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Ebba Anderson to Pastor M. E. N. Lindsay

Ebba Anderson
US Holocaust Memorial Museum

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 named M. E. N. Lindsay2—organized a demonstration in opposition. A change in zoning laws prevented the Bund's plans and drew nationwide publicity. This 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 a 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 a "patriotic" and 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. Similar to the Bund and the Nazi Party, the group limited its membership to so-called "Aryans" and was closed to Jewish or Black Americans.5

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."6

In 2012, local Connecticut newspaper Republican American commemorated the 75th anniversary of the protest in the "little town that beat the Nazis."

See Bradley Hart, Hitler's American Friends (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, 2018), 54–58. For more details on the protest, see The Hartford Courant, November 24, 1937, 1. 

Mark Edgar Newson Lindsay (1898-1987) served as the pastor at a Congregational church in South Britain, Connecticut, until 1941.

Founded by the political activist William Pelley in 1933, the Silver Legion was an Amerian white supremacist and nationalist organization founded in 1933 and disbanded after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

"Southbury: The Little Town that Beat the Nazis," Republican American, June 18, 2012. Available in the Rev. M.E.N. Lindsay Papers, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC.

To learn more about the experiences of Black Americans during this period, see the related Experiencing History collection, Black Americans and World War II.

Anderson notes in her letter that she also sent along an article containing a positive description about Germany, relayed by "one who is recently returned from a trip therefrom." For a similar document, see the related item Dr. Fritz Linnenbuerger: "My Trip to Germany."

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Archival Information for This Item

Source (Credit)
US Holocaust Memorial Museum
RG Number 015.33.1
Date Created
November 30, 1937
Author / Creator
Ebba Anderson
Waterbury, Connecticut, USA
Document Type Letter
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