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Lindbergh and the nazis


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Over the years I have heard both that Lindbergh was an ardent admirer of the nazis and that his admiration was out of ignorance and very shortlived. What was the extent of Lindbergh's sympathies towards the nazis?

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It seems he was sympathetic to their ideology, was appalled by their methods, and remained an American patriot who was fully supportive of the war effort and consulted in aircraft design and production.

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5 hours ago, Mikel2 said:

Over the years I have heard both that Lindbergh was an ardent admirer of the nazis and that his admiration was out of ignorance and very shortlived. What was the extent of Lindbergh's sympathies towards the nazis?

Im not sure thats the case. From what I hear, he visited a concentration camp at the end of the war, and didnt express any particularly regret at his views before the war. You can of course interpret that numerous ways, but it doesnt seem to me to be a lifetime filled full of regret at supporting Nazi's.

 

He expressed repulsion at the Nazi methods, but if this is to be believed, didnt believe it was any of America's responsiblity to take a part in doing anything about it. As he was supposedly going to move to Berlin prewar, we perhaps ought to take that revulsion with a pinch of salt.

https://www.speech.almeida.co.uk/charles-lindbergh

 

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1 hour ago, sunday said:

Seems Nazis are useful for killing Russians, but should be shunned otherwise.

I do not think there is strong ground to see Nazis as just "tool for killing Russians", even while it is quite popular point of view here in Russia now. Back in Lindbergh time, Nazism of various types and shades was fashionable and respectable ideology in so called "democratic countries", while "Russians" (Soviets) were considered just failed state with strange radical ideology, in the middle of nowhere and not a real threat - something like modern day Iran. The main point of having local Nazis was to keep local working class down and Socialists/Communists out of power. 

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Communist Russia was a real danger to Poland in the 1920s, but I was commenting on the actual Ukrainian situation, where some Western people is unable to see Nazis even when they have swastikas tattooed on themselves, and raise the right arm in the Roman salute.

Perhaps they need to learn to sing Horst Wessel Lied to be recognized as Nazis...

Before some blessed delusional guy start with "Franco, Franco, Franco", it should be remembered that Franco's regime did save quite a lot of Jewish people.

Edited by sunday
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2 hours ago, sunday said:

Seems Nazis are useful for killing Russians, but should be shunned otherwise.

Yet you, and many others on this grate site are still happy to praise them, under the right circumstances.

30 minutes ago, sunday said:

Communist Russia was a real danger to Poland in the 1920s, but I was commenting on the actual Ukrainian situation, where some Western people is unable to see Nazis even when they have swastikas tattooed on themselves, and raise the right arm in the Roman salute.

Perhaps they need to learn to sing Horst Wessel Lied to be recognized as Nazis...

Before some blessed delusional guy start with "Franco, Franco, Franco", it should be remembered that Franco's regime did save quite a lot of Jewish people.

And it saved an awful lot more of the people that murdered their relatives.  What conclusions can we come to about that?

 

47 minutes ago, Roman Alymov said:

I do not think there is strong ground to see Nazis as just "tool for killing Russians", even while it is quite popular point of view here in Russia now. Back in Lindbergh time, Nazism of various types and shades was fashionable and respectable ideology in so called "democratic countries", while "Russians" (Soviets) were considered just failed state with strange radical ideology, in the middle of nowhere and not a real threat - something like modern day Iran. The main point of having local Nazis was to keep local working class down and Socialists/Communists out of power. 

You are overlooking that in most cases in the Democratic countries, Fascism was embraced mainly as a means of combating Communism. Just as Communism, among he right chaps at Cambridge, was embraced as the best means of combatting Fascism.

The irony is that none of them conceived of the remote possiblity that Democracy, particularly the flabby, unfashionable Anglo American sort, might actually be strong enough to stand against political extremes without having to embrace them.

Its an Irony that still seems wholly lost on many of he posters of this grate site, hence why some ill advised individuals still think Linbergh was just an early Trump prototype. He wasnt, he was just another well placed sellout to fascism in the 1930's. It was very fashionable at the time I gather.

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4 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

You are overlooking that in most cases in the Democratic countries, Fascism was embraced mainly as a means of combating Communism. Just as Communism, among he right chaps at Cambridge, was embraced as the best means of combatting Fascism.

If given country is truly democratic, why embrace Fascism as  a mean of combating Communism? If majority of voters is against Communism, it will not get to power (and there is no need for external tools like Fascism). And if majority of voters in really democratic country is for Communism - well, isn't is the democratic choice of the country? 

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4 hours ago, sunday said:

Before some blessed delusional guy start with "Franco, Franco, Franco", it should be remembered that Franco's regime did save quite a lot of Jewish people.

