Adolf Hitler In America

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“The German authorities are treating the Jews shamefully and the Jews in this country are greatly excited. But this is also not a governmental affair. We can do nothing except for American citizens who happen to be made victims.” This statement, made by President Franklin Roosevelt, helps to illustrate the complexity of the image of Adolf Hitler in the United States during the pre-war years of 1933 to 1938. Hitler was almost universally viewed in a negative light by Americans, but the severity of the negativity and the actions taken because of the negativity differed among various groups. The three groups who had and formed images of Hitler in America were American citizens, the American press, and the Executive branch of the American government. …show more content…
Americans were alarmed by the Bund. According to Leland V. Bell, “No other foreign-inspired organization except the Communist Party aroused such resentment [in Americans].” The unrest caused by the Bund led Americans to pressure their Congressmen to do something to address the issue. Congress’s fear of the Bund and the implications of the spread of National Socialist ideals in America led to the creation of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. The fear and resentment directed towards the German Bund by Americans clearly shows that the majority of Americans were apprehensive of Hitler, and after news of his brutal, anti-Semitic policies reached American shores, did not want any part of Hitler’s ideals infiltrating the …show more content…
Samuel Untermyer, an American with German-Jewish heritage, organized a mass boycott against German-made products as a means of protesting Nazi treatment of Jews. As early as 1933, it was clear to Untermyer that Hitler’s rise to power would be bad for the Jews in Germany, and so the American League for the Defense of Jewish Rights, along with a Boycott Committee, was formed to organize the boycott of German goods. In Untermyer’s opinion, it was the moral obligation of Jews around the world to abstain from supporting German industry. However, not all American Jews were on board with Untermyer’s boycott. Many Jews abstained from participating out of fear that the boycott would anger Hitler and worsen conditions for their fellow Jews still living in Germany. Because of this, Christian Americans were more willing to boycott German goods than German-American Jews were. Untermyer was outraged by the lack of support by American Jews for the boycott, and he characterized Hitler’s treatment of Jews as a “cruel campaign of extermination” while rebuking Jewish leaders who opposed the boycott without offering any alternative methods of resistance. While the boycott was effective enough to capture the attention of both American and German officials, it fizzled out in 1938 when Untermyer fell into ill

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