George Lincoln Rockwell - Amerikaanse Nationaal Socialist

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George Lincoln Rockwell - Amerikaanse Nationaal Socialist

Postby Führer » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:26 pm


George Lincoln Rockwell (March 9, 1918 – August 25, 1967) was the founder of the American Nazi Party. Rockwell was a major figure in the neo-Nazi movement in the United States, and his beliefs and writings have continued to be influential among white nationalists and neo-Nazis.

Early life
Rockwell was born in Bloomington, Illinois, the eldest of three children. His father, George Lovejoy "Doc" Rockwell, was born in Providence, Rhode Island of English and Scottish descent. His mother, Claire Schade Rockwell, was the daughter of Augustus Schade, a German immigrant, and Corrine Boudreau, who was of Acadian French ancestry. Both parents were vaudeville comedians and actors. Some of his father's acquaintances included Fred Allen, Benny Goodman, Walter Winchell, Jack Benny, and Groucho Marx.[1] Rockwell later claimed he acquired his public speaking skills due to his upbringing. His parents were divorced when Rockwell was six, and this led to him spending his youth partly with his mother's family in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and partly with his father's family in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Here, he developed a passion for sailing and fishing.

Rockwell applied to Harvard but failed to get in. After a year, his father sent him to a boarding school, Hebron Academy, near Lewiston, Maine.[2] There he began to read philosophy and socially significant novels, leading him to re-examine the topic of religion. Previously, he had thought of himself as being highly religious, but after rereading the Bible, he began to see religion as a necessary pillar of civilization. He contemplated the possibility of a "total intelligence" existing somewhere in the universe, and thought that a better description of his views was agnostic. Years later, he promoted the Christian Identity sect.

In 1938, Rockwell entered Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he majored in philosophy. In his sociology courses at Brown, Rockwell rejected equality and the idea that man was made by his environment, and that all human beings had the same potential in life. He debated with fellow students over topics such as social themes in popular novels.

[edit] Military service and marriages
In his sophomore year, Rockwell was convinced that it was only a matter of time until the United States would be at war with Nazi Germany. He decided to leave Brown University to join the United States Navy. Rockwell appreciated the order and discipline of the Navy, and in 1940 he attended flight schools in Massachusetts and Florida. After getting his flight wings, he was shipped to Norfolk, Virginia. While in transit aboard USS Pastores, Rockwell had to put down a race riot between white Southerners and African Americans, who were placed in the same sleeping quarters. The solution Rockwell and the other officers used to stop the rioting was to separate the two groups. Due to a coin toss, Rockwell ended up leading the black sailors, while another officer took charge of the white Southerners.[citation needed]

On April 24, 1943, Rockwell married Judy Aultman, whom he had met while attending Brown University. Aultman was a student at Pembroke, which was the female half of Brown University. After his marriage, Rockwell studied at the Navy's aerial photography school in Florida. Upon completing his training, he served in the Pacific. His most notable action was the coordination of air support in the retaking of Guam.[citation needed]

During the war, blacks were segregated in the Navy. Rockwell would later call for a total separation of blacks and whites as a solution to America's race relations problems. He proposed a program of repatriation of blacks to Africa. When the United States armed forces were integrated in 1948, Rockwell predicted a drop of morale among American servicemen[citation needed].

Rockwell's career as a commercial artist was interrupted when he was recalled to duty as a Lieutenant Commander at the start of the Korean War. He moved his wife and two children to San Diego, California, where he trained Navy and Marine pilots.

In 1952, Rockwell was ordered to report to Norfolk, Virginia. Upon arrival, he was told that his next post would be Iceland. Since families were not permitted to be with American service personnel stationed in that country, his wife and children moved in with her mother in Barrington, Rhode Island. After a few months in Iceland, Rockwell returned to his family in Rhode Island. A short time later, Rockwell and his wife were divorced. Several months after his return to Iceland, Rockwell attended a diplomatic party in Reykjavík, Iceland's capital. At the party, Rockwell met Þóra Hallgrímsson, who later became his wife. Rockwell told Þóra about his political beliefs, and said that he would either be a "bum or a great man".[citation needed] They were married on October 3, 1953, in the Icelandic National Cathedral by Þóra's uncle, who was the Bishop of Iceland. The couple honeymooned in Berchtesgaden, Germany, where Hitler had had his mountain retreat in the Bavarian Alps.