I think there is typical mistake to associate Nazism (extreme form of bourgeois society) with eliminating Jews. There are historic examples of de-facto Nazism without eliminating Jews, and there are historic examples of eliminating Jews without Nazism (and even long before idea of nation created).

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4 minutes ago, Roman Alymov said:

I think there is typical mistake to associate Nazism (extreme form of bourgeois society) with eliminating Jews. There are historic examples of de-facto Nazism without eliminating Jews, and there are historic examples of eliminating Jews without Nazism (and even long before idea of nation created).

No, there has been only one Nazi regime, in only one country, and they did not like bourgeoisie either. Unless you apply late Marxist-Leninist social cathegories, in which Capitalism is nazifascist.

One of the great failures of Marx's Historical materialism is that Fascism had no place in it, so when it appeared, Communists did not know what to do with Fascism for a significant period of time.

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9 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Im not sure thats the case. From what I hear, he visited a concentration camp at the end of the war, and didnt express any particularly regret at his views before the war. You can of course interpret that numerous ways, but it doesnt seem to me to be a lifetime filled full of regret at supporting Nazi's.

 

He expressed repulsion at the Nazi methods, but if this is to be believed, didnt believe it was any of America's responsiblity to take a part in doing anything about it. As he was supposedly going to move to Berlin prewar, we perhaps ought to take that revulsion with a pinch of salt.

https://www.speech.almeida.co.uk/charles-lindbergh

 

I think we're far away enough from WW2 now that we shouldn't judge denizens of that time for holding beliefs that are pretty abhorrent to us nowadays, with obvious outliers like hardcore Nazis, etc. Google "Guy Gibson dog name" for instance. 

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One major thing that modern-day America Firsters don't take into account is that Hitler declared war on the US, not the other way around. And it wasn't due to us poking him too hard with Lend-Lease etc., Nazi leadership sincerely believed that Japan and the US both entering the war was a net benefit for the Axis because master warrior race vs mongrel merchant country, blah blah. In hindsight it's one of the most ignorant decisions ever made, foreign policy-wise, especially given that the US had been fighting a wide variety of wars and typically winning handily since 1776. 

Edit to add -- and most criticism of US warfighting by European observers (ACW, Spanish-American War, WW1, etc.) was that the US was too aggressive and too willing to take casualties. I mean, the Nazis could have at least read a 1939 Encyclopedia or something...

Edited by Angrybk
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10 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

Im not sure thats the case. From what I hear, he visited a concentration camp at the end of the war, and didnt express any particularly regret at his views before the war.

He did actually, also stating in his autobiography that his pre-war belief in eugenics had been wrong. On which note, his convictions which certainly made him a Nazi sympathizer in their combination were individually not unusual in the US (and elsewhere) of the 30s; some degree of racism and anti-Semitism, clearly the anti-communism, coupled with his admiration for technology and military strength, and his non-interventionism. With his popularity, it made him a useful idiot for the Nazis, who were anxious to not applaud his statements making apologies for Germany taking Czechoslovakia, against the Jews and British trying to drag the Western world into a continental European war etc. too much, lest his reputation be detrimentally tainted by their overt sympathy.

I'd give him the benefit of doubt that he truly saw his errors after the war. We can certainly be sure he retained a sympathy for Germany though, if him having decades of parallel extra-marital affairs and families with three women there is any indication, two of them sisters to boot.

Edited by BansheeOne
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A speech he had planned for on Dec 12 1941. It was cancelled after the PH attack. The meaning behind it changes drastically depending on what the reader knows or wants regarding the whole Japan-China-US chain of events througout the late 1930s up to Dec 7th.

http://www.charleslindbergh.com/pdf/dec121941.pdf

Link from here: http://www.charleslindbergh.com/americanfirst/index.asp

And so blah blah blah blah blah blah blah Blah thus surely blah blah blah blah blah blaaaaah blah. Blah and then blah blahblah blah on dates blah blah blah blahhhh if blah blahbla. It could also be said that blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. blaaah blahblah Blah and blah blah. blah blah with blah blah blahblah beating around the horse blah blah bl3h. But in saying that blah bblah blah blah bllah blah blah blah.  

 

Edited by futon
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14 hours ago, Angrybk said:

I think we're far away enough from WW2 now that we shouldn't judge denizens of that time for holding beliefs that are pretty abhorrent to us nowadays, with obvious outliers like hardcore Nazis, etc. Google "Guy Gibson dog name" for instance. 

In one sense you are right, in that people then DID have views that today look far more racist than they were at the time. It was the time of Empires, of course people held such views. Even Churchill is decried as being a racist now. He probably was, but it a wholly pale one compared to whom he was fighting against.

