Episode 233: Dollop: American Summer Hitler Camps!

By the way, in general, when a bunch of Nazis are offering you a free time at a camp, it’s probably a good policy to be suspect. “Can I hear what other people think first. Let me just check out Yelp.”



What I lack in The Funny for this episode, I more than make up for in original sources. Dude, videos! Videos of camp cavorting and camp dedications and the German American Bund theme song! Well, they would probably prefer “anthem” but I’m going with theme song!

First, rare footage from Camp Hindenburg Park, which is the one in Los Angeles that Dave mentioned. This looks nothing like my Girl Scout camping days (thank the good sweet Lord):

There were two camps named Hindenburg, this one, Camp Hindenburg Park in LA, and Camp Hindenburg outside of Milwaukee (coincidentally, one near Dave’s birthplace, one near Gareth. I draw no conclusions. Everything’s connected, that’s all, I’ve always said that.) Both are named for World War I German hero and former German President Paul von Hindenburg. Yes, he is the namesake of the Hindenburg airship that exploded in 1937,  and the Hindenburg’s news coverage is the source for the infamous quote regularly used as a tag on this site: o the humanity.

It’s all connected. Sit back and enjoy the synchronicity.

The Hindenburg: Death of a Leviathan

The Hindenburg (1975)–starring George C. Scott and Anne Bancroft

Next: footage from the 1938 Bund rally at Madison Square Garden:


Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn and the Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund * Arnie Bernstein

America’s Nazis: A Democratic Dilemma: A History of the German American Bund * Susan Canedy

And, here’s the theme song of the Amerikadeutscher Bund that I promised: the Steinmetz-Marsch (Stonemason March):


And yes, we Americans have always been weird and nationalistic about our language. Remember “freedom fries”? I cringe every time I come across that phrase. Well, as Dave stated, sauerkraut, where it was still allowed to be sold, was actually called “liberty cabbage”. And yes, this is when we started calling frankfurters “hot dogs”. It gets worse, though. German-Americans were harmed and even killed. German china was smashed in the street. Dachshunds (I kid you not) were turned out of doors to be feral or were killed. Did all of this foolishness and carnage help? No more than freedom fries did. All this foolishness and carnage did was lead to the Amerikadeutscher Bund. See? Act like a fool, you get the same in return. Law of attraction, bitches.

More information on our nationalistic response and how it led to the Bund: americainwwii.com

NPR: Nazi Summer Camps in 1930’s America?

One more video, this one of Camp Siegfried on Long Island:


The kid on the far left of Camp Siegfried’s video’s thumbnail is an album cover waiting to happen.


And, to be fair, I leave you with this dissenting message from germanamericanbund.org, because I was born in 1972, and I am of the Stuart clan from Scotland, so there you go:

The German American Bund (AV) was America’s largest most well known nationalist organization in the 1930s. It was also the least understood, most maligned and scape-goated by distorted media coverage.

The following synopsis will aid in a basic knowledge of this important American organization.
The purpose and goals of the AV consisted of the following:
A. Friendship and trade between Germany and the USA.
B. The adoption of those portions of National Socialism that it was felt would aid in the economic recovery of the USA.
C. Preservation of Germanic culture in the USA through history, language, and folk art for both members and the general public.
D. Family oriented social activities and gatherings at Bund meeting halls and summer camps. The family was considered the basic Bund unit.

Band names from this episode:

  • Leaderhosen
  • Nazi Amway
  • Will and Might
  • Freedom Cabbage
  • Liberty Fries

Cultural references from this episode:

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