by Eric Hananoki
MediaMatters | June 04, 2010
On his radio show today, Glenn Beck heralded and promoted the work of Nazi sympathizer Elizabeth Dilling, who spoke at rallies hosted by the leading American Nazi group and praised Hitler. Today, Dilling is heralded by White Supremacists and White Aryans who revere her "fearless" work against Jewish people.
As Media Matters' Simon Maloy noted, Beck had kind words for Dilling's 1934 anti-communist book, The Red Network, saying:
"This is a book -- and I'm a getting a ton of these -- from people who were doing what we're doing now. We now are documenting who all of these people are. Well, there were Americans in the first 50 years of this nation that took this seriously, and they documented it."
Maloy noted that Dilling has a long history of rabid anti-Semitism, such as calling President Eisenhower "Ike the Kike" and labeling President Kennedy's New Frontier program the "Jew frontier."
Professor Glen Jeansonne and writer David Luhrssen note in the encyclopedia Women and War that Dilling wasn't only anti-Semitic, but a sympathizer and supporter of the Nazis and Hitler:
When World War II began in 1939, Dilling was part of the national network of anti-Semitics, anti-Communists, and Nazi sympathizers such as Father Charles Coughlin, Reverend Gerald L. K. Smith, Reverend Gerald Winrod, and William Dudley Pelley. Material generated by Nazi organizations in Germany to inspire race hated and exploit dissatisfaction in the United States found its way into Dilling's publications. She spoke at rallies hosted by the leading U.S. Nazi organization, the German-American Bund, and had traveled to Germany, pronouncing the country as flourishing under Hitler.
Dilling called for appeasing Germany; she blamed the war on Jews and Communists and accused the Roosevelt administration of being controlled by Jewish Communists. ... After Pearl Harbor, Dilling resisted wartime rationing and denounced the Allies.
BECK: The Bund gathered socially and ran Nazi camps. The camps were advertised as summer retreats where you could escape the city, celebrate German heritage, dance, drink, at places like Camp Nordlund in New Jersey and Camp Siegfried in Long Island. The camps hidden as pro-German/pro- American were attended by adults and families.
On the outside, they looked like any other camp. But the children were indoctrinated in the ideals of Nazism, breeding young Americans to become full-fledged Nazis. They marched, performed drills in Nazi uniforms. And they were taught about their racial superiority, their potential as Aryan youth.
As media scrutiny of the Bund increase, so did anti-Nazi protests, including other Americans who hated the Nazi image and Jewish-American veterans. Instead of quieting down, Bund leader Fritz Kuhn decided to hold the largest rally in their history, Madison Square Garden. These American Nazis showed their true colors, beating a Jewish protester who rushed the stage. Kuhn and other speeches were nothing more than anti-Semitic rants wrapped in the American flag protected by the First Amendment. [Glenn Beck, March 11]
British Professors Christopher Partridge and Ron Geaves wrote that Dilling was a "pro-Nazi anti-Semite" who disseminated Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. The ADL describes Protocols as "a classic in paranoid, racist literature. Taken by the gullible as the confidential minutes of a Jewish conclave convened in the last years of the nineteenth century, it has been heralded by anti-Semites as proof that Jews are plotting to take over the world."
Dilling's Nazi sympathies have made her a cult hero among Aryan groups and White Nationalists/Supremacists. For instance, the group Women for Aryan Unity features Dilling in a publication whose purpose is "to honour Aryan Women past and Present." Women for Aryan Unity writes of Dilling:
She visited the Soviet Union in 1931, where she found impoverished people, diseased and ill dressed. She saw genocide. Barely clothed children, begging. Half empty stores. The houses were dingy; roads were cracked and badly kept. She saw state-run orphanages and abortion was rampant. The women of the Soviet Union were suffering badly; the government was raising harassment, grueling work, and their children. What Elizabeth was witnessing was the aftermath of Communism. The Soviet Jews had torn down Russian churches. But she was no pacifist - she believed it was time to fight the infidels.
She decided then to acquire as much knowledge about Communism as she can, and use it as her weapon to fight it. She spoke to large audiences, and did extensive research on Communism and the Jew. She wrote excerpts exposing the Communists in the U.S. The lady was not afraid, and worked endlessly for years to expose the followers of Communism. She spoke on the radio, and met with men such as Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh, Charles Hudson, and others who helped support her cause.
Many positive words come to mind as a description for such an admirable woman, but I believe the gentleman she met in the dining room of that small Denver hotel used the best word. The gentleman was University of Illinois Professor, Dr. Revilo Oliver, and it was there, paying no mind to anyone else present, she mouthed her famous words at her friend, "Do I see an anti-Semite?" The word he used to describe Mrs. Dilling? Fearless. My sentiments exactly.
Infamous racist David Duke, meanwhile, excerpts Dilling's work on his website and states that as a 16-year old, he "found a book called The Jewish Religion: Its Influence Today by Elizabeth Dilling." Stormfront.org, which describes itself as a "community of White Nationalists," features numerous posts in its forum praising Dilling. "The Official Website of The Knights Party, USA" lists Dilling as one of its "Important Christian Women in History" and praises her for "Knowing the Jewish roots of Communism."
Jeansonne and Luhrssen conclude their summary of Dilling by writing that she "had long been dismissed as a crank before her death in 1966." And now half-a-century after her death, Dilling has found a new audience thanks to Glenn Beck.