What Not to Get the Kids for Christmas

by: the Common Constitutionalist:

As Christmas draws near, I thought I might depart, if only for a day, from the political arena where I usually reside, and present something a little less controversial.

Did I say less controversial? Well, you be the judge.

A rare toy figure of Adolf Hitler made for German children  was revealed last year by the son of a World War II soldier for the first time.

The figure of the fascist dictator was part of a collection of toys U.S Private Jerome Beaulier bought at a toy shop in Germany at the end of the war in exchange for cigarettes and chocolate bars.

He mailed them back to his five-year-old son  Jerry, who received them in 1945 and has kept them ever since.

 The four-inch tall Hitler figure is seated in  the front passenger seat of a German army jeep alongside three soldiers.

Nothing Says Merry Christmas like a Tiny Hitler!

Other toys included in the set are an anti-aircraft gun, several field guns, another truck with a huge search light attached and a First World War German biplane. read more

Warsaw Uprising

Black and white silent footage taken during  the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis have been turned into a mesmerising  feature movie with sound and color.

The film is a riveting account of the  fierce  house-to-house fighting against the German army that began on  August 1 and  ended 63 days later with the insurgents surrendering,  following the deaths of  some 200,000 rebels and residents.

Titled Warsaw Rising, the film shows the  crews that the Polish resistance Home Army sent fanning through the city to  chronicle the uprising.

Captivating footage: Black and white footage taken during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis have been turned into a mesmerising feature film with sound and colour
Captivating footage: Black and white footage taken  during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis have been turned into a  mesmerizing feature film with sound and color

 

Nazi Nice Guy

The ‘kindly’ Auschwitz commander who sent youngsters to gas chambers then

went home to play hide and seek with his children

'Kindly': Rudolf Hoess, commandant of the Auschwitz Concentration camp, wears (pictured here at his war crimes trial) was kind to animals to and to his children according to a new book
Rudolf Hoess, commandant of Auschwitz Concentration camp, (pictured here at his war crimes trial) was kind to animals and to his children according to a new book

By day he ordered the deaths of thousands of people – but at home he was a loving father and husband who enjoyed playing games with his children.

These are the two faces of Rudolf Hoess, the ruthless commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland during World War II as remembered by the Polish maid who once worked in his family’s house.

Her memories of life in the Hoess home are revealed in a new book which has given a chilling insight into the family lives of Nazi officers at the infamous prison camp whose day jobs involved mass murder.

‘The Private Life of the SS in Auschwitz’ by historian Piotr Setkiewicz attempts to give a human face to inhumane people in those hours when they were off duty in one of the world’s most horrific places.

The testimony about the killers is unique because it comes from the Polish maids assigned to keep their houses and witnessed at first hand their interaction with their families on a day to day basis.

Hoess, who was hanged after the war at Auschwitz by the Polish authorities for overseeing the extermination of at least 1.2 million people and the enslavement of at least that number, was obsessively kind to animals and his five children.

He would have no moral qualms about ordering the gassing of child inmates of his camp, but in his garden he would play hide-and-seek with his five children and recited poetry to them.

Shocking: The book contains the memories of Polish maids who once served the SS officers. Here Hoess (second left) socialises with (l) Dr Josef Mengele and (right) Josef Kramer (Commandant of Birkenau concentration camp)

The book contains the memories of Polish maids who once served the SS officers at Auschwitz. Here Hoess (center) socializes with (left) Dr Josef Mengele and (right) Josef Kramer (Commandant of Birkenau concentration camp)

Relaxing: Enjoying a cigarette, Hoess does not display a hint of guilt or concern, despite regularly sending thousands to their death
 Enjoying a cigarette, Hoess does not display a hint of guilt or concern, despite regularly sending thousands to their death

 

Maid Janina Szczurek, 32, said; ‘He tucked his children into bed every night and he kissed his wife each morning. He wrote poems about the ‘beauty of Auschwitz.’

‘On one occasion, the children came to me and asked me to sew bands with signs for them, just like the ones worn by the prisoners. I was not aware of what the consequences would be from this.

‘Klaus put a ‘capo [trusty]’ band on his sleeve, and the other children had the colored triangle sewn to their clothing.

‘The happy children, running around the garden, met their father, who noticed the signs and took them into the house. I don’t know what happened but he was not pleased.’

Included among the stories are those of Hoess’s deputy Karl Fritsch and Gerhard Palitzsch who personally killed hundreds of prisoners at the Wall of Death – the execution site where inmates were murdered.

