The history of the United States is often celebrated for its progressive values and democracy. But as we delve deeper into the past, we discover darker moments that many would rather forget. One such moment was the Nazi rally held in Madison Square Garden in February 1939.
More than 20,000 Americans attended the rally, organized by the anti-Semitic organization, German American Bund. They raised Nazi salutes towards a 30-foot-tall portrait of George Washington flanked by swastikas. Banners with messages like “Stop Jewish Domination of Christian Americans” and “Wake Up America. Smash Jewish Communism” were prominently displayed.
The rally was met with fierce opposition, with around 100,000 protestors gathering outside. They carried signs with messages like “Smash Anti-Semitism” and “Give me a gas mask, I can’t stand the smell of Nazis.” The protesters warned that what was happening in Germany could happen in the United States. And as the rally broke up, some protesters were able to slip by police and punch departing Nazis in the face.
The Nazi rally was a shocking display of hatred and bigotry. But it’s important to remember this moment in history so that we can learn from it. We must stand together and fight against all forms of hatred and discrimination, no matter where they come from. Only then can we truly build a better world for everyone.