[edit] Civilian career
After the war ended, Rockwell became a commercial artist. He applied to the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and was accepted for the following year. Rockwell and his wife moved to Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and in spring 1946, he built a photography studio, and found work painting commercial signs. Later that year, they moved to New York City, where Rockwell started his studies at Pratt. While at Pratt, Rockwell was introduced to the modern art movement, which he considered foreign and communist. He also saw Jews as promoters of the movement, and thus felt even more contempt towards it.

In 1948, he won the $1,000 first prize for an ad he did for the American Cancer Society.[citation needed] The contest was sponsored by the National Society of Illustrators in New York.> Rockwell left Pratt before finishing his final year, and started an advertising agency in Maine.

Upon returning a second time to civilian life, Rockwell saw a business opportunity in starting a new magazine that would appeal to United States servicemen's wives. In September 1955, he launched the publication U.S. Lady. After presenting the idea to generals and admirals who headed public relations departments for the various military services, Rockwell began his publishing efforts in Washington, D.C.. The new enterprise also incorporated Rockwell's political causes: his opposition to both racial integration and communism. Rockwell financed the operation through stock sales and subscriptions. With a staff of thirty, Rockwell could only promise to pay his employees before the successful launch of the first issue. The publication continued to have financial troubles, and Rockwell sold his interest in the magazine. However, Rockwell still hoped to become a publisher.

[edit] Political activism
During his time in San Diego, Rockwell began to pay close attention to politics, and was influenced by Senator Joseph McCarthy's stance against communism. Rockwell supported General Douglas MacArthur's candidacy for President of the United States. He adopted the corncob pipe, following MacArthur's example. Rockwell attended a Gerald L.K. Smith rally in Los Angeles, and read Conde McGinley's Common Sense, a political newspaper that introduced him to anti-Semitism. He read Mein Kampf and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and privately adopted Nazi beliefs. He published an Animal Farm-type parody, The Fable of the Ducks and the Hens.[3] This was Rockwell's interpretation of Jewish power in the United States of the 20th century. In 1952, Rockwell began working with anti-Semitic and anti-communist groups. That year, he attended the American Nationalist Conference, which was organized by Conde McGinley’s Christian Educational Association.

In July 1958, Rockwell picketed in front of the White House to protest President Dwight D. Eisenhower's decision to send troops to the Middle East. One day he received a large package from one of his supporters, which contained an 18-foot-long Swastika flag. He placed the flag on the wall of his home and made an altar with Adolf Hitler's photo in the center, lit with three candles in front. According to his autobiography, Rockwell claimed to have had a religious experience and swore allegiance to his leader, saluting "Heil Hitler!" Rockwell and a few supporters got uniforms and armed themselves with rifles and revolvers, and paraded about his home in Arlington, Virginia. The window to his home was left open, showing the huge Swastika flag. Drew Pearson wrote a news column about Rockwell, giving him his first bit of publicity. In the presidential election of 1964, Rockwell ran as a write-in candidate, receiving 212 votes.[4] He ran unsuccessfully for governor of Virginia in 1965 as an independent, polling 5,730 votes, or 1.02 percent of the total vote.[5] According to one of Rockwell's biographers, he was in demand on the lecture circuit, and spoke to more than 100 college audiences.[citation needed]

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In March 1959, Rockwell formed the World Union of Free Enterprise National Socialists (WUFENS), a name chosen to denote opposition to state ownership of property. In December of that year, the name was changed to the American Nazi Party, and the headquarters moved to 928 North Randolph Street in Arlington, Virginia.

In order to gain press attention, Rockwell held a rally April 3, 1960, on the National Mall of Washington, D.C., where Rockwell gave a two-hour speech.

Rockwell's next tactic was to hold a rally in Union Square in New York City. Mayor Robert Wagner refused to grant him a permit to speak, and he appealed that decision to the New York Supreme Court. Jewish war veterans gathered to oppose his appeal and when Rockwell when, during a court recess, emerged into the court Rotunda he was surrounded by a crowd of television reporters and Jewish vets. One of the reporters asked Rockwell how he would treat Jews if he came to power in the United States. Rockwell replied he would treat Jews just as he treated any other American citizens. If they were loyal Americans, everything would be fine, if they were traitors, they would be executed. When the reporter asked what percentage of Jews Rockwell thought were traitors, Rockwell replied, "Ninety percent." The Jewish war veterans rioted and began beating Rockwell and the reporter with their umbrellas, and Rockwell was escorted out of the Courthouse Rotunda in the midst of a police convoy. Rockwell, with the aid of the ACLU, eventually won his permit, but it was long after the date of the planned event.[6]

Rockwell's next planned rally was set for July 4, 1960, again on the Mall. Rockwell and his men were confronted by a mob and a riot ensued. The police arrested Rockwell and eight party members. Rockwell demanded a trial but instead was sent to a mental institution for thirty days of observation. In less than two weeks he was released and found capable of standing trial. He published a pamphlet on this experience titled How to Get Out or Stay Out of the Insane Asylum. Thereafter, he became more careful in his rhetoric.