The main gate of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz I, Poland, which was liberated by the Russians, January 1945. Writing over the gate reads:

The main gate of Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland, which was liberated by the Russians, in January 1945. The sign over the gate reads: ‘Arbeit macht frei’ (Work Sets You Free)

 

Revelations: Gerhard Palitzsch (right) carried out executions of prisoners by shooting them against a wall in Auschwitz. A book chronicling the private lives of men who worked in the camp has revealed that his wife had numerous affairs
Gerhard Palitzsch (right) carried out executions of prisoners by shooting them against a wall in Auschwitz. The book reveals that his wife had numerous affairs
Domestic: The wife and children of Auschwitz SS-Unterschafuhrer (junior leader) Ernst Scholz. The new book gives an insight into the family lives of those whose day jobs was to assist in mass murder
 The wife and children of Auschwitz SS-Unterschafuhrer (junior leader) Ernst Scholz. The new book gives an insight into the family lives of those whose day jobs was to assist in mass murder

Palitzsch illustrates perfectly the duality of the lives of the SS at Auschwitz.

At the wall of death he beat prisoners and tormented them before they were killed – while off duty, he was obsessed with being a ‘good father’ to his children and made them tea and bread.

A portrait of him was supplied by Helena Klysowa, his 19-year-old Polish maid, who testifed to authorities after the war that the Palitzch family ‘lived quietly and they loved each other. They didn’t receive guests, they didn’t organize drinking parties.

‘I arrived each day at 8.00 am. I looked after the children. I would go on walks with the girl. When Palitzsch was at home, I could not speak to the prisoners who worked in the house or garden.

‘The prisoners themselves warned me against this. They were afraid that he would write down their number and they would die in the camp.

Evil: Dr Horst Fischer (right) with his wife. He was one of the SS doctors responsible for deciding which Jews would live or die when they arrived at Birkenau. After the war he was tried and executed
 Dr Horst Fischer (right) with his wife. He was one of the SS doctors responsible for deciding which Jews would live or die when they arrived at Birkenau. After the war he was tried and executed

 

Revealing: The book casts new light on the ordinary lives of SS officers who worked at the camp, including their relationships with their wives and children
 The book casts new light on the ordinary lives of SS officers who worked at Auschwitz, including their relationships with their wives and children

 

Perspective: Books author said he wanted to examine the lives of the prison camp staff in an 'unemotional way.' Here, an SS officer plays with his pet dog
 The book’s author said he wanted to examine the lives of the prison camp staff in an ‘unemotional way.’ Here, an SS officer plays with his pet dog

‘I spoke to them anyway and found that the terror of the camp was Palitzsch. I could not believe it. At home, he was a wonderful man, so kind and loving to his children who he gave tea and bread to. He loved his children madly.’

Palitzsch died in 1944 after being transferred to the Russian front.

SS officer Wolfgang Guessgen, who took turns at ‘the ramp’ selecting those Jews who were to be gassed upon arrival and those who were to be allowed to live as slave laborers, was a cuckolded man whose wife cheated on him at every turn according to the book. He rewarded her with beatings.

Danuta Rzempiel, who was 16 when she worked at his home on the camp periphery, said; ‘Mrs. Guessgen was not a faithful wife.

‘When he went away somewhere,various SS men would appear at the house, or a trusty prisoner from the locksmith shop who won her favor.

‘She was not embarrassed by my presence at all and would lead her guests straight to her bedroom.

‘It would happen that Guessgen, upon returning home, would find one of these guests. Then he would order me to go do the laundry or to the basement, and when I returned, the guest would not be in the house.

‘Mrs Guessgen was often covered in bruises, so I guessed that it was Mr Guessgen.

‘This didn’t seen to dissuade her, and she exploited every opportunity. It got to the point that Guessgen shot a certain SS man, and as punishment, he was transferred to Oranienburg, and shortly after from there to the front.’

Other stories feature the domestic lives of doctors who carried out selection processes of Jews and who performed horrific experiments, as well as the day-to-day lives of camp guards and lower SS ranks.

‘The purpose of the book is to try and show the lives of SS men objectively,’ Mr Setkiewicz told local media.

‘Their image has forever been written in dark colours and in the pursuit of objective truth I wanted to view the subject unemotionally,’ he said.