At the same time, my view is that what happened to the Jewish people was a tragedy. A wholly avoidable tragedy perhaps, if people whom were so busy with their tounge round Hitlers ring had paid attention to what was happening in Germany. Lindbergh clearly recognised something apalling WAS happening to them. He clearly recognised something apalling WAS happening to Britain. And yet, his answer was... do nothing. Many here would happily accept that 'America First'. Id prefer to regard it as a complete abrogation of his responsibility as a human being, and perhaps even a thin veneer covering deeper sympathies than he let on. Many on this grate site sneer at the Germans for having given rise to the Nazi's, but overlook that America, just as much as Britain, was busy selling out to them. Perhaps even more so if you look at the kind of stuff Henry Ford was getting up to.

I can forgive Lindbergh for being a racist, many were as you rightly say. I cant forgive him for  his deeper ties, and trying to drop my country in the shit. Fuck him, I hope he burns in hell the self serving bastard.

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13 hours ago, BansheeOne said:

He did actually, also stating in his autobiography that his pre-war belief in eugenics had been wrong. On which note, his convictions which certainly made him a Nazi sympathizer in their combination were individually not unusual in the US (and elsewhere) of the 30s; some degree of racism and anti-Semitism, clearly the anti-communism, coupled with his admiration for technology and military strength, and his non-interventionism. With his popularity, it made him a useful idiot for the Nazis, who were anxious to not applaud his statements making apologies for Germany taking Czechoslovakia, against the Jews and British trying to drag the Western world into a continental European war etc. too much, lest his reputation be detrimentally tainted by their overt sympathy.

I'd give him the benefit of doubt that he truly saw his errors after the war. We can certainly be sure he retained a sympathy for Germany though, if him having decades of parallel extra-marital affairs and families with three women there is any indication, two of them sisters to boot.

Didnt he also say he felt no personal responsiblity for it? Which in light of his remarks above, certainly can have holes poked in it.

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Admitting wrong about a crucial issue in an autobiography is, however, more than most people of comparable prominence are willing to admit (e.g. the Eugenics part which people like Paul Ehrlich and Margaret Sanger defended to their last breaths ("because, science")).

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Ok, lets use an example, not a great one but its the first one I can think of. If it gets the Trump humpers off the Sofa, then we will just have to put up with it.

If I said, as a public figure, that Donald Trump had Won the election, then that is perfectly within my rights, even if its a wrong assumption. Its even within my rights to say subsequently that I was wrong.

But If I said the former, and refused to acknowledge my public speaking about it may have helped inspire January 6th, then people would feel, as one British minister famously said, I was being economical with the actualite. I would actually be actually disavowing responsiblity for something I do have at degree of responsiblity for.

But its not a case where a bunch of fools stormed the senate based on the word of a vaguely known blogger. It was something where 6 million jews were murdered, and he was one of the most famous men in the world at the time (Steve Jobs or Elon Musk sounds about right). He COULD have done something about that. He certainly could have disavowed all friendship with the Nazi's.

It was bad enough he didnt do any of that, and he  certainly could have done. But he refused to acknowledge his complicity in giving an acceptable face to the Nazi Regime, and encouraging Americans not to do anything about it. To my mind, that is a pretty egregious failure as a human being.

Many of course did similar things. But im not aware of anyone being quite so tainted in America. All the ones similarly tainted in the UK were locked up during the war. They certainly were not rehabilitated postwar.

 

Look, maybe its a thin point, but IMHO anyone that wasnt doing anything to point to the dangers of the Nazi regime had a degree of responsiblity for what followed. He did more than that, he was largely cheerleading for it. And im not aware he ever fully acknowleged his responsibility to that end.

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I'm not here to defend Lindbergh. I have no sympathy towards Nazis and their enablers.

But if the argument is that he was politically confused, then he's no better or worse in that respect than Jane Fonda cheerleading for the Vienamese communists, or pretty much any other wealthy intellectual droning on about the wonders of socialism. His support for Nazism can't be exonerated or excused. He was a useful idiot. Yes, all true. But at least he admitted that he was wrong on a number of accounts during his lifetime, which is more than most supporters of communism are or were capable of, or Eugenics, and a number of other horrid political ideas. He's not singularly terrible.

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Just now, Ssnake said:

I'm not here to defend Lindbergh. I have no sympathy towards Nazis and their enablers.

But if the argument is that he was politically confused, then he's no better or worse in that respect than Jane Fonda cheerleading for the Vienamese communists, or pretty much any other wealthy intellectual droning on about the wonders of socialism. His support for Nazism can't be exonerated or excused. He was a useful idiot. Yes, all true. But at least he admitted that he was wrong on a number of accounts during his lifetime, which is more than most supporters of communism are or were capable of, or Eugenics, and a number of other horrid political ideas. He's not singularly terrible.

No, I wouldnt accuse any of you Germans on this site of doing that. 