In summer 1966, Rockwell led a counter-demonstration to Martin Luther King's attempt to bring an end to de-facto segregation in the white Chicago suburb of Cicero, Illinois. He believed King was a tool for Jewish Communists to integrate America.[citation needed] Around this time, Rockwell was targeted by the FBI's counter intelligence program, COINTELPRO.[citation needed]

Rockwell led the American Nazi Party in assisting the Ku Klux Klan and similar groups during the Civil Rights Movement, in attempts to counter the Freedom Riders and the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. But he soon came to believe the Klan was stuck in the past and ineffective for helping him wage a modern race struggle. After hearing the slogan "Black Power" during a debate in 1966 with Black Panther Stokely Carmichael, Rockwell altered the phrase and started a call for "White Power."[citation needed] White Power later became the name of the party's newspaper and the title of a book authored by Rockwell.

Rockwell's principal message was racial separation. He attempted to form friendly associations with the Nation of Islam. He praised Elijah Muhammad as the "Black people's Hitler," and for doing the best job in promoting integrity and pride among his people. Rockwell also admired Malcolm X, seeing him as the next true leader for Black America. In 1965 Malcolm X sent Rockwell a telegram while Rockwell was on his "Hate Bus" tour of the South, threatening Rockwell with "maximum physical retaliation from those of us who are not hand-cuffed by the disarming philosophy of nonviolence" should Martin Luther King, Jr. or "any other black Americans who are only attempting to enjoy their rights as free human beings" be harmed.[7]

If separation was not achieved, Rockwell believed America faced long-term racial problems and predicted a great race war, where "the uniform would be skin color." Rockwell believed the conflict was approaching, with whites eventually becoming America's new racial minority.[citation needed]

Rockwell's also promoted Holocaust denial.[citation needed]

Rockwell supported America's war in Vietnam.[citation needed]

Rockwell once gave an interview to Alex Haley, the author of the novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The interview was published in Playboy magazine in the April 1966 issue. The interview was dramatized in the TV miniseries Roots: The Next Generations, with Marlon Brando portraying Rockwell in an Emmy Award-winning performance and James Earl Jones portraying Haley.

The two-story farm house Rockwell established as his "Stormtrooper Barracks" was located at 6150 Wilson Boulevard, in the Dominion Hills district of Arlington. It was there that the interview with Alex Haley occurred. Situated on the tallest hill in Arlington County some of the locals dubbed it "The House on Hatemonger Hill". The house has long since been razed and the property incorporated into the Upton Hill Regional Park. A small picnic table pavilion marks the house's former location. The site of the party headquarters, 928 North Randolph Street in the Ballston area of Arlington is now a massive hotel and office building complex. Rockwell's successor, Matt Koehl, relocated the headquarters after Rockwell's death to 2507 North Franklin Road in the Claredon area.[8] It would become the last physical address of the party before Koehl moved it to New Berlin, Wisconsin in the mid-1980s. The small red brick building, often misidentified today as Rockwell's former headquarters, is now a coffee shop called "The Java Shack", and serves a racially diverse community.[9]

[edit] World Union of National Socialists
In August 1962 Rockwell travelled secretly to England through Ireland. In the Cotswolds, he co-founded the World Union of National Socialists with Colin Jordan's British organization the National Socialist Movement, before being deported back to the States. In 1966, the international group published National Socialist World, edited by former physics professor William Luther Pierce.

[edit] National Socialist White People's Party
On January 1, 1967, Rockwell announced the party's next stage of development. He officially changed the name of the American Nazi Party to the National Socialist White People's Party (NSWPP). Its new slogan would be “White Power” replacing the inflammatory “Sieg Heil.” The new strategy would be to capitalize on growing support in the wake of the Chicago rallies and to focus the organization’s commitment to a universal white nationalism. An internal party newsletter, the “National Socialist Bulletin”, was started to help direct these new efforts.

