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3. Gangsters vs. Nazis: How Jewish Mobsters Battled Nazis in WW2
Tue Feb 21, 2023, 01:14 PM
Feb 2023

by Michael Benson

(apologizing in advance for the length of this post!)

I read this very readable and informative book a few months ago. Even though I have read a lot of history I never knew about the proliferation of these groups.

This non fiction book (written in a reporter's style) details this and many other similar events in this era. I learned just how deeply German-Americans were influenced by events in Germany during the 1930s, and what these groups attempted to do.

The organizers of that rally were not the only group of this kind; these groups were operating in every major city!

From the liner notes:

The stunning true story of the rise of Nazism in America in the years leading to WWII—and the fearless Jewish gangsters and crime families who joined forces to fight back. With an intense cinematic style, acclaimed nonfiction crime author Michael Benson reveals the thrilling role of Jewish mobsters like Bugsy Siegel in stomping out the terrifying tide of Nazi sympathizers during the 1930s and 1940s.

As Adolph Hitler rose to power in 1930s Germany, a growing wave of fascism began to take root on American soil. Nazi activists started to gather in major American cities, and by 1933, there were more than one-hundred anti-Semitic groups operating openly in the United States. Few Americans dared to speak out or fight back—until an organized resistance of notorious mobsters waged their own personal war against the Nazis in their midst. Gangland-style. . . .

In this thrilling blow-by-blow account, acclaimed crime writer Michael Benson uncovers the shocking truth about the insidious rise of Nazism in America—and the Jewish mobsters who stomped it out.

Packed with surprising, little-known facts, graphic details, and unforgettable personalities, Gangsters vs. Nazis chronicles the mob’s most ruthless tactics in taking down fascism—inspiring ordinary Americans to join them in their fight. The book culminates in one of the most infamous events of the pre-war era—the 1939 Nazi rally in Madison Square Garden—in which law-abiding citizens stood alongside hardened criminals to fight for the soul of a nation. This is the story of the mob that’s rarely told—one of the most fascinating chapters in American history and American organized crime.

I left out part of the liner notes but here is just one of the things I omitted.: * Nazi Town, USA: How one Long Island community named a street after Hitler, decorated buildings with swastikas, and set up a camp to teach US citizens how to goosestep.

Go here for additional info about this book. https://www.amazon.com/Gangsters-vs-Nazis-Mobsters-Battled-ebook/dp/B09BKDB8Y5/ref=sr_1_1? and read the sample. It's a good read and would make a great documentary; I was reminded of this book a lot when I listened to Rachel's recent podcast "Ultra" (https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-presents-ultra). I wish she would do a companion piece about these events)

It is a very expensive Kindle book. It popped up in the Prime Reading group so I read it for free. It's been out long enough that it could be showing up at places like Half-Price books and of course there is always the public library.

Latest Discussions»Issue Forums»Editorials & Other Articles»On this day, Feb 21, 1939...»Reply #3