathizers.
Fritz Julius Kuhn became the group’s leader. He created a mixture of pro-Americanism with loyalty to Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. He called for a “free America,” which advocated the “danger” of” Jewish influence.” He was unapologetically antisemitic. He also initiated a youth movement and summer camps that served around 7,000 American children who were committed to Nazism in the United States.
The German American Bund was the most prominent organization of pro-Hitler Americans before the outbreak of World War II. The majority of German Americans did not sympathize with the Bund, but its national presence was a reminder of the deep sympathizes Nazi ideology held during the 1930s in the United States.
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