Imagine a United States where swastikas hang proudly in meeting rooms across the country. Cries of Sieg Heil! resound at rural family retreats. A dictator pontificates at Madison Square Garden to an overflowing crowd for a Nuremberg-style rally.
This is not alternative historical fiction; this is the true story of the German-American Bund. In the late 1930s, the Bund, led by Fritz Kuhn, was a small but powerful national movement, determined to conquer the U.S. government with a fascist dictatorship. However, the Bundist dream of a swastika nation attracted powerful foes. Many larger-than-life figuresóincluding New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia; the newly formed Congressional House Committee on Un-American Activities; newspaper columnist Walter Winchell; and Jewish mobsters Meyer Lansky and Mickey Cohenóbrought Kuhn and the German-American Bund to an inglorious end.
Arnie Bernstein's Swastika Nation is a story of bad guys, good guys, and a few guys in between. The rise and fall of Fritz Kuhn and his German-American Bund is a sometimes funny, sometimes harrowing, always compelling story from start to finish, a vibrant narrative of a forgotten corner of American history.