Punishment: Moments before Hoess is executed for his crimes, in Auschwitz
Moments before Hoess is executed for his crimes, in Auschwitz – where he once had the power of life and death over thousands of prisoners

Attribution: Allan Hall, Berlin

Sunshine and Swastikas

This collection of rare color photos of Berlin in 1937, taken by Thomas Neumann and uncovered from Norwegian archives,  show life in the German capital during a tumultuous decade.

They capture scenes in the vibrant city,  which was under the iron grip of Adolf Hitler and his Third Reich at the very height of his power. Yet just eight years later the city was in ruins as Russians and Allies occupied it in victory.

But at the time these images were taken,  Hitler’s Berlin was vibrant. Hitler had taken power after the collapse of the democratic Weimar Republic in 1933 as severe economic problems caused by the Depression drove ordinary Germans into the Nazi party’s arms.

As well as chilling pictures of  buildings emblazoned with swastikas, there are scenes of ordinary life as Germans go about their business. They show a child in a sun-drenched square, smiling friends at a train station, a cart selling bananas and a food vendor in a sunny  park.

Regal: These rare color photos of Berlin in 1937 give a unique perspective of the capital's pre-war period. The Stadtschloss, or Berlin City Palace. It was heavily damaged during bombing and demolished by East German authorities after the warThese rare color photos of Berlin in 1937 give a  unique perspective of the capital’s pre-war period. The Stadtschloss, or Berlin  City Palace, was heavily damaged during bombing and demolished by East German  authorities after the war
Devastated: The Stadtschloss after it was gutted by Allied bombs. It was torn down by East German authorities after the war but is currently being rebuiltThe Stadtschloss after it was gutted by Allied bombs. It was torn down by East German authorities after the war but is  currently being rebuilt
Ominous: In 1937 Hitler was at the very peak of his power. Ordinary Germans were content and opposition was being ruthlessly crushed In 1937 Hitler was at the very peak of his power. Ordinary Germans were content and opposition was being ruthlessly crushed
Smiling: An unknown trio at a train station. it is likely they were friends or colleagues of the photographer An unknown trio at a train station. It is  likely they were friends or colleagues of the photographer
Rally: Soldiers and civilians at a rally on the decorated streets in Berlin. This photo is believed to have been taken on Labour Day (May 1) in 1937Soldiers and civilians at a rally on the decorated streets in Berlin. This photo is believed to have been taken on Labor Day (May 1) in 1937
Bustle: A cart sells fruit on a busy Berlin streetA cart sells fruit on a busy Berlin  street

Norwegian engineer Thomas Neumann (1901-1978)  took the photos while working in Germany. The film he used was the first of its kind, and there are few similar images preserved in Norwegian collections. His colored pictures gives historians a valuable view of the interwar period.

In 2007 his photo gallery given to the  National Archives of Norway by his daughter.

Thomas Neumann trained as an electrical engineer in Dresden. After graduating in 1928 he worked in Berlin until 1933.  Neumann was a member of the National Unity party, a fascist organization and was appointed its propaganda leader in Oslo and Akershus. He left the party in 1937 and in October 1944 he was arrested for illegal activities and sent to the notorious Grini concentration camp.

Echoes of history: This street scene shows the Augustiner Keller, a beer cellar in central Berlin. Few buildings were not festooned with Nazi regalia This street scene shows the  Augustiner Keller, a beer cellar in central Berlin. Few buildings were not  festooned with Nazi regalia
Power: Hitler had consolidated his power by the mid-1930s, thanks to widespread disillusionment with the Weimar Republic Hitler had consolidated his power by the  mid-1930s, thanks to widespread disillusionment with the Weimar Republic
Youth: A little boy outside an unknown sunny square in BerlinA little boy outside an unknown sunny square in  Berlin
Order: This intimidating picture shows troops lining a boulevard festooned with swastikas in anticipation of a parade This intimidating picture shows troops lining a boulevard festooned with swastikas in anticipation of a parade
Relaxation: Berliners enjoy snacks in a sun-soaked park Berliners enjoy snacks in a sun-soaked park
Crowds: The pictures were taken by Thomas Neumann, a Norwegian engineer who worked in Germany The pictures were taken by Thomas Neumann, a  Norwegian engineer who worked in Germany
Church and state: Swastikas and a maypole outside Berlin CathedralSwastikas and a maypole outside Berlin Cathedral
Docking: Two men in suits aboard the steamer Preussen, presumably approaching GermanyTwo men in suits aboard the steamer Preussen,  presumably approaching Germany
Quiet moment: A driver leans against a state car and enjoys a cigarette. The photos show candid moments among Berliners A driver leans against a state car and enjoys a cigarette. The photos show candid moments among Berliners

One candid picture shows a Brownshirt  (a member of Hitler’s paramilitary force) lounging against a state car  in front of a building draped with the maligned Nazi symbol.

