America's Nazi Summer Camps

Camp Siegfried hosted a ‘Nazi Camp Fete’ for 40,000 attendees on 15th August, 1938. The Summer resort, on Yaphank, Long Island, was the epicentre of the German-American Bund: an organisation devoted to establishing a Nazi stronghold across the United States. 


Alongside campfire building and swimming lessons, young attendees were taught to emulate the Hitler Youth and host mini Nuremberg-style rallies. 


In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how delegates were trained to anticipate a Nazi coup of the USA; consider why all the key players in the movement escaped serious criminal prosecution, even after the Second World War; and why events such as these were so casually reported, even in the New York Times… 


Further Reading:

• ‘New York's 1930s Nazi Summer Camp’ (Ripley’s, 2016): https://www.ripleys.com/weird-news/nazi-summer-camp/

• ‘A New York Town in the 1930s Embraced Hitler and Nazi Germany’ (History Collection, 2017): https://historycollection.com/welcome-hitler-street-usa-pending/

• ‘Nazis on Long Island: The Story of Camp Siegfried’ (Museum of Jewish Heritage, 2022): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGJW1VQo1Ts


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The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.

Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Sophie King.

Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2022.


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