On June 9 to the 11th, the party held its national conference in Arlington, aimed at reorganizing its leadership and “charting a new course of professionalism.” In July 1967, the party's publication The Stormtrooper magazine was replaced with the newspaper White Power bearing the swastika in the center of the paper. Some within the NSWPP opposed this new ideological direction.

[edit] Hatenanny Records and the Hate Bus
In the 1960s, Rockwell attempted to draw attention to his cause by starting a small record label, named Hatenanny Records (the name was based on the word "hootenanny", a term given to folk music performances). The label released several 45 RPM singles, including recordings by a group credited as Odis Cochran and the Three Bigots, and were sold mostly through mail order. A truncated version of one of the band's recordings, "Ship Those Niggers Back" appears in the documentary The California Reich. When the Freedom Riders drove their campaign to desegregate bus stations in the deep South, Rockwell secured a Volkswagen van and decorated it with swastikas and white supremacist slogans, dubbing it the Hate Bus and personally driving it to speaking engagements and party rallies.[1][10][11]

[edit] Assassination
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On June 28, 1967, the first attempt was made on Rockwell’s life. Returning from shopping, he drove into the party barracks’ driveway on Wilson Boulevard and found it blocked by a felled tree and brush. Rockwell assumed that it was another prank by local teens. As a young boy cleared the obstruction, two shots were fired at Rockwell from behind one of the swastika-embossed brick driveway pillars. One of the shots ricocheted off the car, right next to his head. Leaping from the car, Rockwell pursued the would-be assassin. On June 30, Rockwell petitioned the Arlington County Circuit Court for a gun permit; no action was ever taken on his request.

On August 25, 1967, Rockwell was killed by gunshots while leaving the Econowash laundromat at the Dominion Hills Shopping Center in the 6000 block of Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, Virginia.[12] Two bullets crashed through his 1958 Chevrolet’s windshield, and it slowly rolled backwards to a stop. Rockwell staggered out of the front passenger side door of the car, pointed towards the shopping center roof, and then collapsed face up on the pavement.

The gunman ran along the shopping center roof and jumped to the ground in the rear. A shop owner and a customer briefly gave chase, but were unable to get a clear look at the fleeing figure. Other customers called the Arlington County police and checked Rockwell for a pulse. He had none; the one bullet that struck him had ripped through several major arteries just above his heart. The internal bleeding was so heavy that Rockwell died in two minutes.

A half hour later, at a bus stop several miles away, John Patler, a former member of Rockwell’s group, was arrested as the suspected murderer by a passing patrolman familiar with the Arlington Nazis. Later that day, after hearing of his son’s death, Rockwell’s 78-year-old father commented laconically, “I am not surprised at all. I’ve expected it for quite some time.”[2]

Matt Koehl, the number two man in the NSWPP, moved to establish legal control over Rockwell’s body and all NSWPP assets. At the time of his death, the NSWPP had approximately 300 active members nationwide, and perhaps 3,000 financial supporters. Although Rockwell’s parents wanted a private burial in Maine, they did not feel up to a public fight with the Nazis for his body. On August 27, an NSWPP spokesman reported that Federal officials had given verbal approval to a planned military burial of Rockwell at Culpeper National Cemetery, as an honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.

On August 29, several dozen NSWPP troopers and about 100 party supporters formed a procession and drove the 65 miles from Arlington to Culpeper. At the cemetery gates they were met by General Carl C. Turner and 60 MPs who had been rushed in from Vint Hill to enforce the U.S. Army’s burial protocol. They were backed by dozens of police from various jurisdictions. No mourners bearing Nazi insignia would be allowed into the cemetery. The NSWPP troopers refused to remove their uniforms, which led to a day-long standoff. They unsuccessfully tried to force their way into the cemetery three separate times. Several arrests resulted. With daylight fading, General Turner declared that Rockwell could not be buried until the NSWPP made a new request to the Pentagon and agreed to follow protocol.

The Nazis returned to Arlington with Rockwell’s body. Plans were made to bury Rockwell in Spotsylvania County, but they fell apart when local Jewish organizations protested. Fearing that Arlington County officials might seize the body, the ANP had Rockwell cremated the next morning, and a memorial service was held that afternoon at party headquarters. On February 8, 1968, the NSWPP filed suit to obtain a Nazi burial for Rockwell’s remains at any National Cemetery. On March 15, 1969, a Federal district judge upheld the Army Secretary’s ruling that Rockwell was ineligible for a burial with full military honors in a national cemetery. Today Rockwell's ashes reside next to those of Savitri Devi in the memorial room of New Order headquarters in New Berlin, Wisconsin.