On 30 January 1933, President Hindenburg, under pressure from Franz von Papen, appointed Hitler as Chancellor of Germany.  Shortly after the Fuhrer seized power.

The Nazi government restored prosperity and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending. Extensive public works were also undertaken, including the construction of the Autobahns, to boost employment.

Just two years later Germany would invade Poland and begin the most destructive war the world has ever seen. An estimated 60 million people lost their lives as a result of the Second World War and the global political landscape changed forever.

Ripple: The 1937 May Day celebration was also a celebration of 700 years of Berlin's history The 1937 May Day celebration was also a  celebration of 700 years of Berlin’s history
Grand: The Messe Berlin situated in Berlin-Westend. It was completed in 1937The Messe Berlin situated in Berlin-Westend. It  was completed in 1937 yet heavily bombed by Allied aircraft
Masses: A lkarge crowd in Berlin, presumably in connection with Labour Day A large crowd in Berlin, presumably in  connection with Labor Day
Force: In this picture we see military personnel father beneath decorations. An officer appears to be inspecting the men  In this picture we see military personnel father beneath decorations. An officer appears to be inspecting the men
Overseer: A guard in a pristine white uniform looks on at a gathering crowdA guard in a pristine white uniform looks on  at a gathering crowd
Civilians: Walkers on a mystery German street. Eight years later it would have been filled with Russian, British and American troopsWalkers on a mystery German street. Eight years later it would have been filled with Russian, British and American  troops
Serene: An unknown park in Berlin. The heat of the summer of 1937 meant sprinklers were required to keep the grass verdantAn unknown park in Berlin. The heat of the summer of 1937 meant sprinklers were required to keep the grass verdant
History: Flags snap and flap in the breeze among a throng of Germans celebrating May day Flags snap and flap in the breeze among a throng of Germans celebrating May day
Colourful: Berliners gather to look at a giant maypole outside the Berlin City CathedralBerliners gather to look at a giant maypole outside the Berlin City Cathedral

Attribution: Sam Webb

Another Sin of the White Man

Thanksgiving Celebrates Our ‘Original Sin,’ ‘Views Virtually Identical To Nazis,’ Journalism Prof Preaches

Forget all that turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie, today should be a  day of fasting and atonement for American “sin.” That’s according to Robert Jensen,  a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Jensen,  known for his hard-left politics, also calls Thanksgiving a  “white-supremacist holiday.”

Jensen’s opinion piece “No Thanks for Thanksgiving,” appeared on the far-left, Soros-connected website Alternet on  Thanksgiving eve. In it, he wrote how Native Americans suffered because  of the “European invasion of the Americas.” He went on to compare the  Founding Fathers to Nazi Germany. “How does a country deal with the fact  that some of its most revered historical figures had certain moral  values and political views virtually identical to Nazis?” he asked.

According to Jensen, Thanksgiving is “at the heart of U.S.  myth-building. “But in the United States, this reluctance to acknowledge  our original sin — the genocide of indigenous people — is of special  importance today,” he explained.

Jensen has a long career in both working journalism and academia,  including work as a copy editor at The St. Paul Pioneer Press and the  St. Petersburg Times, as well as “volunteer editing and writing for the Texas Triangle, Austin (weekly statewide lesbian/gay paper).”

This wasn’t the first time Jensen has bashed America. He does so on a  regular basis. Other Alternet pieces include headlines like “The Painful Collapse of Empire: How the ‘American Dream’ and American  Exceptionalism Wreck Havoc on the World” or “What White People Fear.”

Alternet is part of the George-Soros-supported Media Consortium. It is one of 58 left-wing media operations that aim to create a progressive “echo chamber.”

Kutno, 1940

The old man looks relaxed, almost happy chatting with the soldiers. He and most of the other Jewish citizens pictured here in 1939 and 1940, are smiling, seemingly pleased to pose for photographer Hugo Jaeger.

Yet we know, 40 years later, that these people, and thousands of others like them, were in fact prisoners, to be despized as ‘rats’ and ‘parasites’ in Nazi propaganda.

