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September 8, 2015

New York’s Infamous History: Rare Pictures of Nazi Summer Camp in Long Island Through the Late 1930s to Early 1940s

Camp Sigfried, a Nazi camp in Long Island, NY, was founded in 1935. It was operated by the German American Bund, an American Nazi organization also known as “Friends of New Germany.” The camp was devoted to promoting a favorable view of Nazi Germany and spreading its propaganda but was never verbally or financially supported by Hitler’s Third Reich.

Strangely enough, the camp survived for years and was shut down only after Germany declared war on the U.S in 1941. Before an official war declaration, the camp stayed active under first amendment rights, despite their hateful ideology. Only after the start of WWII did it become illegal for Americans to continue pledging allegiance to Nazi Germany, as adherents of the camp did.

The Sigfried summer camp taught Nazi ideology to all and yet professed to be loyal to America by displaying the flag of the United States at the camp entrance alongside a Nazi swastika. The attendees wore Nazi uniforms, ‘decorated’ lawns with swastikas and built fake tanks. They blasted then-president Roosevelt and attacked Jewish groups. The leaders also claimed that George Washington was the “first fascist” who did not believe in democracy.

According to Messy Nessy Chic, the photographs have been stored in the New York City Department of Records and were recently digitalized and released online.

(Images from the New York City Department of Records, via Messy Nessy Chic)


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