Following psychiatric evaluation, John Patler was judged competent to stand trial. He pleaded not guilty at his preliminary hearing to the charge of first degree homicide. His trial began on November 27 amid tight security at the Arlington County Courthouse. On December 15, Patler was found guilty and released on bond to await sentencing. On February 23, 1968, Patler was sentenced to 20 years in prison, at that time the least amount possible for a first degree murder conviction. The Virginia Circuit Court postponed imprisonment pending his appeal.

On November 30, 1970, the Virginia Supreme Court upheld Patler’s conviction and 20-year sentence for slaying Rockwell, and ordered him to begin serving his sentence. On May 16, 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rejected Patler’s appeal based on claims of witness contamination. In August 1975, Patler was paroled from the Pulaski correctional unit after serving less than four years of his sentence. Judge Charles S. Russell, who had presided over Patler’s murder trial, wrote a lengthy letter to the parole board supporting Patler’s release, the only time he did so in his career. The following year Patler violated the terms of his parole and was returned to prison for an additional six years. On December 30, 1977 Patler petitioned the Henry County Circuit Court to change his surname back to its original form, Patsalos. After serving out the remainder of his sentence, John Patsalos returned to the New York City area.

The exact reason for Rockwell's murder is still a matter of debate. Patler's nasty feud with Rockwell and a family history of violence weighed against him at the trial. Despite being convicted of the crime, Patler has always maintained his innocence. The case against him was largely circumstantial and key evidence against him (e.g., whether he possessed the murder weapon at the time of the killing) was disputed by defense witnesses.

The small strip mall where Rockwell was killed is still called the Dominion Hills Shopping Center, although it has since been refurbished and the laundromat replaced by a dry cleaners. After his death, admirers of Rockwell painted a white swastika on the blacktop surface of the parking lot, marking the exact spot where he died. Several attempts by the property owners were made to obliterate the emblem with a square patch of black paint, but the white swastika would always surreptitiously reappear, usually on or near the anniversary of Rockwell's death. It remained visible, off and on, well into the 1980s, until the NSWPP renamed itself New Order and moved their headquarters to Wisconsin. Since then the parking lot has been resurfaced and the swastika never replaced, however the spot where his body lay can be approximated today by using a crime scene photograph that appears on page 323 of William H. Schmaltz's biography of Rockwell. On August 27, 2007, the 40th anniversary of the assassination, a group of unidentified, non-uniformed Rockwell admirers appeared at the Dominion Hills Shopping Center to conduct a brief ceremony and lay a wreath. They carried a plain white banner with black and red lettering that bore the symbolic slogan "Lincoln Rockwell Lives!".

[edit] Legacy
Rockwell was a source of inspiration for White Nationalist politician David Duke. As a student in high school, when Duke learned of Rockwell's assassination, he reportedly said "The greatest American who ever lived has been shot down and killed".[13] In the mid-1960s, Rockwell had a strategy to develop his Nazi political philosophy within the Christian Identity religious movement. Previously, Christian Identity had antisemitic and racist views, but not a Third Reich orientation. The Christian Identity group Aryan Nations started to use various Nazi flags in its services, and its security personnel started wearing uniforms similar to those worn by Rockwell's stormtroopers.[citation needed] Two of Rockwell's associates, Matt Koehl and William Luther Pierce, formed their own organizations. Koehl, who was Rockwell's successor, renamed the NSWPP to New Order in 1983 and relocated it to Wisconsin shortly thereafter. Pierce founded the National Alliance.

[edit] Summary of military career
Rockwell had a successful Naval career, both on active duty and in the Naval Reserve. A veteran of World War II, Rockwell was a naval aviator and served a follow-on tour during the Korean War. He would transfer to the naval reserve and, after nineteen years of service, had risen to the rank of Commander and had served as the Commanding Officer of several aviation reserve units. In 1960, as a result of his political and racist activities, the United States Navy discharged Rockwell one year short of retirement, as Rockwell was regarded as "not deployable" in the Naval Reserve due to his views. The board proceedings to separate him were an extremely public affair and Rockwell widely advertised the results, stating that he "had basically been thrown out of the Navy".[citation needed]

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