Even more surprising, Jaeger was Hitler’s personal photographer, enjoying unprecedented access to the Third Reich’s upper echelon, traveling with the Fuhrer to his massive rallies and photographing him at intimate parties and during private moments.

An elderly man with a yellow Star of David fixed to his chest, speaks with German officers as he and other Jews are rounded up in Kunto, German-occupied Poland in 1939 An elderly man with a yellow Star of David fixed to his  chest, speaks with German officers as he and other Jews are rounded up in Kunto,  German-occupied Poland in 1939The photos, released to mark the official establishment of the Warsaw Ghetto in October 1940, were taken in the town of Kutno, 75 miles west of the Polish capital Warsaw.Although a staunch Nazi, Jaeger as  photographer perhaps perceived the Polish Jews as fascinating subjects  and his  work depicts their tragic circumstances while at the same time  allowing them to  retain their humanity and dignity.

Apart from the odd soldier, there is very little German military presense. Instead the series shows the devastation in the landscape of the German invasion of Poland, while revealing very little of the ‘master race’ itself.

Exactly what Jaeger had in mind is of course a matter of guesswork, but from the reactions of the people portrayed in these images in Warsaw and Kutno, there appears to be  surprising little hostility between the photographer and his subjects.

Innocent victims: These young Jewish girls couldn't possibly have imagined horrors lay ahead as pose outside their tent in another haunting photograph taken by the ardent Nazi Hugo JaegerInnocent victims: These young Jewish girls couldn’t  possibly have  imagined horrors that lay ahead as pose outside their tent in  another  of Jaeger’s haunting photographs
Ghetto boys: In their tattered rags the two boys smile for the camera, but the man in the centre, most probably their father, has a look of distrust etched across his face Ghetto boys: In their tattered rags the two boys smile  for the camera, but the man in the centre, most probably their father, has a  look of distrust etched across his faceJaeger’s photos made such an  impression on  the Führer that he announced, upon first seeing his work: ‘The future belongs to  color photography.’But beyond recording Hitler’s endless travels, Jaeger also documented the progress of the Reich, including  the Nazi  invasion of Poland in 1939.

The Kutno pictures serve as a unique curiosity. Why, instead of focussing on the glories of Hitler’s third Reich, did a staunch Nazi like Jaeger chose to take pictures of conquered Jews?

In June 1940, all 8,000 of Kutno’s Jews were rounded up and taken to what would be their new home – the grounds of an old sugar factory – where hundreds would die of hunger and Typhus.

Poles and Jews, friends and neighbors, were separated from one another. A Jewish council, the Judenrat, was created and tasked with forcing Jews to obey their German overlords.

While most photographs taken by the Nazis focus on the glory and triumphalism of the Reich, in this unusual set of pictures, Hugo Jaeger has chosen instead to capture the misery of the conquered While most Jaeger’s photographs focus on the glory and  triumphalism of the Reich, here he  has chosen instead to capture the misery of  the conquered people instead
With their clean clothes and hair neatly coiffured, these three young women do not at first glance appear to be Jewish. But look closer and you find a star of David on the coat of the girl on the leftWith their clean clothes and hair neatly coiffured,  these three young  women do not, at first glance, appear anything like Jaeger’s  other subjects. But look closer and  you find a star of David on the coat of the  girl on the left
An elderly Jewish woman bends over outdoor rubble that serves as a kitchen while a man, his Star of David badge clealry visible, watches over her in the Kutno GhettoAn elderly Jewish woman bends over outdoor rubble that  serves as a kitchen while a man, his Star of David badge clealry visible,  watches over her in the Kutno Ghetto
Makeshift dwelling: Jewish inhabitants of the Kutno Ghetto stand near a car which has been converted into a makeshift house in early 1940Makeshift dwelling: Jewish inhabitants of the Kutno  Ghetto stand near a car which has been converted into a makeshift house in early  1940
A young woman clutches a jug as she escorts an elderly Jewish man through the Kutno Ghetto in early 1940A young woman clutches a jug as she escorts an elderly  Jewish man through the Kutno Ghetto in early 1940
Daily life: An aerial view of the Kutno Ghetto which was set up on the grounds of a sugar factoryDaily life: An aerial view of the Kutno Ghetto which was  set up on the grounds of a sugar factory
A Jewish woman uses a washing board to clean clothes in the Kutno. Unusually for an ardent Nazi, Jaeger's allowed his Jewish subjects to retain their dignity and humanityA Jewish woman uses a washing board to clean clothes in  the Kutno. Unusually for an ardent Nazi, Jaeger’s allowed his Jewish subjects to  retain their dignity and humanity
Despite the awfulness of her predicament, this Jewish woman manages to smile brightly for the camera as she poses for JaegerDespite the awfulness of her predicament, this Jewish  woman manages to smile brightly for the camera as she poses for Jaeger

A lucky few managed to escape and were sheltered by their Polish friends. Most were not so lucky.

