America's Forgotten Pogroms

(Politico) David Greenberg - According to Stephen Norwood, an historian at the University of Oklahoma, anti-Semitism in the U.S. has been "much more deeply entrenched than most scholars acknowledged." In 1942-3, a right-wing Irish group called the Christian Front, inspired by the popular radio preacher Charles Coughlin, regularly menaced Jews - especially in Boston and New York. Marauding bands of Irish Catholic youths stalked and assaulted the Jews of urban communities like Dorchester and Mattapan in Boston and Washington Heights in New York, as police officers and elected officials looked the other way. In 1940, the FBI arrested 13 members of the Front for plotting to bomb the offices of the Forward Jewish newspaper, and to assassinate Jewish members of Congress. In the years before World War II, the Depression brought forth ugly resentments that took anti-Semitic form, including toward President Franklin Roosevelt, whom anti-Semites called "Rosenfeld" and whose policies they called the "Jew Deal." Carmaker Henry Ford's Dearborn Independent published conspiracy theories about international Jewry in the 1920s, and Charles Lindbergh in 1941 claimed American Jews, possessing outsized influence in Hollywood, the media, and the Roosevelt administration, were pushing the nation into war against its interests. In 1939, the German American Bund held a rally of 20,000 people in Madison Square Garden, which was decorated with swastikas. The writer is a professor of history, journalism, and media studies at Rutgers.

2018-11-09 00:00:00

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