Ok, so lets look at it like this. If Jane Fonda said sorry, which I gather she has at several points, then that still doesn't exactly rub out responsibility for her actions. There were accusations that a POW tried to pass a note to her, and he was subsequently beaten for it. So Its one thing to say you are sorry you went there, that you shouldnt have done it, its another thing to say you don't feel responsibility for the results that followed from it.

And in America, this is seemingly a point of law. If you are driving a car for a group of bank robbers and they hit a bank, you are a robber. But even if you are outside in the car, and they kill someone not in your presence, then that means you are a murderer too. The same point seems to be under debate over the other policemen present at the death of George Floyd, and they were arguably too green to appreciate what was happening.

I wouldnt say he was singularly terrible. Deserving of the same spot in hell with Hanoi Jane and Edward VIII? Yes, in my view at least. Even Albert Speer battled with his responsibility for the atrocities of the Nazi regime, did it almost till the day he died. That to my mind was a genuine attempt to come to terms with responsibility, failed though it ultimately was.

Lindbergh to my mind, did not make a full attempt to come to terms with his responsibility. He may have apologised for holding particular beliefs, but Ive read nothing that acknowledged his responsibility for what followed from them.

Neither did Edward or Mrs Simpson of course....

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2 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

No, I wouldnt accuse any of you Germans on this site of doing that. 

Ok, so lets look at it like this. If Jane Fonda said sorry, which I gather she has at several points, then that still doesn't exactly rub out responsibility for her actions. There were accusations that a POW tried to pass a note to her, and he was subsequently beaten for it. So Its one thing to say you are sorry you went there, that you shouldnt have done it, its another thing to say you don't feel responsibility for the results that followed from it.

And in America, this is seemingly a point of law. If you are driving a car for a group of bank robbers and they hit a bank, you are a robber. But even if you are outside in the car, and they kill someone not in your presence, then that means you are a murderer too. The same point seems to be under debate over the other policemen present at the death of George Floyd, and they were arguably too green to appreciate what was happening.

I wouldnt say he was singularly terrible. Deserving of the same spot in hell with Hanoi Jane and Edward VIII? Yes, in my view at least. Even Albert Speer battled with his responsibility for the atrocities of the Nazi regime, did it almost till the day he died. That to my mind was a genuine attempt to come to terms with responsibility, failed though it ultimately was.

Lindbergh to my mind, did not make a full attempt to come to terms with his responsibility. He may have apologised for holding particular beliefs, but Ive read nothing that acknowledged his responsibility for what followed from them.

Neither did Edward or Mrs Simpson of course....

This is different from the assorted Putin shills how?

And that doesn't make them particularly noteworthy in the history of fellow travellers, so why single out Lindbergh? he didn't have a crystal ball in 1941 to know about concentration camps, and let's not kid ourselves, without extermination camps, the Nazis were on a par with the Communists in the evil scale.

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18 hours ago, Stuart Galbraith said:

In one sense you are right, in that people then DID have views that today look far more racist than they were at the time. It was the time of Empires, of course people held such views. Even Churchill is decried as being a racist now. He probably was, but it a wholly pale one compared to whom he was fighting against.

At the same time, my view is that what happened to the Jewish people was a tragedy. A wholly avoidable tragedy perhaps, if people whom were so busy with their tounge round Hitlers ring had paid attention to what was happening in Germany. Lindbergh clearly recognised something apalling WAS happening to them. He clearly recognised something apalling WAS happening to Britain. And yet, his answer was... do nothing. Many here would happily accept that 'America First'. Id prefer to regard it as a complete abrogation of his responsibility as a human being, and perhaps even a thin veneer covering deeper sympathies than he let on. Many on this grate site sneer at the Germans for having given rise to the Nazi's, but overlook that America, just as much as Britain, was busy selling out to them. Perhaps even more so if you look at the kind of stuff Henry Ford was getting up to.

I can forgive Lindbergh for being a racist, many were as you rightly say. I cant forgive him for  his deeper ties, and trying to drop my country in the shit. Fuck him, I hope he burns in hell the self serving bastard.

Isolationism was a perfectly defensible position (although obviously wrong in hindsight) for USAians at the time, and quite popular. We were crawling out of a horrifying economic depression and a lot of USAians felt that we'd gotten pretty burned in WW1; 117,000 dead for reasons that we couldn't really understand. Roosevelt was pushing us toward war in ways that were extremely controversial at home. 

We never would have gotten involved in an existential war against two superpowers on humanitarian grounds, nor should we have. If there was some theoretical genocide going on in the Americas, I can't see Western Europe doing much about it other than hand-wringing. We entered WW2 because Hitler declared war on us, if he hadn't then it would have turned out very differently (probably at least a much greater focus vs. Japan, which would have worked out to the Allies' detriment). 

Edit to add -- yeah Lindbergh was a dick. 

Edited by Angrybk
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