In 1942, as part of Hitler’s ‘final solution’  the Nazis began Operation Reinhardt, the plan to eliminate all of Poland’s Jews. In the spring of 1942 the Kutno Ghetto itself was ‘liquidated.’ The majority of its inhabitants were sent to the Chelmno extermination camp.

The unique set of pictures could have been lost forever were it not for a bottle of brandy. As the allies advanced into Germany in 1945, Jaeger hid his photographs in a leather suitcase.

He was then confronted by a group of American soldiers. Luckily they were distracted by a bottle of Cognac which they opened and shared with the photographer.

Had they searched the case further, and found so many pictures of Hitler, Jaeger would have most likely been arrested on the the spot and tried as a war criminal.

After such a close shave, Jaeger decided to bury the pictures inside 12 glass jars outside Munich. He would periodically return to their burial place to check they were safe.

In 1955, he dug them up and stored them in a bank vault. Ten years later, in 1965, he sold them to Life magazine.

Fate: In 1942, as part of Hitler's 'final solution' the Nazis began Operation Reinhardt, the plan to eliminate all of Poland's Jews. In the spring of 1942 the Kutno Ghetto itself was 'liquidated'Fate: In 1942, as part of Hitler’s ‘final solution’ the  Nazis began Operation Reinhardt, the plan to eliminate all of Poland’s Jews. In  the spring of 1942 the Kutno Ghetto itself was ‘liquidated’

Attribution: Daniel Miller

Adolf goes Hollywood

It sounds like the bizzare script of a Hollywood B-movie. Maybe it still could?

In a parallel universe the Nazis have won the war and Adolf Hitler moves to Los Angeles where he mingles with the stars of the silver screen while running his evil empire from a luxurious ranch deep in the LA hills.

But during the 1930s, American sympathizers were so confident this exact scenario was actually going happen they spent millions building a deluxe compound ready for their fuhrer’s imminent arrival.

Equipped with a diesel power plant, 375,000 gallon concrete water tank, giant meat locker, 22 bedrooms and even a bomb shelter, the heavily guarded estate was home to a community of Hollywood fascists who hoped to ride out the war there.

There were further plans to build five libraries, a swimming pool, several dining rooms and a gymnasium with money from Germany.

But on the day after Pearl Harbor, as America entered World War Two, police raided the premises and rounded up the the 50 or so American fascists who were living there.

Today the eerie landmark lies in ruins, splattered with graffitti, and awaiting the bulldozers so it can be turned into a picnic area for hikers, a soon-to-be forgotten slice of American history.

Close to the homes of actors and directors such as Stephen Spielberg, the site has been a magnet for historians, curiosity-seekers and modern-day nazis.

At one point after the war it became an artists colony and was home to the novelist Henry Miller.

It was built by the Silver Shirts, a sinister group of 1930’s fascists who took their name from Hitler’s Brown Shirts grass roots organization. Their official name was the ‘Silver Legion’, but were nicknamed the ‘Silver Shirts’ due to their attire. A silver shirt, silver tie,  a campaign hat and blue corduroy trousers with leggings. The shirt was emblazened with a large scarlett ‘L’ signifying Loyalty, Liberation and Legion.

By 1934, the Silver Shirts had about 15,000 members, led by William Pelley and funded directly by Nazi Germany.

Fascism had been on the rise in the wake of the Great Depression and the Silver Shirts were one of the most fanatical groups.

The 55-acre ranch, was sold to mining fortune heiress Jessie Murphy in 1933 by screen cowboy Will Rogers.

In the next few years, Murphy struck up a relationship with a German man known only as Herr Schmidt. Unbeknownst to her, Schmidt was Hitler’s agent in America.

He persuaded her to invest $4million ($66 million today) to transform the property into a nazi stronghold fit for Hitler.

Historian Randy Young said, “This was supposed to be the seat of American fascism from where Hitler would one day run the United States”.

“The neighbors were a little freaked out by the construction and weird happenings, but until war broke out, they thought they were just eccentric people.”

Attribution: Daily Mail