In 1937, the town of Southbury, Connecticut became the center of a debate over American values and patriotism.1 When the pro-Nazi German American Bund moved to establish a youth camp nearby, residents—led by a local pastor, M. E. N. Lindsay2—organized a demonstration in opposition. A change in zoning laws prevented the Bund's plans and drew nationwide publicity; however, it also provoked outrage from Americans such as Ebba Anderson, a member of another pro-Nazi organization called the Silver Legion, which was closely allied with the Bund.3 In the featured letter from Anderson to Lindsay, the author defends the Bund and its activities as exemplifying "good American stock."
In his sermon to protestors, Lindsay had labeled the Bund anti-American and anti-Christian.4 In her letter, Anderson responded to these charges against the Bund as someone who was "patriotic" and a proud member of the "despised Silver Legion, even as Christ himself was and is despised." Unlike the Bund, which largely drew membership from Americans of German origin, the Legion explicitly identified as "Christian." However, similar to the Bund and the Nazi party, the group limited its membership to "Aryans," excluding both Jews and African Americans.
For Anderson, the protest was little but a "Jewish chaotic meeting" against the work of patriotic "American-German" boys. The protest itself, she predicted, would be "an unfavourable blot in the future American history."5
In 2012, local Connecticut newspaper Republican American commemorated the 75th anniversary of the protest in the "little town that beat the Nazis."